As I was installing and loading up Chrome, my general thought was, “yeah, sure Google, I’ll switch as soon as you can replicate my favorite dozen Firefox plugins.” Fast forward five minutes, and my reaction is, shall we say, mixed.
- This thing is fast. Pages seem to load instantly. It’s a little creepy, but in a good way.
- As much as Firefox 3 brags about it’s smart address bar, Chrome does it one better, auto-searching for actual url’s in real time. Pretty cool.
- It respects my screen real-estate — at the top there’s only a thin window name bar thingy, and in fullscreen in goes away completely. In Firefox I like my status bar so I know where links point when I hover over them. In Chrome the status bar is absent, but when I hover over links their target pops up at the bottom of the screen.
- Generally, there’s no impression of a learning curve — I can just sort of do whatever I need to do.
- Did I mention how friggin FAST it is?
OK, this is a beta, and it’s not all roses — in my first 5 minutes a couple of little bugs have already cropped up. Nothing fatal, though. Maybe there’s even a Flashblock functionality built in here somewhere.
Chrome may not be displacing Firefox as my primary browser yet, but it’s pretty close to displacing Opera as my backup go-to browser.