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Google's Chrome Declining In Popularity 489

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the still-no-mac-version dept.
holy_calamity writes "After launching in a blaze of publicity that even warmed Slashdot, Google's browser grabbed a 3% share of the market, but has been slipping ever since, and now accounts for 1.5%. Google has also stopped promoting the browser on its search page. Assuming they wanted it to grab a significant share of the browser market, have they dropped the ball, or is this part of the plan?" On Slashdot, Chrome is still the #4 browser (after FF, IE, and Safari) but it was ahead of Safari for a few days, hitting almost 10% of our traffic.
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Google's Chrome Declining In Popularity

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  • I know why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Iceykitsune (1059892) <stevemon23NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:22PM (#25356971)
    No add-ons. I want my ad block plus please.
    • Re:I know why... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:24PM (#25357011)

      I booted up windows to see what all the fuss was about, then went right back to linux. Let me know when they have a package in the ubuntu repository.

    • Re:I know why... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:24PM (#25357017) Homepage Journal

      and no-script. Does it run on FreeBSD yet?

      • by mikehoskins (177074) on Monday October 13, 2008 @06:49PM (#25362529)

        ...stop the presses...

        This just in... Google should have contributed to Firefox, instead of reinventing the wheel. Following a wave of hype, market share is now declining... News at 11, 10 Central.

        ...cue commercial...

        Speaking of FreeBSD/Linux/Solaris/AIX/BeOS/whatever OS you can name, chances are there is a Firefox to suit you.

        Unlike any other browser in the history of the planet, there are also approximately 1.2 gazillion plugins for Firefox. The vast majority are cross platform, due to Firefox's Gecko/XUL/Chrome (note the name).

        Firefox has momentum. I.e., it's growing on IE (pardon the pun) as well as Safari/Opera. (Was that an estimated 300 million FF users, out of 1.5 billion on the Internet?)

        In addition to this, the future Firefox 3.1 is supposed to have a really, really fast JavaScript engine that rival's JS in Google's Chrome browser.

        But wait, there's more. Wasn't it Google Gears that was supposed to create disconnected (on- or off-line) desktop apps on Firefox. Why throw in the towel?

        There's even more! Google could have wrapped this all up neatly in a "plugin framework," and written it with less effort, and made themselves a defacto-must-have-it part of Firefox, and have impacted more users in less time.

        People could have even written themes and other plugins that bolt on to their "plugin framework," the same way Firebug has its own add-ons (like YSlow).

        So, why, why, why did they move away from Firefox and reinvent the wheel, instead? I saw no features that couldn't have been done as a Firefox Add-On.

        ...back to your regularly scheduled program...

        Maybe I'm wrong, here, so feel free to flame away and moderate me out of my miserable existence!

    • Re:I know why... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:25PM (#25357023) Homepage Journal
      I tried it out and was very impressed with it and it would be my default browser but the dealbreakers are(in order of importance):

      (1) Lack of NoScript and AdBlock plugins.
      (2) No Linux version.
      (3) Speaking of plugins, There's no clear Google-sponsored plugin site analagous to Mozilla's [mozilla.org](googling "Firefox plugins" vs. "Google Chrome plugins"), so it lacks credibility.
      (4) Speaking of lacking in credibility, GOOG are heavily into advertising - Incognito is a neat feature but what will GOOG do with our web records and even keystrokes? [/tinfoil hat]
      (5) More of a suggestion, but Google should have given Chrome a bit more fanfare(Slashvertisements nothwithstanding :) ). Seems like they just released it relatively quietly hoping that it caught on, like they do with most of their other stuff.

