Google Chrome: A Step in the Right Direction (Review)

I was happy to be one of the first to download Google Chrome, a new web browser, within minutes of its being made available on the internet. Somehow, Unlike, Microsoft, Google has managed to bring products to the market that are generally well tested and I have been pleased to use G-Mail and Google Earth, almost without any difficulty, from the beginning. That is not to say that their products are without difficulties. There are design problems with G-Mail, for example, but these are not program bugs, but rather software architecture issues --- I would have designed them differently.

This, of course, is much unlike Microsoft, whose products I find so infuriating that I even briefly switched to Apple, in an expensive failed experiment.

My haste in downloading Google Chrome was due to an associate's bad experience with the latest version of Firefox, which I had intended to download, but had not pressed all of the necessary buttons. He had, and lost hours because of design glitches. This put me in the market for an alternative not only to Internet Explorer, but also Firefox.

Google Chrome is generally an improvement on the other browsers. It has a clean look and more of the page is available for web page display. Some of the features are a bit unusual (as in the case of G-Mail), but the program passed my one-half hour test --- I must be up and running pretty well with any software within 30 minutes or it is removed from the registry. Google Chrome seems to be faster than Firefox and its display of tabs is more attractive and user friendly.

The import of bookmarks from Firefox was not completely successful, but the 5 percent that was missed I will add as it becomes necessary.

There are two problems, neither of which is sufficient to require a return to Firefox or, God Forbid to Internet Explorer:

    URL’s do not show on downloaded PDF documents. This is a problem, because I often send links to these documents and have to go to a previous page to find the link. This may just be a setting problem I have not yet figured out, but it is annoying.

    The greatest annoyance, however, makes me fear that a strain of Gate’s Disease has struck Google. The one program that Google Chrome does not work well with is G-Mail, its own mail program. It routinely hangs up and when it does not is very slow, unlike other operations with Google Chrome. How Microsoftian can you get than to not be able to handle your own programs. I recall the previous version of XL (2003) rarely closed without crashing on a Windows system. The G-Mail problem is akin to that. Again, however, the problem is not great enough to justify a return to Firefox. I, however, do keep Firefox open only for the purpose of using G-Mail (that explains how serious the problem is).

All in all, however, Google Chrome is a significant step forward, despite being a “beta.” One can only hope that someone from the Chrome product will have coffee with someone from the G-Mail product and there will be “peace in the valley” again.