Entered into diary...
16th September 2010: send Google condolences.
Google has released a “stable” Windows-only version of Chrome 3, and admitted it’ll be “exceptionally disappointed” if it hasn’t grabbed at least five per cent of the browser market by this time next year. Chrome debuted a little over a year ago, but take-up hasn’t been as swift as Google might’ve expected. The browser …
Because they want to force take up of their own OS.
They know that if they allow Chrome for Linux into the wild before their own Linux distro then existing Linux users probably won't be interested in switching. Linux users do tend to be fiercely loyal to their favoured distro.
Google Earth has already shown us that Google are not interested in developing packages for the major Linux distros. Nor do they like the idea of anybody else doing it. So I don't think we can expect Chrome to be slotted into the repositories for Debian or Ubuntu or a nice little RPM package to be released. So expect the installation for Chrome to be a potentially painful shell experience. Ever seen a Linux box with twelve different installs of Google Earth because nobody knows how to install it as root and make it available to all users? It happens and the same will probably happen with Chrome.
Or you could just install Chrome OS which will come with all the Google stuff like Earth nicely preinstalled with built in update routines, so you don't have to go through the pain of reinstalling Chrome when an update comes along. And that, presumably, is what Google are hoping Linux users will do in their droves in order to give their OS an instant user base.
And why is Google's distro taking so long? Because they are having to port lots of Windows only stuff so everything Google do will integrate smoothly with the OS. And it's all probably taking a lot longer than they expected.
And the Apple version? Well if stable Windows and Apple versions were both available then Google would probably have a hard time justifying the lack of a Linux version. So upsetting a statistically insignificant number of Apple users who might want Chrome is probably OK.
The sad thing is that they seem to have misjudged it badly. Linux users are probably more likely to try Chrome than Windows users since there is a huge proportion of Windows users who won't switch from IE, not because they think it's the best - but because they have no idea how. If Chrome for Linux was out there then their market share would probably reach 5% much more quickly than it will by banging out a few minor improvements and calling it a major release. In that respect I think the problem Google now have to face is the public at large losing interest in Chrome as quickly as Chrome seems to have lost momentum.
Where's the evil Google icon?
One word that will effectively stop most FF junkies from getting different fix: Addons. It works the same as multitude of software for wndows preventing swapping to Mac or Linux. Unless they start paying people to code most popular addons for Chrome or make it compatible with FF ones, they have no chance.
Also I know lots of people who install FF for friends and family as it works and *LOOKS* the same as IE users are fine with it. Chrome layout is different - you like it or you hate it.
Why would the Internet's biggest provider of adverts allow its own browser to block adverts? Does Ford or GM support pedestrianising roads?
Chrome is simple and the fastest browser out there. People who don't use IE are likely to use FF, so FF users are really their target market. I hate the bloatyness and memory leaking of FF on Windows, not to mention it sometimes freezing when I open lots of tabs. But those add-ins are incredible.
No add-ins, no mass take up of Chrome. Simple.
"...eventually Chrome will be delivered as an OS....."
What? A mainstream OS with a built in browser? What could possibly go wrong?
Of course, if they really wanted to get themselves nailed to the cross they'd build in some proprietary tech to give their own app base an integration advantage into the OS/Browser over the competition. But they haven't got any gear* like that now, have they?
*Or even more than one.
Of course what the stats DON'T say is that a signficant proportion of IE installs are on people's work computers. They can't choose the OS and they can't install another web browser.
I'm continually frustrated with IE. When a window crashes, it may (or may not) take out one or more other IE windows. There is no way to block pop-ups, ads or flash and that drives me crazy.
The version numbering for Chrome is a joke. Now on version 3.0? Still looks like 1.5. They are trying to play version catch-up with Firefox. Hey, why not add another dull icon and call it 4.0!
The lack of normal menus is probably a cause of frustration for some and screams "I'm not that sophisticated". (I know that's not true but looks are everything to many people, particularly non-geek computer owners)
Gotta love it's memory/crash protection though.
