Google Chrome does NOT stand up to its hype

For one of the first times, google has done something I do not appreciate. Chrome is a tad beautiful, a tad fast, and nothing else. Google very proudly claims its new browser to be very strongly equipped, but none of it was something you could like. From the very start, google only provides a 475 kB downloader on their site. After you execute that, it takes some 15 minutes downloading stuff you don’t know what, or how much. After that, it starts installing simultaneouly, and I didn’t even notice if it gives you the option of installing in some other drive. After that installation, which relievingly is pretty fast, google chrome starts up with its milky sheen, and a dumb looking window asking you to configure the browser as you want. And guess what! The default selected search engine is WINDOWS LIVE!!! I was appalled! Then opened up the browser. The look was fine, but it opened up the Google site of chrome, which talked about its many amazing features.

  • It began with the feature which is one of the most exciting, at least to Slashdot viewers, as you can see from the comments on their posts about chrome : the tabs above the address bar (??!!??). What the heck is new in that, man! Its been there in Opera since three versions.
  • Then, we move onto the quickly accessible, recently viewed sites. Again a copy from Opera’s Speed dial.
  • Then, the easily movable and drag-out-to-create-a-new-window tabs which is too explicit a copy from Safari.
  • Then Incognito mode, copy from Safari’s private browsing and as it has been compared, to IE8’s inPrivate browsing.
  • There’s also the highly fabled about, each tab running as a different application or process preventing entire crash of the browser, which is taken from IE8, still in beta, and pretty shabbily done.

A feature, they haven’t actually called a feature, is the way selection of a text-box makes it get a golden glow on it. That too (OMG!!) is a copy of safari which gives all buttons and text-boxes a blue border glow.The only new thing must be the absence of a menu bar. There are just 2 good looking buttons, one spanner, and one New-page-type icon which hide all the rest of the stuff – which also is pretty similar to IE8 (just see the levels Google has fallen down to, to copy!). The only thing that might be new is the 1/2 a curve thing which rotates to show loading of a tab, and that’s the only thing which looks downright cheap.

All in all, switching to safari from fx was a much better experience than even trying Google Chrome (and I am still in search of the colour chrome in the entire browser, perhaps they didn’t put it to make it look even similar to safari…). I wouldn’t give it more than a two-and-a-half stars out of five and due to the hype it followed, not even coming close to matching it, I’d drop that rating down to one-and-a-half stars.

19 thoughts on “Google Chrome does NOT stand up to its hype

  1. Has anyone read the fine print?


    By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give 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 on or through, the services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the services and may be revoked for certain services as defined in the additional terms of those services.

    This makes perfect sense for websites, I mean how else can you run a website powered by user generated content? But remember that chrome is a browser. Hence, whatever I do on their browser is legally their property? Huh?

    Now, how is this important?

    Well the thing is that Google isn’t that good at following its own motto; so this potentially can open the door to further abuse.

    Leaving aside the fine print it has to be one of the better options out there. I love it due to the fact that it includes the best from almost every major browser out there be it Firefox, Safari or Opera. It’s the best of all those worlds. It’s almost like magic, it’s simply phenomenal, and yes, I don’t think that this is something bad. It might actually make several people finally switch from IE thus effectively confinig Redmond to the dustbin of history. Is that something bad? In any case, life is often like what picasso said “good artists copy; great artists steal”.

    Forget the omni bar, forget that shiny glean and just think of the possibilities for such a platform. The real thing to watch out for is what they plan to do with chrome 5 years down the line; will it become a sort of cloud computing portal? Will they finally take Google Docs to the next level? Will their new robust browser-website integration change the face of the internet?

    Everything considered the future looks quite bright and shiny for chrome; anyone up for buying Google stock?

  2. Hey hey relax. It’s faster that Firefox.

    The application shortcut feature has got to be hands down the best feature I’ve seen since tabbed browsing. The omnibar is an interesting idea, dynamic tabs are also quite useful. It’s an experiment, they’re just trying something new. They’re not charging you for it, why the anger?

    It looks okay too, but then as a wise man once said, looks are subjective. Personally, I’m not too concerned with the privacy part of it. But I can understand if some are.

    The thing they are aiming for is minimalism. It’s a radically new different design, and it will take some getting used to. If you don’t like it, switch back to whichever browser you are using.