      If it satisfied (1) it'd be my primary browser on Windows and if it satisfied (2) then it'd be my primary browser, period. Damn shame.
      • Re:I know why... (Score:5, Informative)

        by AGRW (745778) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:34PM (#25357197)
        Seems some basic things don't work... Basic functional issues: #1 Chrome UI Freezes uploading files. #2 Stops playing you tube vidoes after third one, need to restart chrome to play video. #3 Memory hog, freezes sometimes when low on memory. Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari don't have these basic functional issues. Maybe a limited beta would have been more suitable...
        • Re:I know why... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Kagura (843695) on Monday October 13, 2008 @01:16PM (#25357935)
          When running multiple tabs, it can't deal with more than one page running Shockwave at once, it seems. This affects Hulu and Youtube videos when you have another page like CNN.com open in a separate tab. Very annoying.

          That said, I recently dropped Chrome after using it since it came out. There are a few things I miss, such as Firefox's 'omni' bar not being as good, and the new tab page, but otherwise I prefer my Firefox.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Blakey Rat (99501)

          If you drag&drop an image file from a page to your desktop, the file is corrupt. (It's the right file size, but no editors can open it.) The screen fails to update often in strange ways, for example, it might randomly stop drawing the scrollbars.

          It needs lots of work, in short.

        • Re:I know why... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by BitZtream (692029) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:00PM (#25358683)
          You mean, like how its labeled as a beta on the website, or is there some other meaning of beta that I'm missing?

          http://www.google.com/chrome [google.com]

          Google Chrome (BETA) for Windows

          Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.

          • Re:I know why... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by quanticle (843097) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:03PM (#25360395) Homepage

            No, its not that. Its just that its Google's own fault for releasing quality software and labeling it "beta" as well. For example, GMail is still officially in "beta", but the quality of GMail is far above the quality of Google Chrome.

      • Re:I know why... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sulfur (1008327) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:36PM (#25357257)
        Yeah, I'd say that current popularity of Firefox was heavily influenced by "computer enthusiasts", also known as geeks. A typical Joe Sixpack is not going to install new browser unless his local geek does it when he fixes Joe's computer. In this sense, Google failed to appeal to tech savvy folks by not releasing Linux version of Chrome and not making it customizable using add-ons. Having browsed the web with AdBlock and FlashBlock, I'm not sure I will ever use a browser that doesn't provide these features.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by electrictroy (912290)

          Well I know a lot of former Netscape users jumped directly to Firefox. It already had a built-in audience of loyal fans who wanted to avoid Microsoft at any cost.

          I'm not using Google's Chrome because I hate change.
          I don't see a reason to learn a new program when the one I have works.
          I'd still be using Netscape if the browser was still alive.

          • Re:I know why... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by sketerpot (454020) <sketerpot.gmail@com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @01:34PM (#25358237)
            Once the open source Chromium version comes out and has been tossed around for a while, I think there will be a pretty solid case for using it. The rendering engine is competitive, and the one-process-per-tab thing is an idea that needs to happen; the browser is being used as an operating system more and more, so it makes sense to delegate some duties to the OS itself.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by darrylo (97569)

              The upcoming Firefox 3.1 (December???) will negate much of the speed differences. At that point, Chrome's only real advantage will be the separate-process-per-tab feature.

              For me, having separate processes would be nice, but it's the addons that keep me in Firefox. Here, Chrome has an uphill battle: it's not enough to have the ability to have addons. I also need specific addons, like the oft-required Adblock Plus, and lesser-known addons, such as "Better Gmail 2" and "Remember the Milk for Gmail". I ac

      • Re:I know why... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jim Hall (2985) on Monday October 13, 2008 @01:01PM (#25357713) Homepage

        For me, the issue was No native Linux version. Yes, there's the Linux version provided by the CrossOver guys, and that's great. I've used it a few times. But it takes forever to launch, and is generally a little slow. A native application would be better.

        I'll look at Chrome again when there's a native version for Linux.

      • Re:I know why... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fermion (181285) on Monday October 13, 2008 @01:59PM (#25358669) Homepage Journal
        I think lack of OS independence and adblock is a critical issue. I would think that Chrome can't really compete in the non IE 30% of the market that is comprised largely of users that (A) have permissions set to install new programs and browse in something that is not IE, (B) know how to install a new browser, (C) are motivated to move from IE and (D) are motivated to take the time to deal with a new application. I am sure a significant percentage of these users are not on MS Windows platforms and those that are move from IE to block ad or, in the case of the Mozilla crowd, have some innate need to pimp their browser.

