Google’s new web browser Chrome gets the thumbs up in early reviews

Google’s new web browser has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from technology commentators and bloggers, who have praised the brower’s speed and usability.

Google’s new web browser has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from technology commentators and bloggers, who have praised the brower’s speed and usability.

The Wall Street Journal’s Walter Mossberg was allowed to see the Chrome browser earlier than other tech writers and spent a week testing it next to Mozilla’s Firefox browser and the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. He delivered high praise. “Chrome is a smart, innovative browser that, in many common scenarios, will make using the web faster, easier, and less frustrating.”

Technology website Overclockers summed up the browser as “clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you need to go.”

Techradar.com released a positive review, claiming: “Google Chrome is so unobtrusive it almost isn’t there.”

Techcrunch.com published a raving review: “All in all, Google Chrome, after just a little time using it, is superb. It’s not only fast, but it’s useful.”

PC World praised Google’s Omnibar, which allows for even speedier search. “This being Google, search is an integral part of Chrome; and Google has added some clever features to make searching easier. Chrome goes beyond its Microsoft and Mozilla competition by searching your browser history’s page titles as well page content.”

A beta version of Chrome, which was released yesterday after two years of speculation, is available for download at http://www.google.com/chrome.

In a press conference at Google’s Mountain View headquarters, the software’s product manager Brian Rakowski emphasised the need for faster and more efficient software. “You actually spend more time in your browser than you do in your car.”

Among its features, Chrome boasts an “Incognito Mode”, which when activated, does not log pages you visit into the browser history. Chrome also features a home page displaying most frequently visited sites and reduced clutter at the top and bottom of the browser window, allowing users to see more of the websites they visit.

The software also introduces new code for tabbed browsing, allowing users who have their browser hit by bad code or a rogue website to merely close the affected tab, rather than the entire browser.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s vice president of product management, says the public trial of the software will be available in over 100 countries and 43 languages.

Google says it used Apple’s WebKit software to help render internet pages, and will release Chrome’s source code in the interest of assisting open-source developers.

“We don’t want to live in a world where all that (innovation) is locked up and kept secret,” Google co-founder Larry Page says. He also emphasised that Google had shown its interest in advancing internet technology by working with groups such as Mozilla and Microsoft.

That said, Google no doubt hopes Chrome will prove a big challenger to the dominance of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers.

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