Google’s chrome browser is quickly gaining momentum and market share. Recently it has even been projected the before the end of 2011 chrome will surpass firefox as the second most used browser, behind Internet Explorer.
Here’s what I think is great about Google Chrome:
- It gets out of your way. As the name indicates, the browser is not in your way at all. The content is front and center and the browser is an afterthought.
- The release schedule rocks. Major versions are released every 6 months and the upgrade process is completely seamless. Chrome is already on version 14. Granted the major releases are not as major as a new IE release, but it is clear that Google is committed to an aggressive release schedule.
- Great development tools. The developer tools in Chrome are second only to Firebug. That’s saying a lot, firebug is incredible but Chrome is a close second. In some ways I like Chrome better, especially the DOM explorer.
- Sync everything. All browser settings, bookmarks and passwords can be stored in the Google cloud. If you roam across machines or rebuild your machines often, this is a big time saver.
- HTML5 and CSS3 support. Support for new technologies is great in Chrome, thanks in part to the fact that it is built on top of the popular open source WebKit framework.
This is interesting in a lot of ways. First, Google is not generally thought of as a desktop software company. This is changing and Chrome is a part of that.
For Google, Chrome is strategic in that it gives Google some control (and consistency) over how their services are presented on the desktop. Google is a web software company and Chrome is an attempt at controlling the “last mile” problem. This is important as it gives Google a foot hold on the desktop and a fighting chance against Microsoft.
Chromebooks are also an interesting concept. A computer that is basically just a browser, in a lightweight package. Chrome is obviously a huge part of these machines and Google is banking on the fact that Chrome can become an everyday part of your web experience.