I don't care if there's one fewer cool feature - I just want this product to be ROCK SOLID -- Google Adware
A new Browser in the market isn't going to turn heads, and Firefox is doing well in terms of innovation, growth in the user base and supporting open source and open standards.
No, Chrome isn't going to win out on that score, but I see bigger plans afoot!
I suspect this heralds a bigger push to host rich server based applications within browsers, as Google see this as a way to undercut Microsoft's huge control over the desktop. Chrome will not just be about browsing - it will try to be an operating system (OS) within the OS, or at the least, a rich application environment.
No surprise therefore that Chrome covers off the privacy issue. The privacy option allows the ability to browse the web incognito - at least as far as leaving tracks on your PC. IE7 also implemented something similar - called iPrivate to do the same thing, and it quickly became known as "porn mode".
Combine it with using proxy servers that mask your IP address and you are also kitted out to go blogging anonymously. An essential requirement if you live in China, North Korea and possibly New Zealand.
Chrome has a few other features, such as big fat tabs sitting over the top of the application, rather than as windows under the menu bar. This ties in with providing the look and feel (and capability) of many virtual (segregated) application PCs to reinforce the new wave of web apps with promises of stability.
Omnibox is another feature - which is all around using their full text search across your history and bookmarks, to make finding stuff easier than picking through menus - providing that relevance compensates for excessive hits. It's not particularly innovative, but does reinforce the increasing use of search technology across more than just content.
And speaking of which - more caching of web pages to help you search content offline, or add priority to content you've previously viewed. Maybe now I'll be able to return to the many comments I leave on other blog threads?
Google reason the web is already a different beast than a few years ago, and a rewrite of the browser was in order. I take that with a grain of marketing salt. However, the next killer apps may well be the kind that move us off the desktop and local networks; the niftiness (is that a word?) of mashups, RSS, IM and social networking plus the lure of content anywhere may make us rethink how we use the web.
We saw the first of this with the release of Google Gears - an open toolkit for building native applications on top of web technologies. It's not been the only innovation in this area either. The Mozilla Foundation have been working on similar thinks, and have collaborated with Google too.
If Google Gears was a wheel looking for a cart, then Chrome may prove to be cart with wheels. It just needs some horse power. Google know this - and this is why I hope they have planned far more than just another browser.
'Chrome' is the term used by developers to indicate how much pretty stuff surrounds the data one is presenting. Google naming their new browser "Chrome" could prove to be either iconic, or ironic.
Related Link: Google Chrome - Comic Book First Edition