        So Chrome is largely going to attract current IE users that are attracted to the Google brand. But these IE users have stayed with IE even when other options are available. Many of them stay because they do not have the ability to move to another broswer. Many because of the learning curve. I question whether there is a significant number of MS Windows users that care enough to use chrome, or if MS will let them go without a fight.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sentry21 (8183)

        You forgot #6: Whereas most browsers will refuse to cache to disk any content retrieved over SSL, Chrome not only writes 'secure' pages to disk (like your bank info), but indexes it as well to make it easier to find (for anyone with access to your PC) (source.

        It bothers me to no end that one of the most basic concepts of dealing with secure data (to avoid storing/disclosing it insecurely), something done since the first version of Netscape Navigator I'd ever used, could be so easily and idiotically ignored

    • Re:I know why... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjuib (584451) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:26PM (#25357071) Homepage Journal

      Firebug holds the gold as a web developer

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mfn (137029)

      That might be a reason why people don't use it, but doesn't explain why Google isn't pushing it more.

      My take is that theyre probably wary of pushing it too hard because of monopoly concerns, especially with the Yahoo deal under scrutiny by the government right now, the fewer pieces of the internet it appears they have control over, the better..

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Well regardless of the specifics, I would expect lots of people had the same sort of experience that I did. I downloaded it, installed it, and tried it out for a while. It was pretty good, and I had no serious problems, but it didn't take long for me to think, "meh, whatever" and go back to what I was using.

      To be completely honest, I tend to use the default pre-installed browser on my OS, because I really don't care much about the browser as long as it's doing its job. The only exception is that I use F

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      That and I can't get into any of my accounts easily without passwordmaker [passwordmaker.org] integrated to generate my SHA256 based passwords.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zaatxe (939368)
      I switched back to Firefox after a few weeks for several reasons:

      1) GMail looked better in Firefox (oddly enough, I should say)
      2) Facebook didn't work well on Chrome
      3) And the straw that broke the camel's back was that I didn't manage to make Chrome work well with RSS.

      Personally, I expected more from Google.
    • Re:I know why... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by outcast36 (696132) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:42PM (#25357381) Homepage
      I'm sill using Chrome, so I'm currently an outcast. I have Firefox3 with 9 plugins (of course AdBlock/Flashblock/... and so on). The major reason I keep using Chrome is that the Javascript engine is so much faster. It is actually faster for me to load all the extra crap with Chrome than it is for adblock to remove it and render the page with stuff missing. It sounds ridiculous, but it is my experience. Of course now my privacy is being raped 8 ways to Sunday, but its worth it for that 15 extra milliseconds of my life.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jack9 (11421)

        I'm not sure you even undestand what's happening. (Down)Loading javascript is the primary time consumption in showing a page (read: YSlow), not the engine that parses it. The number of pages where parsing javascript is more than 2 miliseconds is probably analogous to the number of crap webpages on the internet. Most people dont spend a lot of time on those, including you. Where is it that Chrome "parses faster"? If you're a user who's remotely familiar with plugins, Chrome offers LESS in every area. Other t

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by soliptic (665417)

          The number of pages where parsing javascript is more than 2 miliseconds is probably analogous to the number of crap webpages on the internet. Most people dont spend a lot of time on those, including you.

          A rather ironic comment to be making here, the one site I frequent which uses sufficiently heavy javascript to regularly trigger firefox's "this has been going on for bloody ages, do you want to abort it" warning dialog.

          Other examples? Facebook uses javascript quite heavily, a quick profile with firebug suggested about 93ms spent parsing javascript when I hit F5 on my homepage. I know slashdotters are far too sneery and off-my-lawn to use social networking websites, but "most people" do use them.

