A few thoughts about the new web browser from George Dirth, a lead Brattle developer.
You may or may not have heard of Google Chrome, the web browser that Google released in early September with little fanfare. I’m going to tell you why this event is relevant to you and your company. But first, a little background:
Now that we understand what makes these browsers work, lets examine what Google Chrome is bringing to the table. The main features that Chrome offers are designed to make a browser more like a mini operating system and to treat web applications more like software. For example Chrome treats each separate tab as a separate process (like an operating system treats different pieces of software independently). That way if one of your tabs freezes or crashes Chrome can close just that tab as opposed to crashing the whole browser (the way most other browsers would). The other benefit of this is that when you close a tab the entire process ends. In other browsers the continual allocation and de-allocation of memory within the browsers process results in wasted space and gradually slows your computer down if it is left running for a long time.
The other thing to notice is that Chrome is ultra minimalistic. Chrome devotes the maximum possible amount of screen space to the website itself. They believe you are using your browser to see the website that you are visiting, not to see the browser. This could be because they are, at least in part, developing this browser for their Android mobile phone platform, where screen area is at a premium because of the reduced device size (talk with us at Brattle about how we can optimize your website for both mobile devices with full internet browsers and those with older partial browsers).
Chrome is sitting at about 1% market share, and doesn’t necessarily seem poised to take over a huge segment of the browser market (partially because that isn’t necessarily what Google wants or needs it to do). Google is planting a seed of how they think a browser should be developed in people’s minds. Giving people a little push in the direction they would like the web to keep moving. It also provides them with a better non-proprietary solution to use in Android. It is worth noting that Chrome itself (not just the WebKit engine) along with all of Android is open source, and the general direction and progress of those products is up to the open source community as a whole, which is a very encouraging idea. Chrome also represents one step further away from the Microsoft Internet Explorer monopoly that we had a decade ago. With this we get the continuing innovation that we need to move everyone in the entire web sphere further into the 21st century.
Brattle will be happy to review your current website to make sure everything is displayed correctly and runs smoothly in Chrome. However, most of the change offered by Chrome is from the users perspective not the development perspective and we encourage you to try it out and see if it is the right browser for you.