And so it was fortold, that in its 11th year Google would step forward and deliver Chrome, and the world of browsers would never be the same. If you’ve been monitoring the Crunchmemeosphere today, that’s what you would have heard, a browser that will kill Windows, kills the operating system, and kills rogue CIA agents.
I’m possibly the only person left in the tech community who hasn’t tried Chrome. It wouldn’t install under Crossover Office and my legal Vista install under VMWare Fusion has decided that it can’t be used because the copy is illegal…the very reason I switched to being a Mac user in the first place. I could do a fresh install, but I’m not feeling compelled to do so, so I’ll just wait until the Mac version is eventually released.
The good news, delivered by Matt Cutts, is that Google Chrome isn’t as anti-competitive as we’d first thought. You can swap out search engines, or even start searches with live.com or yahoo.com to search elsewhere, but lets be honest: very few people will be swapping this out and ultimately it’s pushing Google build-in. Still, at least there’s an out of sorts so the anti-competitive cry can’t be too loud.
Stupid and/ or fanboy coverage. Two strong streams: this is an Internet Explorer killer, and this is the end of the Operating System.
It’s not an Internet Explorer killer. Think about it logically: Internet Explorer users already have better choices, and yet people are still using IE6. If they were going to abandon the Microsoft product for something else, most would have done so already. IE7 isn’t as bad as some make out, but it’s not brilliant either. Internet Explorer users fall into four fields. Corporate lock-in, where the corporation standardizes around Internet Explorer. Stupidity, where they either don’t realize that there are alternatives, are unable to download an alternative; Old age: my mother prefers Internet Explorer because it’s a safe choice for her and it’s what she knows; or Grumpiness, which is basically Steve Hodson. These people aren’t about to download and switch to Google Chrome. As I wrote previously, the biggest switch will be from Firefox users, who are smart enough and think about their browsing experience to the point that they are both aware of competitors and willing to try them out.
On the OS side Mark Rizzn Hopkins says it best on Mashable: Chrome is Not a Windows-Killer. The occasionally reasonable Drama 2.0 also argues along the same lines, noting that you can’t have Google Chrome without an OS.
Yay! It’s exciting! Google has a browser! Yay!
Sorry, carried away in the spirit of the occasion for a second. Competition is always good as it promotes innovation, a point previously demonstrated when Internet Explorer ruled the waves and browser development went to sleep for several years, only to wake when Firefox hit a double figure market share. Google couldn’t impress Walt Mossberg, so if they can’t impress god, there is still work to be done. I’m willing to give it a shot when it comes to the Mac, but in the mean time, enough already. It’s a browser built on Apple’s open source WebKit that helps the search market’s near monopolist lock in more people. When it starts whistling dixie, and delivering me multi-million dollar Adsense checks, then I might get excited.