Chrome certainly looks like a modern browser, with tabs along the top and an address bar and a “Most visited” home screen, it will seem familiar to anyone who’s moved past Internet Explorer 6.
And yet, my Twittersphere has been full of comments like “Nice, but not nice enough to make me drop Firefox/Safari.”
And all of those “under the hood” changes are open source.
Chrome is not a browser.
Chrome is Google’s way of making a point: modern web browsers have not kept up with the web itself.
Kris Abel of CTV.ca said it best: “Google’s entire business takes place throughout the internet itself and so they see their interests served regardless of which company takes web browsing to the next level, in fact they see their interests served if all companies do exactly that.”
I’m not switching to Chrome. I doubt very many people will find it useful as a primary browser. I don’t expect many user-interface improvements, like Firefox’s vast add-on library or the accessibility features of Firefox 3, Opera or IE8.
I do expect any future version to have more “under the hood” improvements, and I hope that the makers of Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, and any new browsers that spring from this, will re-evaluate their own products and move in this direction.
Because when the browsers get better, the web gets better.