Back on September 2nd, Google released the web browser called Chrome. Touted as a "modern platform for web pages and applications," Chrome was quickly downloaded and put to use by webmasters and users eager to test this new browser. The initial usage numbers indicated that Chrome was well on its way to becoming a hit and Insight Designs began to consider what this could mean for current and future web development. Now, seven weeks later, the early exuberance for Chrome has waned and has been replaced by a more realistic view of this new browser. While Google's Chrome does provide an interesting start to the next evolution of the web browser, Chrome’s large number of bugs, frequent crashes and a lack of differentiation as compared to the more popular browsers has resulted in a decline in usage numbers and return by users to IE7 and Firefox. Google has since cut back on the marketing of Chrome and is now focusing on improvements. What can we learn from Chrome's story?
  1. Beware the hype. Chrome was released with great fanfare and promise but quickly failed to achieve expectations. It is always a good idea to use the resources of the Internet and find independent comments and test results for any new technology.
  2. Change takes time and while the internet may speed up the developmental cycle of a new technology, we should practice patience and make sure it works before integrating into our processes.
  3. Any new browser will be compared to the current browsers and since people are more comfortable using what they know, the new browser will need to offer something new to appeal to the user. This is a good rule to apply to any new web technology.
  4. Google is expanding and looking to move beyond being just a way to search the web.
A web browser is a vital component to how many of us access and use the web. In order to ensure all users can view a webpage as it was intended, Insight Designs will test a site on multiple browsers including IE6, IE7, Firefox 3 and AOL 9 on PCs, and Firefox 2, AOL 10 and Safari 3 on Macs. We haven't added Chrome to the list -- yet.