Extensions are present and correct in the dev builds of Chromium, I don't know whether they have made this new v3.0
Adblock+ is one of them. I was wavering with my use of Chrome but with Privoxy I get most of my ad blocking accomplished and it works on all browsers without anything to 'addon'.
@"Stats" There are ad-blockers and Flash blockers for IE: just Google a bit (since I don't use them I can't make a recommendation).
The problem with Chrome is it offers nothing that other browsers don't do. It's fast, at least until you open a few tabs and its resource-hogging nature reveals itself. But Firefox is secure and has lots of add-ins, IE or Safari come with your computer, and Opera is innovative and secure (if only through its obscurity).
I wish Adblock had never been invented.
For some people getting something for free is not enough, they have to remove all sources of income for the company or persons involved. Yet I bet they'll be the ones complaining when previously free services have to be charged for.
By analogy to television, if 50% of viewers had a tool that automatically skipped the adverts (I made that number up, wanna fight about it?) then it would ruin them. And before people say "I change channel" or "I make a cup of tea" or "I record it and fast forward", they are not the same thing. That is equivalent to me visiting a different website, scrolling them out of view or simply not looking at them. But the adverts are still being delivered to me, I have taken it upon myself to ignore them.
The extra bandwidth they take up or time for the page to load is like the 5 mins you have to wait on commercial television channels every 15 mins (only much less invasive and annoying, it is barely noticeable and that's coming from someone who had dial up speeds very recently).
Flash adverts or annoying scripts should go away, I will agree. But if a website needs to have a static picture or text on the page in order to provide something for free, I have no objection.
-- former Adblock user
Unless the site can guarantee the ads are clean, every single one of them, I will continue using adblocker. Advertising is too common now anyway, I think a lot of people are just automatically tuning them out...I'm fairly sure I tend to. The most irritating thing about the web is that anything that happens online (gaming, social interaction, news sites, etc) has to have advertising shoe-horned into it. Yes, yes I know, bills, revenue etc...
I don't want Chrome. I agree it's too fast. It makes a mokery out of my careful alone time by making be get stuff done. I'll stick with Opera on my lovely Kubuntu. Just fast enough to get most of my stuff done.
And also help prevent Opera from sliding down the 2% that Linux users keep it up to...shame that.
Ads aren't really that big a deal. boo hoo there's banner on the page. Waaah.
Security and Privacy are a big deal.
Settings to allow/deny/automatically clear cookies and history is a must have.
AFAIK, Chrome has neither of these.
Would this keep everyone happy? ...
1. Adverts are tagged to indicate the areas of interest, the type of advert (static, Flash, Java etc.), the advertising source and the tag source.
2. Users can subscribe to tag filters.
3. Adblock Plus 2.
The tag source would indicate where the tag had been authorised (e.g. nowhere, the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK or some other A.S.A.).
That way the end user is in control of the types of advert displayed, is more likely to 'click through' but still has the option to disable all ads.
I use delicious and also roboform, both of with I would be lst without, nothing like it with Chrome.
The other problem that puts me off chrome is that it is Google, it spies on you and also it got Google Gears, something which I keep well clear off.
Google is just a bit to much in your life these days.
Fine, fine, I'll click some ads, but could you get some advertisers who put up ads that aren't boring? That blue NetApp bit gets duller every time. I don't mean more flash that looks like the love child of a powerpoint presentation and clip art, I mean actually interesting ads. For all the wit I've come to enjoy with El Reg, the ads look even more like out-of-touch stuffed shirts.
Maybe see if you can sell thinkgeek some advertising space, especially annoy-a-trons on BOFH pages or USB-powered doomsday devices. Surely you can squeeze some affiliate money from links to reviewed stuff. Perhaps even selling some playmobil kit, "Recreate this scene at work, then use the playmobil!"
Even better, we could automate steps 1 and 2 so adverts we like are delivered to us.
*cough* Phorm *cough*
No, wait a minute...
(OK, the _idea_ is good, it's just that the _implementation_ sucked. For it to not be a privacy issue, you would have to get all types of advert delivered to some kind of "ad server" running on your machine, which would itself decide what to show you. Not sure the telcos could handle the extra data in their rusting pipes...)
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