Why Google’s Chrome Browser Is Important To You

by Michael Adams

Always taking the non-traditional approach, Google shocked and amazed the world as it release its web browser “Chrome” early in September 2008.

In an attempt to help everyone understand the features and benefits of Chrome, Google created a fun to read comic book and released it to the world before their press conference where they announced the product. During the press conference, Google also did a live demonstration of Chrome and some of its more exciting features.

In Google’s own words, they wanted to create a browser that would run web applications faster and with fewer crashes than they were experiencing with the currently available browsers, such as Mozilla’s Firefox or Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The reasons for this are clear. With Google’s employees spending most of their day doing most of their work using web applications that run inside of an web browser, having a fast and stable browser is important to their productivity.

One of the main features Google introduced with Chrome is that each browser tab now runs as its own process within the operating system. In every day terms, this means stability. When you browse with Chrome, the website you are viewing in one tab will not affect the performance of the website you are viewing in a second tab. Apparently Google’s analysis showed that with existing browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox, bugs and performance problems from certain websites could and did cause problems for the browser as a whole, even causing users to lose their work in progress when the browser crashed.

A benefit of Google’s new tab system is that you can now do things like pull a tab out of your browser to create a separate window.

Another important fact about Google’s Chrome browser is that the source code is available to software developers worldwide. Making the source code available as “open source” means that we’ll see programmers around the world developing custom modifications and additions to Chrome faster and in more innovative ways than Google could have managed on its own.

One of the controversies surrounding Google’s Chrome is the fact that Google released the browser early in what they are calling a “beta”. With Chrome’s version number standing at 0.2, some early adopters questioned Google’s decision to release the software so early and were indeed expecting a more finished product.

When asked to describe how Google’s Chrome is different from Internet Explorer or Firefox, an easy way to think of it is to say that “Google built Chrome from scratch to run today’s and tomorrow’s web applications quickly” and that “Internet Explorer and Firefox are based on older technology created to display web pages, not run web applications”.

As more and more people move to do more and more of their work inside of web applications instead of desktop applications, the need for a fast stable environment to run web apps is obvious. Clearly Google saw this and created the Chrome browser just for that purpose.

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