          Gmail t

          • Re:I know why... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Mascot (120795) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:44PM (#25359303)

            I'm with you on this one. The difference in js performance is so blatantly obvious anybody claiming it's not there might just as well claim the sun is fiction. The days I tested Chrome it felt as if I'd done a major computer upgrade whenever I tested a js heavy site.

            Unfortunately, it doesn't really matter. Until another browser supports and has available as many extensions as FF does, they're not an option for me.

    • I know why to (Score:4, Insightful)

      by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:47PM (#25357469) Homepage

      People wanted to tested it.

      Ohnoz, some people thought their old browser was better than the first public version of the other one, who could have guessed!?!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Saint Gerbil (1155665)
      Or everone tried it when it first came out and most have gone back to what they were using before
    • Re:I know why... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:48PM (#25357493) Homepage Journal

      No add-ons. I want my ad block plus please.

      According to one source [internetworldstats.com], there are about 1.5 billion Internet users in the world. Another source [hitslink.com] estimates that maybe 20%, or 300 million of them, are using Firefox.

      Now, Mozilla.org says that most popular add-on [mozilla.org] right now is Video DownloadHelper with about 340K downloads each week. However, its developers have released 32 versions in the last 22 months [mozilla.org], so a big chunk of downloads will be for upgraders. Let's assume that a full one-half of all downloads are first-time users and not people upgrading from last week's version, and that 100% of downloaders actually use it. That means that Video DownloadHelper has about 16,000,000 users, or about 5% of Firefox's user base.

      You like add-ons. I like add-ons. Objectively, though, we're a very small minority of users. The numbers look even worse for your position when you consider that the majority of Internet users are browsing with Internet Explorer, and therefore wouldn't miss add-ons were they to switch to Chrome.

      There are a lot of reasons why people might not be using Chrome. The lack of add-ons is almost certainly not an important one, statistically speaking.

      • Re:I know why... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by otter42 (190544) on Monday October 13, 2008 @01:11PM (#25357857) Homepage Journal

        I respect your math, but disagree with your conclusion. New technologies do not go straight to users. They get picked up by early adopters, who then tell everyone about them. Half of the students at my university were using Firefox after we left. Mostly because nerds like me installed it on their computers. When people like us start installing Chrome on everyone's computers, everyone will move to Chrome.

        So without plugins and without Linux and Mac support, I won't support it. And if I don't, my parents, girlfriend, colleagues, and friends won't, because they don't really care, and why should they?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by amRadioHed (463061)

        You like add-ons. I like add-ons. Objectively, though, we're a very small minority of users.

        But it is also only a small minority of users who will download new web browsers instead of just using what's already installed on their computer. And their is going to be a large overlap between the two groups of users.

      • Re:I know why... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tppublic (899574) on Monday October 13, 2008 @01:32PM (#25358197)
        The lack of add-ons is almost certainly not an important one, statistically speaking.

        citation needed [xkcd.com].

        Have you ever heard of innovators and early adopters? Do you recognize the influence they have in markets? There is a recognized "product diffucion curve" where innovators and early adopters have significant influence over the larger (mass) market.

        I would assert that early adopters are more likely to use add-ons. I would therefore assert that the lack of add-ons may be important, and may be statistically significant. I would also assert that Firefox, IE and Safari meet the criteria of "good enough" and therefore replacement products have a much higher hurdle to achieve market penetration.

        I would also assert the market share numbers show a problem for Google. A spike in usage followed by a decline as they are seeing indicates a problem in "crossing the chasm" (search for the book of that name if you don't follow).

        However, all of this is simply "assertions" and not "proof" - same as your assertion that add-ons are not an issue. My primary point is that meeting the needs of the innovator vs. the mass market is often underestimated (and is a very tough balancing act)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by irenaeous (898337)

        I think you are correct regarding the importance of plug-ins.

