Google Chrome 3.0 Still Isn't Ready for Business

By Michael Scalisi, PC World |  Internet, google chrome

Let me get this out of the way: I have been a huge fan of Chrome since it came out last September. Yet despite the refinement that newly-launched Chrome 3.0 displays, it's still not quite ready to take center stage as the browser of choice for business. Although its performance and clean, intuitive interface make it a joy to use, its lack of mainstream support limits its usefulness in the office.

As with anything else, the standard method of comparing browsers is to go down a list of features, check off which browser has which feature, and when you get to the end, the browser that fills the most checkboxes wins. Using this method, it's not clear that Chrome is a superior browser. Though it holds its own, it's not packed with the greatest number of features.

However, there is one aspect of Chrome which is profoundly more valuable than a host of checkboxes on a comparison sheet, and that is responsiveness. Although David Coursey may disagree, for most users, browser performance can be just as important as operating system performance, because most of us spend hours a day in the browser. When Chrome hit the browser stage last year, it sparked a welcome performance race between all major browsers.

Chrome 3.0 builds on the success of its predecessors in subtle yet important ways. Namely, JavaScript performance has been boosted by 25 percent, customizable themes have been added, the default tab page allows for greater customization, the Omnibox has been optimized, and HTML 5 support has been added.

Unfortunately, of the four leading browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome), Chrome has the least support from developers. It is absent on the list of supported browsers on many major Web apps. It isn't even mentioned on the Silverlight Compatible Operating Systems and Browsers chart (no surprise there). If you do a little drilling on Adobe's Flash Compatibility chart, you'll find that while Flash 10 is supported on Chrome with XP and Vista, it is not with Windows 7, Windows 2000, or Windows Server. There are tons of other Web applications out there, such as SalesForce.com, in which Chrome might actually work, but the developer is not yet committed to officially supporting it.

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