We recently stumbled across Google's new web browser Chrome, one of the latest contenders in an already overflowing web browser market. Chrome allows Google to gain additional market share and further their branding, which is a great idea on their part, but with a population of web users still unwilling to update from 2001's Internet Explorer 6 to the more recent Internet Explorer 7, we don't foresee a large movement toward Google Chrome anytime soon.
For most users, making a more permanent browser switch appears to stem from one very basic point: does the browser make my internet experience worthwhile? Not fast, not time efficient, not cool, but simply enough to get the job done without hassle. The common web user is essentially concerned with getting from point A to point B and back again even if it takes an hour or so. The chances for updating or switching to a new browser will be almost non-existent if the user is satisfied with their experience. However, remove the satisfaction and the chances for switching will dramatically increase. Such was the case during 2003 – 2004 when the spam pop-up craze was infecting nearly every browser being used to surf the web. Firefox quickly caught on as the browser of choice with a built-in, pop-up blocker and huge numbers of users began to switch to the safer playground of Mozilla. According to W3C's statistics, we saw Firefox's total population usage increase from 7.2% in 2003 to 23.6% in 2005. Not long after, the web users must have started to feel comfortable again because we haven't seen activity on a scale this large since.
So what does this have to do with the new Google Chrome and why bother mentioning it? Google Chrome may not be the next Internet Explorer or Firefox but it is helping push the limits of the browser by providing a single environment combining what so many individual browsers offer but none bring together. We see the tabbed browsing introduced by Firefox, the visual bookmarks of Sunrise Browser and Google's own, and quite innovative, Incognito window to name a few.
It's a shame Google hasn't included all the superior features available. I'm referring to enhancements such as multi-pane viewing windows allowing the user to see four or more websites at once ( check out SplitBrowser if this interests you ) or the advanced web development features of Sunrise Browser and Opera. While Chrome is an excellent step in the right direction, many of these new features will most likely not be utilized under Chrome itself, but we will see these features absorbed by other developers, like Explorer, looking to stay current each time the bar is raised. We recommend having a look and trying Chrome even if only to familiarize yourself with what the future has to offer.
We don't necessarily agree with Google's takeover of the World Wide Web but do applaud their and Firefox's innovations that help progress our experiences.