September 05, 2008, 12:26 PM — One tiny but important aspect of my day job is to review new and/or popular versions of web browsers to make sure my company's web-based applications function properly. So I downloaded the beta of Chrome today. After approximately 15 minutes of use, I made Chrome my default browser. It really is that good. I was astounded at how clean this app installed...no extraneous plugins immediately necessary...and how damned fast it is. Makes IE 7 look like it's just standing still. Kinda like the way Safari runs on a new iMac. No fuss. Just a powerful little app.
Next up is IE 8 beta 2. I've downloaded this beta and, while faster than IE7, it's no contender in compared to Chrome. The install was a long arduous process that had me reboot my computer (Chrome was downloaded and installed in 5 minutes, no reboot). One thing IE 8 does have are developer tools (idea taken from Firefox) that are truly nifty to have. So, I will be using IE8 for occasional development troubleshooting. Chrome does have developer tools, although not nearly as robust.
Is Chrome perfect? No, of course not. No product is. There are some sites and online apps that cause Chrome to hiccup. Sirius Satellite Radio's online player, for example, shatters. I wish I could tell Google developers this. Oh wait, I can! You have the option to report a bug, broken page, or anything you just don't like to the developers. Not just some automated MS-style, "what the heck did I just tell them" report, but you can actually type in the description of your problem, automatically send a screen shot (or not, your choice), and the url of the problem page.
Nicely done, Google. I haven't been this impressed with any computer app in a long time.