        What I have not seen mentioned so far is Chrome's handing of bookmarks. I believe most users depend on bookmarks quite heavily to remember and organize sites they wish to visit. Chrome's handling of bookmarks is awkward. For example, how do you add the current page as a bookmark in a couple mouse clicks? It seems that Google is trying to discourage the use of bookmarks and encourage their more googly way of doing things that relies on search

    • by linhares (1241614)
      WHAT GOOGLE HAS A BROWSER?? --Closes Mac/linux machine, logs into windows, uses it for some days... --after a while, resumes to normal machine. THE REAL ISSUE IS: for windows users, how many are in Chrome? Is there a decline there?
  • by UndyingShadow (867720) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:23PM (#25356989)
    I'm waiting for it to mature. I thought that was the whole point, we test it out, see what we like and wait for it to mature into a stable product.
    • by Praxx (918463) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:26PM (#25357059)
      The fact that people are still using it regularly despite it being beta should say something at least.
      • by Derek Loev (1050412) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:34PM (#25357209)
        Well, I think we all know that beta doesn't really mean anything to Google. In fact, that may be why a lot of people stopped using it after the first few days. Google has created the reputation that their beta products are pretty much fine-tuned and user-ready (gmail for example); but in Chrome's case, it really isn't up to par (at least so far) with the rest of Google's applications and people's expectations.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by david.given (6740)

        I'm still using it on Windows because I find it genuinely nicer than Firefox. AdBlock is the one feature I really miss; currently I use privoxy, but it's not nearly as easy to use. The main thing I like about Chrome is that the UI is so much cleaner than Firefox, and I'm not talking about the tabs; it's all the little things, like being able to find stuff in the preferences dialogue, to the focus model being much less stupidly modal which means it's easier to find where the caret's gone, etc.

        The multithread

    • by thehorse (899389) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:26PM (#25357069)
      Yes, I was expecting google to come out with a few more updates at a faster pace. There were too many issues that prevented me from using it to become my primary browser (flash/shockwave video freezing/crashing, rendering issues with a few sites). I still use the incognito feature for por... I mean, for banking.
    • by sulfur (1008327) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:26PM (#25357073)
      Google products coming out of beta? I'll be playing Duke Nukem Forever long time before it happens.
    • by fm6 (162816) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:41PM (#25357347) Homepage Journal

      Well, "beta" doesn't necessarily mean "not ready for day to day use", especially with Google products. GMail has millions of users, but is still officially "beta."

      But jargon aside, I think you're correct. Google people have their blind spots, but all in all they're pretty smart, and I find it hard to believe that this release of Chrome was meant to to grab any significant market share. Too many functional limitations.

      If you go by the emphasis of the comic book [google.com], this version of Chrome is mostly about contributing to the open source browser community, and getting that community to rethink some of its strategies. And that actually makes sense. My only question is whether there will ever be a more serious version that will actually compete with other browsers. I think, probably not, but I'd be very happy to be wrong.

  • Now we know (Score:5, Funny)

    by ndansmith (582590) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:25PM (#25357027)

    Now we know how long Slashdot users can stand to browse the internet without AdBlock.

  • by xaosflux (917784) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:25PM (#25357029) Homepage

    With all the options available today, there's just not a need for another browser right now. For most that don't want to use whatever their default browser is, they use FireFox. Firefox also had a lot more grass-roots promotion in the earlier days, that does not appear to be prevalent with Chrome.

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:31PM (#25357145) Homepage Journal

      Pretty much it. Firefox is as good or better than Chrome and has a lot more plugins.
      Adblock is probably a big driver for Firefox. Also Firefox works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, and BSD.
      So why move
      I think Chrome will be big on mobile devices.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        Personally, I don't use adblock, and don't really understand the need for it. I use flashblock, to get rid of annoying flash ads, and for the really annoying image ads, I can usually just use firefox's built in image block them. Most other ads aren't that annoying. I don't mind a site displaying advertisements as long as they are not annoying and tasteful.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Matt Perry (793115)

          Personally, I don't use adblock, and don't really understand the need for it. I use flashblock, to get rid of annoying flash ads, and for the really annoying image ads, I can usually just use firefox's built in image block them.

