Wednesday, September 3, 2008

 

Google Chrome first impressions

Does the world need another Web browser? Probably not, most people are reasonably happy with Firefox (or SeaMonkey), Safari and Internet Explorer, and a wide range of less known specialized browsers.

But then of course it's hard to ignore a new browser when it's launched by Google. Matt Cutts quickly blogged about the Google Chrome announcement and conspiracy theories, and the search engine guessing feature in particular caught my interest.

www.ibm.com has supported OpenSearch for years and it's good to see a browser finally making good use of the OpenSearch description and providing access to custom search engines using keyboard navigation. With the OpenSearch definition for IBM Search enabled, typing ibm.com Green IT selects IBM Search as the preferred engine for that search:



The same can be achieved in Firefox with keywords, albeit not as easily.

Rendering of XML content including RSS news feeds leaves much to be desired. Hopefully Google will add full XML rendering support and integrate a feed reader soon.

Incognito browsing is another neat idea, it won't help much to preserve your privacy but could be useful for testing when you don't want all the test pages to clutter your browser history.

One prerequisite for me using Chrome is support by RoboForm which keeps track of all my accounts and passwords. RoboForm does not work with Safari but hopefully with Chrome being open source will support this browser. Web development tools that work with Chrome will be the other deal breaker.

In the meantime I will continue to experiment with Chrome and see what else Google's latest brainchild has to offer.

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Comments:
As mentioned here the Google Chrome Terms of Service indicate that you grant Google “a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display” using the browser (thanks for the heads-up, Anthony!)

Either the definition of services or the scope of the license would seem, er, slightly broad, and not just for Google Chrome. Just think about what these terms of service mean for other services such as GMail.
 
i'm willing to try it out just to see if it works more efficiently than FireFox... if it's faster than Firefox and isn't IE, then i'll use it
 
Google was quick to update the Terms of Service: Google does not want rights to things you do using Chrome
 
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