May 05, 2010, 3:20 PM — Google's Chrome browser is shining brightly, and it's not hard to see why. First, the stats: According to the latest NetApplications figures, Chrome now has 6.7 percent of the browser market--a stunning rise from zero prior to 2009. Competing browsers are either treading water or, as in the case of Microsoft Internet Explorer, in precipitous freefall.
So what explains Chrome's sudden burst of popularity? Here are five reasons:
It's very fast: Google's browser is a speed demon. PC World's performance tests have shown that Chrome has the fastest page-loading times versus leading competitors Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Opera Software's Opera. Anecdotally, I've noticed that the speedy Chrome runs circles around slow, lumbering IE. Sometimes, however, Chrome's need for speed is annoying. The browser times out too quickly and fails to load web pages because, well, it's too impatient. Hopefully Google will let users adjust this setting in the future.
It's very simple: Like many Google apps and services, Chrome emphasizes ease of use. Compared with IE, there are fewer menus, options, and features to configure. Usually that's a good thing, but not always. Sometimes I find myself reverting to IE for, say, the print preview feature. Could you add that, Google?