Chrome

| Wed Sep. 3, 2008 1:27 PM EDT

CHROME....Last night I downloaded Chrome, Google's new browser, and I've been using it for several hours since then. The installation was annoying (it has virtually no feedback to tell you whether anything is actually happening) but was otherwise pain free, and it imported my Firefox settings with no problem. So far everything seems to work fine, though the minimalist interface strikes me as pointless. There's really no harm in having a standard menu bar, and I like having an icon bar too. Couldn't those at least be options? And I miss having history and bookmark panels that I can open along the left edge of the browser window. And since Chrome doesn't appear to have a search box plug-in, which I use a lot in Firefox, I'll probably stop using it before long.

Still, I was curious. Firefox has an annoying habit of going crazy about once or twice an hour, suddenly sucking up 99% of my CPU and bringing everything else to a grinding halt until it's finished doing whatever it's doing. This used to happen occasionally when I opened a page with a runaway Java script or something, but now it happens regularly and for no apparent reason. It's very annoying, as you can imagine. I've tried Safari as a replacement, but I hate its font rendering. So Chrome seemed worth a test drive.

Basically, though, I think I'd give it a C- so far. Works OK, has a couple of interesting features (anonymous browsing, for example), but it's missing a lot of stuff that I'm pretty accustomed to. Anyone else have any early feedback?

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