Sunday, September 21, 2008

Google Chrome

I have started to use Google's new Internet browser called Chrome. Google describes Chrome as "a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier". It is easy to install and use. It looks good and I particularly like the use of the address bar for both searching and entering web addresses. Google shows great suggestions for everything you type in and is very good at "guessing" what you are trying to access. No doubt there are some developers in Google trying to figure out how to get some advertising into this! I also like the spell checker in web text boxes - this is super for someone like me whose fingers are still finding their way around a keyboard 25 years after first using a computer.

On the negative side there is still lots of things that Google needs to do. This browser is a long way from being useful for business. Plug-ins need to be reinstalled, some web pages won't work at all - for example, in NCI the College's Student Management System (QuercusPlus) will not operate at all in Chrome. In Moodle, the usual WYSIWYG editors for creating content do not display - you have to be content with simple text editor. It is a bit annoying to have to switch back to Windows Explorer just to use Moodle. This could revive the old Netscape vs. Explorer wars of the past.

Another annoying thing is that the End key brings your cursor to the START of the next line rather than the end of the current line.

I think critical to Google is to get some tyle of toolbar working - like the one available for Windows Explorer. Not being able to autofill web pages is annoying - expecially when there is one available from Google for Explorer! It also has an incognito mode, but Explorer now has that too.

I'll continue to use Chrome at home, but not so sure if I'll continue to use is at work. I'm looking forward to seeing what Google does next with this browser and how it will be developed. If I were Microsoft, I'd be worried about this development.

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