          The real value is that you can subscribe to a block list and never have to block ads manually. I use AdBlock Plus and the Filterset.G filters. I've never once needed to right-click on an image ad and tell AdBlock to block it. I simply don't see ads at all.

      • by abigor (540274) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:42PM (#25357361)

        Well, one reason is the process independence of the tabs. Just yesterday I had a bunch of tabs open in Firefox to all sorts of stuff - the Globe and Mail, YouTube, Slashdot, various bits of documentation, etc. One tab went nuts and brought the whole thing down. I hate that, and it should never happen. Each tab is like a separate app - having one tab crash everything harkens back to the days of cooperative multitasking (hello again, AmigoOS/Win 3.1/OS 7/8/9).

        Once Chrome is fully up to speed with plugins and various refinements, I'll switch for sure.

  • by MosesJones (55544) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:25PM (#25357045) Homepage

    Come on is this a surprise? I've downloaded Chrome, I've used it for a little bit of time and then gone back to Firefox as its got the plug-ins and other bits that I use everyday. When Chrome becomes a full product and has the plug-ins that I need then I'd consider switching, but for now its just something I'll fire up when testing my web code and then use that open window for some browsing because I'm too lazy to switch to another window.

    Hell personally I'm shocked they beat 1% of people, I'm stunned that 1% of people cared enough to download a new browser.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      It is not a shock or surprise to me... well, in one respect it is -- that the market trends actually agreed with me. And I know I am not alone in this where slashdot is concerned because "we" tend to care about trusting the source and their motives, whether or not something works and is stable and most importantly, how much we can tweak it.

      I trust Google about as much as I can trust any advertising/marketing company. Their motives are inherently tied to their core business. And because of this, you canno

    • Is it 1% of all users, or 1% of traffic. Those who are using Chrome tend to be more active on the web than those who don't. I downloaded it, but saw nothing that compelled me to use it. The nicest feature is where it shown you how many instances of your "find" are in a page, and their positions on the scrollbar. Nice, but not compelling.

    • Hell personally I'm shocked they beat 1% of people, I'm stunned that 1% of people cared enough to download a new browser.

      Google could put a "Sell all my data to China and format my hard drive" button on their home page, and thousands of people would click it.

  • Linux port yet? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RiffRafff (234408) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:28PM (#25357103) Homepage

    Still waiting for their e-mail saying a native Linux port is available.

    I gots no use for Windows apps.

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:29PM (#25357111) Homepage Journal
    In my day to day job I deal with having to develop for both IE and Firefox. I haven't even so much as downloaded Chrome. Why should I? I know someone is going to say "Because it's a superior browser", etc etc. I also loved the Amiga and although it was a superior machine (IMHO), it was just TOO much of a niche and the rest of the world functioned on PCs. Just like the rest of the world functions just fine on IE and Firefox.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gavagai80 (1275204)
      Because you should have curiosity, and it costs you nothing? I've never understood single-browser people anyhow... I happily switch between Opera, Firefox and Konqueror depending on what I want to do. Do you not have enough RAM for two browsers?
    • by Phroggy (441)

      In my day to day job I deal with having to develop for both IE and Firefox. I haven't even so much as downloaded Chrome. Why should I?

      So you can see whether the sites you developed for IE and Firefox work in other browsers too, and if not, find out why. It might be an easy thing to fix.

  • by Derek Loev (1050412) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:29PM (#25357115)
    I downloaded it a couple days after it was released and although it is rough around the edges I've grown to like it a lot. The history search function is really nice and the fact that it takes about a second to launch compared to the 10 seconds for Firefox (at least for me, this is probably out of the ordinary) is a real bonus.
    But honestly, this seems entirely standard. Of course it's going to start off with a surge of popularity and then lose a little momentum. This doesn't mean Google has "dropped the ball", it means that people are acting quite normally. It may have been a mistake for Google to release Chrome before all the kinks were worked out (mine has crashed a couple times); however, I don't think this decline in percentage was anything that wasn't expected -- 1.5% is still a hell of a lot of people.
  • It descended because it wasn't extensible, wasn't secure, and honestly didn't do much that was that innovative besides provide some fun nerd porn.
  • Stability (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hob42 (41735) <jupo42&gmail,com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:30PM (#25357131) Homepage Journal

    I've been giving Chrome a try myself, but my wife and my kids all still use FF or IE. I like that it takes up less screen realestate for tabs and so forth, and the history-homepage thingy is useful to me.

