Well, Chrome is here and so far I’m pretty impressed. Although currently only available for Windows (you can’t actually download the Windows version if your browser identifies you as a Mac user – I had to select a Windows user agent for the download page to let me download it) it’s quite snappy, even running under Parallels.
I had no trouble loading any pages and even complex pages such as my netvibes.com customized homepage (which is slow to load on other browsers) seemed to load very quickly (and this was in a virtual machine!).
Despite this being a 1.0 release, Google has already included some more “advanced” features such as a source code view option that includes coloured markup and a DOM inspector feature.
The “tabs on top” UI choice doesn’t really bother me – I didn’t find it inherently better than the standard tab model either though.
What is interesting is how sparse the UI is otherwise though. It mirrors Google.com in many ways: You won’t find a menu bar anywhere in the main window, just a limited number of understated buttons and a clean consistent look – quite a relief when compared with IE 7 and Firefox 3’s busy, crowded looks.
This seems to be a very strong first attempt by Google. As it stands it’s already a very strong competitor to Safari and Camino, whilst Firefox fans will miss some of their favourite extensions.
Oh and as predicted – here’s the full frontal assault on IE:
It’s hard to imagine a better place to advertise a new web browser.