UPDATE – March 28, 2011
A new review is now available HERE. It features reviews of Firefox 4, Chrome 10 and IE 9.
June 2010 – Is Google’s Chrome the worst browser ever? It isn’t the worst ever, but it is the worst browser today. I originally took a look at Chrome on its release in 2008, and after recently reading a few glowing reviews, I decided to take another look at it. In 2008, I found the browser fast, but crashy and lacking in features. Now, in 2010, little has changed. Installation was quick and problem free. Chrome even did an excellent job importing my Links Bar from Firefox – I was impressed. It still seems to be fast at rendering pages.
Now the bad. I had heard a lot about how Chrome now has extensions ‘just like Firefox’, so I tried to find extensions similar to the six extensions that I use with Firefox, I could find only one of the six. Strike one!
Very few things in Chrome’s interface can be customized by the user. Buttons cannot be added or removed. The tab bar cannot be repositioned (even with an extension). For a tweaker like me, this Apple-like, our way or no way attitude is a major negative. Strike two!
I was unable to test on a Mac because Chrome is only available for OSX 10.5 and later. Lastly, I again found crash problems. Crashes occurred on only one of two Windows XP systems that were tested, indicating a possible software conflict on the suspect pc, but since no other applications on that pc have crash issues, that is strike three – Chrome, you’re out!
Also, Chrome has always tauted its ability to isolate a crash to the lone offending tab. I have never observed this behavior; when it chrashes, all tabs and the browser go down.
Chrome does make sense on netbooks, where its speed and light weight are big positives. However, with screen real estate scarce, Chrome’s lack of customization is even more painful. Why can’t the Download Bar be disabled?
Chrome may be a good choice if you want a no-frills browser, but I will not be using it. I still prefer Firefox for all of the customization that it offers. I even rate Internet Explorer slightly above Chrome, although I won’t be using IE either. Hopefully, my next review of Chrome will be more positive.
Download Chrome HERE