    I'd be happier with Chrome if it weren't for it's habit of getting hung up on Flash sites and bringing the whole OS to a screeching halt - sites that work fine in Firefox.

    • by mkcmkc (197982)

      Yeah, it locked up my Windows box within a few minutes. Since it's Windows, there's no good way (for me) to debug it, so I guess I'll wait for the movie...

  • I'm still using it for performance reasons. Although, Gif animation seems to be slower on Chrome.
  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:36PM (#25357251)
    Does this mean I don't have to add it to the list of browsers and platforms I already test with?
  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:37PM (#25357261)

    with a bunch of engineering students last night. A few had Chrome on their laptops (We were meeting at a coffee shop about a conference), but most of the people in the shop were using FireFox. FF works fine for them and most asked why should they try chrome when what they have works with few or no complaints. There was nothing revolutionary in Chrome from their perspective. Hell, I opened it up and the first thing I saw was the dial pad area and I thought, "what the hell, looks just like Opera with different looking tabs at the top." To me there was no reason to use Chrome over Opera or FF or Safari.

    People are generally hesitant to change unless there is a good reason. Look at how long it to FF to make in roads. Finally when MSIE was having the hijack of the week, people moved to FF because of the perception it was somehow safer. A lot of Mac users, myself included, use Safari because it works. That was not always the case, but these days I don't have many problems with safari and webpages. I have FF and Opera but I rarely use either unless I'm testing.

  • Loyal Users (Score:5, Interesting)

    by epdp14 (1318641) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:38PM (#25357301) Homepage
    It seems to me that the pool of users that Chrome is seeking to draw from has already been taken by the likes of Firefox and Opera. And, unfortunately for Chrome, fans of Firefox and Opera are violently loyal customers. Even if Chrome supported addons I would have a hard time giving up my Firefox.
    • And, unfortunately for Chrome, fans of Firefox and Opera are violently loyal customers. Even if Chrome supported addons I would have a hard time giving up my Opera.

      Fixed that for you.

  • At work I am using Windows, so I was able to give Chrome a go, but after a week Mcafee ant-virus was flagging chrome.exe as a virus, followed by its installer. There wasn't much I could do to get round the issue. My main browser is Firefox and I like to have a menu-bar, instead of poking around Windows Vista style to find out where all the options are hiding.

    While I did uninstall Chrome, I did install Iron, simply to be able to validate web pages I am developing:

    http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/09/24/iron- [downloadsquad.com]

  • ... the biggest one being lack of "opening with a bang", if I was google and dropping a new browser into the market I'd want to make the best product possible and make sure the users needs were being met, speed and a spartan interface is not enoough.

    If chrome were a browser serving customers, it would miss the mark by a large margin. They have good engineering but no sense of meeting their customers needs.

  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:42PM (#25357363) Homepage Journal

    If your goal is to get other browsers to improve, then market share is nice but not a necessity. Google wants the world full of browsers that are good platforms for web-based applications.

  • No Opera? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:42PM (#25357379) Homepage
    I find it surprising that Opera is still behind Chrome. I'm personally a Firefox user, but I really thought that Opera was more prevalent, especially on Slashdot. I guess the few Opera users there are, are just really vocal when it comes to promoting their browser.
  • I'm one of those 1.5%.

    A few things I like.
    I don't need noscript because so far, Chrome sandboxes the scripts well enough. The address box interpreter is the best of the lot by far. Most sites I visit are three keystrokes away and if I haven't ever been to a website but know its name, Chrome does an excellent job of guessing where I'm headed. The launching speed is a huge win and if adding gee-gaws on means sacrificing load speed, then I'll take Chrome as is.

