Google Chrome: A browser for RIAs and a Firefox Killer

Google announced Google Chrome yesterday with a slick little comic and a bunch of good ideas about how to improve the browser. Even though I think everyone agrees that the shine of Google has worn off, if you picturd all of the things that should be in a Google browser, this pretty much covers it.

Google Chrome: A browser for RIAs and a Firefox Killer
Google announced Google Chrome yesterday with a slick little comic and a bunch of good ideas about how to improve the browser. Even though I think everyone agrees that the shine of Google has worn off, if you picturd all of the things that should be in a Google browser, this pretty much covers it. We've got much better memory management, we've got a new JavaScript engine. Some are calling it a Windows killer, and it's easy to see why. It's has operating system-like features and it's built from the ground up to run very complex Ajax appliations. In that sense, it's very much a browser specifically for RIAs. It will include Gears support so that it can handle the offline/online problem for you. I love the feature that keeps each tab in its own memory space so that rouge applications can't crash your entire browser. It also adds a memory inspector so you can see exactly which plugins or applications in the browser are taking up memory. Anyone who uses Windows should be familiar with this feature.

So it has everything you'd expect from a browser-based operating system and gets right to the heart of the problems. By making the browser more stable and more usable for long periods of time, they've created something very, very interesting, and something that should be a huge win for RIA developers everywhere - even Flash or Silverlight developers. So the easy answer is "Windows Killer". But I didn't see anything in the comic about device drivers. I didn't see anything about hardware acceleration. In an extra bit of irony the beta is only available on Windows. So who's in trouble? Firefox, even if they don't acknowledge it.

Firefox has become synonymous with memory leaks and an antiquated code base. Despite a very good, lucrative arrangement for both sides, Google started from scratch and used WebKit as the HTML renderer. Firefox's market share is still somewhere in the 25% range, while IE controls the bulk of the rest. So while it's making inroads, it still appeals most to the hard-core geek crowd. And add-is are a major selling point over Safari right now. With Google Chrome you get the WebKit engine, you get add-ins, and you get a ton of more useful features in your browser. That same crowd that flocked to Firefox is going to embrace Google Chrome with open arms. The crowd of folks who just use whatever comes with their operating system? Not so much. Google will make more inroads than Firefox can, but it's still going to take a ton of market-share from everyone's feel-good open source browser.

I'm very, very excited about Google Chrome. This is a big day for RIA developers because Google started from scratch. They're building a train that will actually be able to run on the high speed tracks of the internet. We've been pushing and pushing and pushing for a long time, but the browsers just haven't been able to keep up with demands. Google Chrome should be a big leap forward.

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