After 3 days of use on 4 different computers and 2 operating systems, I can safely attest that Google Chrome is frickin sweet. Really, it’s been fun to be excited about a browser again. Firefox is near and dear for sure, but it had been a while since that love was new, and Chrome burnished the fading flame. If you haven’t read the introductory comic, which is complete with nerd-joke easter eggs (Tufte! 10^100!), I suggest you do. But if not, I came up with a way to describe the difference that Google Chrome makes.
Ok so let’s imagine your computer is a restaurant. This gets better, I promise.
Any restaurant has a kitchen. The kitchen is your CPU.
Restaurants have patrons, too. And they alllll want something from the kitchen, that’s why they’re there.
But how do you get the instructions to the kitchen and the food to the patrons?
Waiters! And this is a fancy restaurant, every table has its own waiter. The waiters are your processes, that list of things that comes up when Outlook crashes and you CTRL+ALT+DEL. And waiters are constantly are talking to the patrons and the kitchen. And a good waiter ends up talking more often to each side than a bad waiter.
So, exactly where does this get interesting?
First, the competition. Browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox use more and more of your computer’s resources as websites get more complicated and do more; think of all of that Web 2.0 content out there that we love. Now think of your family reunion.
A browser in this tory is really a big table of all your relatives. Lots of hungry people, and they all clamor for food, now. Oy. And of course you all sit at the same table. But the problem is, a table only has one waiter. So for everyone to eat quickly, the waiter has to be really really good, and everybody has to order at the same time for everyone to get fed expediently. If your fat Uncle Ricky takes a while to figure out whether to order the ranch or the bacon vinaigrette on his side salad, you know it’s going to take longer for the waiter to get around to you, and longer for everyone to eat. So everything on both sides has to work just right, or the service is bad. So maybe you don’t come back to this restaurant.
Google Chrome avoids this problem.
Chrome takes your big family the next time they go out and says, uh-uh, you can’t sit together this time, because anyway, not all of you need to sit together. You’re not all REALLY friends, you just share some DNA. You people should sit apart, at lots of different tables, with… lots of different waiters. Besides, your fat Uncle Ricky, he’s only a half Uncle because of your Grandad’s second marriage, so you don’t need to sit with him. You don’t need to wait for him to figure out his dressing choice. It won’t make your food late. You’re cool. You’re food arrived right when you expected it, and you really feel like you had the benefit of having one waiter to yourself. Much better than that last place you went to, right?
So that’s the beauty of Google Chrome. Download a beta of the future and take it for a spin. There are some kinks, but it’s an extremely usable beta. Besides, Gmail is still in beta after 3+ years, so no reason to wait.