    A few things I don't like.
    Adding bookmarks require

  • Lots of hype and no follow through or commitment. Google is a search engine company with lots of half finished technologies they don't have the vision to stick with or continue. Everyone sorta does their own thing, sponging off of search, and there's no real vision to any of it. Hope Sergei likes his spaceship.

  • by edmicman (830206) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:49PM (#25357519) Homepage Journal
    So far...
    *No Linux version yet - can't use it at home on Ubuntu without sloppy hacks
    *No find-as-you-type - I didn't realize how much I used this in FF until it's not there
    *No AdBlock Plus - I determined this to be my only real must-have FF extension. There are a few others I really really like, but I can get away without them for the most part.
    *Lack of extensions in general.

    On top of those, I think it's a novel new browser, has some good things, but there's a lack of transparency, too. At least with Firefox, I can view their Bugzilla, check out progress on Mozillazine, and feel like I'm seeing some progress and idea of where things are and where they are going. So Google has said they'll support addons and extensions. It's open source so people can hack it if they want. Well....where are they on supporting extensions? Where's the community building on the source? When is the estimated release of a more final version rather than something that really seems more like a technology preview demo?

    That said, I'm having problems with the Minefield pre beta (FF 3.1) today, and am actually thinking of trying Chrome as my default for the day to see how I fare. Crazy.
  • It's a beta... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GarfBond (565331)

    It's a beta browser guys... Should they really be *that* worried if interest drops off after the initial peak and very first release? Between FF, Safari, and dare I say it Opera, there's plenty of non-IE choices out there in the world to satisfy everyone.

    Let Google do their thing, and if they're on the right track they'll pick up users as they inch closer to a non-beta status. Though this being Google...

  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:52PM (#25357555) Homepage Journal

    Google Gears stood in the way of successful installation.

  • FOSS Bitches! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by uberjoe (726765)
    Being open source, all the best features of Chrome will end up as FF extensions. It's already happening [lifehacker.com]. It will only be a matter of time before all the good of Chrome more or less absorbed into Firefox, and all the bad (google's snooping, no extensions) are left out.
  • by techsoldaten (309296) on Monday October 13, 2008 @01:15PM (#25357905) Journal

    Get a Linux / Mac version of the browser going and see what happens. I know there aren't nearly as many Linux / Mac users out there, but these are vocal communities who will extol virtues of anything that takes up less processor capacity or makes their day have one less click in it. There's an opportunity to make all these windows guys feel like they are missing out unless they use Chrome.

    M

  • by SlashDotDotDot (1356809) on Monday October 13, 2008 @01:24PM (#25358077) Journal

    Google wants to be able to drive the future of the web and how it is used. To do that, they need some say in how browsers are built. Even if only 1.5% of people use Chrome, they still get this. For example, Google needs users to have browsers with fast Javascript so their apps work well. By releasing Chrome, they put pressure on Firefox and IE to meet their performance benchmarks. As they add other features, other browsers must take notice.

  • by Ritchie70 (860516) on Monday October 13, 2008 @01:42PM (#25358389) Journal

    I use Chrome pretty much just for Slashdot. I use Firefox for almost everything else.

    I assume it's the faster javascript (or maybe just placebo effect, who knows) but Slashdot seems a lot more responsive in Chrome than in Firefox.

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:07PM (#25358773) Homepage

    "Assuming they wanted it to grab a significant share of the browser market, have they dropped the ball, or is this part of the plan?"

    My assumption is that this is a standard Google release - something half ass that only mostly works... which someday Google may come back to and fix, or maybe not.

  • Iron = Chrome 2.0 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Plekto (1018050) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:14PM (#25358883)

    There is a group in Europe that is distributing Chrome minus all of the ills and Google junk. It's vastly better.

    http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php [srware.net]

    Chrome Vs Iron
    http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron_chrome_vs_iron.php [srware.net]

    Clear win, IMO. Open source made this possible - and in only a couple of months.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

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