    Google says that if this release leads to a better IE9, then they’ve fulfilled their purpose. Just because these ideas have been used before does not mean that they are bad ideas. To use a good idea is not cheap, it’s smart. To not do so would be stupid.

    A question though, how do you arrive at one and a half stars? What is a two and a half star product then? What is a four star product? What criteria are you using for this rating?

    I enjoyed using it, and thought the idea of introducing it with a comic was refreshingly new. Even if the results may not satisfy you, you have to appreciate the approach they have taken to create the browser. By the way, have you even read the comic?

  3. oh dear … i was going to comment, but bharat kindly snatched all the words from my mouth …

    by the way, Windows Live is definitely not the default search engine, and yes, the inbuilt Google Gears feature (especially since I’ve never used Gears or Prism before) is pretty cool.

    (imho) so far, using chrome has been quite an enjoyable experience for me …

    And yes, there is a controversy over the EULA but Google has promised some retroactive changes (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080903-google-on-chrome-eula-controversy-our-bad-well-change-it.html)

    Heck, it’s a new (and kinda innovative release) – take it with a pinch of salt

  4. I don’t know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed using Google Chrome.

    I like the simple UI and the speed. I don’t care whether features are copied. In a similar vein, one might argue that Firefox stole tabs from Opera. And then IE got it. But again, so what? If it makes your life easier, do you really care if the idea is original?

    Microsoft stole the whole GUI idea, but do you care?

    Would you rate Windows or Linux or Mac OS with 1.5 stars simply because neither “invented” the GUI?

    Just my two paises.

  5. It’s the small things that make it so enjoyable. The handling of the popups, the way they’ve dispensed with the traditional status bar… stuff like that.

    The V8 engine for javascript sounds pretty clever as well. Do read the comic. It’s really well explained there.

    One new feature I’d like to see is for the browser to check your grammar, a la Word with the wavy green underlining. I typed that last comment in such a hurry that I forgot to proofread it. It would have come handy in such a situation.

  6. Ok. Now i wrote this post when I was pretty pissed off, with life, the internet and everything else possible (and not specifically Chrome). Chrome was the only new thing I could comment on and I cared to. Anyways, I really began liking chrome after I read this really diplomatic line in their comic book which said – “We have kept it open source so that others can take ideas from us, the way we have taken from others.”
    Now, first, I am very sorry that I said its default search engine is Windows live. The computer IO installed it on had its IE’s default search engine as Windows Live and that’s why windows live came up as the default search engine
    Secondly, yes google chrome is shockingly fast and the only part of it don’t like is that it takes up 116 mb on my comp (and if it doesn’t o yours plz forgive me, don’t kill me!).
    Your justifications were very true and i accept that i was deeply wrong in my citicisms coz after all, even I am preferring to use chrome over my other browsers. And if any body actually cared about my rating, I wouldn’t mind having double satndards and now raising it to over 4 stars. *-* *~*

  7. Incidentally, it takes up 107 MB on mine – and if i’m right, it did not let me choose where I want to put it …

  8. @arjun: We didn’t not mean it takes up 110 mB or so with our tabs open, of our RAM, but instead, it takes 110MB of our HD. Also, for our RAM, it does take up more space than the other things like fx take. Mainly becz, of their individ apps thingie…

  9. @Prachi 9 tabs is not heavy….
    Someone try 50 loaded tabs (normal usage)
    Im still waiting for the mac release.

    Most of the features might come from IE and safari … but IE and safari are not going to be open source anytime soon are they… (webkit is, safari isnt.. there is a difference).

    I havent looked into this much at all.. is there any form of plugin architecture ? like FF

  10. The first thing when you use chrome is you realize the speed with which the pages open up.
    Also, the minimalist interface takes some time getting used to but you do realize the potential of your monitor screen size, as i realize I have far more window space in chrome as compared to any other browser.
    Remember, that this is open source and chrome is in its nascent stages, so it is bound to take time to develop as all softwares do.

  11. @srajan: I agree that the minimalisticinterface is pretty cool, and the best part happens to be how, even without a title bar, it is not really very annoying. But, the fact remains that after some usage, when you start running heavy things on it, like many tabs and youtube and more, it gets very annoyingly slow. It does not stand up to the line of their comic book in which they say that now, all your tabs will run independently and without any problem to each other or to the entire browser.

  12. remember it is their first beta and as it is open source, it will mature fast but it will take time to do so lets wait n watch out for future releases… as of now i am sticking to firefox 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *