Google Chrome: A browser for RIAs and a Firefox Killer

Google Chrome: A browser for RIAs and a Firefox Killer

Summary: 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.

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TOPICS: Browser, Google
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Google Chrome: A browser for RIAs and a Firefox KillerGoogle 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.

Topics: Browser, Google

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  • I think this is going to be an historical moment in the evolution of the

    Internet. We are finally going to get a fresh, no holds bared browser. I think we will see a particularly rapid evolution as well. I also wonder how long Google has been working on this.

    The big question is when will we see netbooks on the market with Chrome and a stripped down Linux kernel underneath it?
    DonnieBoy
  • Another thing, given that they are building a VM, it should be possible to

    run other languages on this, and also download byte codes instead of the actual program source code. This will allow websites to not give away all of the source code - a very important feature.
    DonnieBoy
    • VM Code

      It's possible, but I can't see it getting enough traction for
      anyone to compile down to the Chrome VM rather than a
      widely installed VM like Java or the Flash VM.

      And then there is Tamarin, and the DLR that underlies
      Silverlight which is also an open source VM.

      All exciting technologies, and indicating that everyone is
      looking for solutions in the same space (sandboxed VMs
      for running apps downloaded from the web) but also a
      sign of a fragmented market.

      Arguably, we may actually be better off having these
      different VM competing to run a higher level language the
      most efficiently, rather than locking down to a single
      VM/btye code (think of different VMs as being like
      different CPU architectures, vs standardising on x86).
      JulesLt3
      • Some very good points. I wonder if at some point, a website could send down

        byte codes for the VM that is installed on the local browser. All running off of the same code base, just generated for the platform. Kind of like a C program that can be compiled for any Unix/Linux platform. Though, you do need common functionality amongst them.

        And that brings up a point. One of the things MS is doing is trying to create an apparently open VM, but where they can tweak it from time to time so that things do not always work right if you do not use Windows. MS is really going all out to create compatibility problems anywhere and everywhere that they can.
        DonnieBoy
  • Silverlight and Flash running on Google Chrome

    ping back from Samiq Bits [http://bits.samiq.net]

    [... In the words of my friend Ryan Stewart

    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...]

    from "Silverlight and Flash running on Google Chrome"
    gcorrales@...
  • RIA = Rich Internet Applications

    n/t
    markbn
  • RE: Google Chrome: A browser for RIAs and a Firefox Killer

    New kid on the block....we will see
    eddyt
  • RE: Google Chrome: A browser for RIAs and a Firefox Killer

    New kid on the block....wait and see
    eddyt
  • Firefox Killer? Not a Chance

    Users won't abandon Firefox readily, they've got their favorite add-ons and their customizations and they like it!
    Greenknight_z
  • What about a mobile version?

    One nice thing about Opera is that they also have mobile versions.

    What's been needed for a long while, is a cross device browser with offline rich application support.
    kdarling
  • I can't see any reason to use Chrome

    It gives me nothing I don't already have in Firefox, and it takes away a whole bunch of things I also have in Firefox (privacy and ad free web browsing for example).
    tracy anne
  • More like Chrome is a Microsoft and IE killer in one

    I loaded Chrome a yesterday and more than anything else, what I perceive is a fundamental shift in the way we will be viewing our network and content in the future. It is not only very impressively programmed but it opens the door to some innovative way of looking at applications in the future - you just have to look at some of the methods they have adopted in their browser, from the detachable tabs to the intellegence integration of search capability.

    This is the future - Microsoft cannot hope to compete in this new world. It has a browser locked to the operating system and locked in a past age of thinking. The best thing that Microsoft could do is separate itself from its OS mentality. They probably can't see that virtualization is going to change everything and that the browsers very shortly will be plug and play apps with less and less dependence on the OS.

    Now let's talk about Vista.....no it's too painful.
    SuperX3