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And here comes Google Chrome (the minimal browser?)

Google Chrome was released overnight (for those of us in my country). And what an offering…

First note of disappointment: the installer was an online one, much like the very hateable Windows Live thing. Unlike that, however, it actually worked, but I would very much have preferred a standalone installer. And not able to choose the Install directory? Odd.

That aside, I was taken by surprise. Not even IE or Firefox could have dreamed of so effectively maximising screen real estate. The whole experience of Chrome was as if the webpages (put into very neat, separately threaded and killable tabs) were taking the full screen.

It was subtle, smooth and rather fast. No, sorry, it was very fast! It was a very minimal experience – one that feels elegant.

The source and DOM inspection for developers should interest too, and also the Google Gears integration for regular users.

The flaws are there too, but it is only a beta. For one, the settings are all based off IE settings, so I cannot configure an independent pr-o-ck-sy [word changed for security] server for Chrome. Neither do I like the Omnibar (URL bar) very much: compared to Firefox 3’s bar, you would have to do something really well to show off. And was the “Incognito Mode” worth so much trouble when some of the other, more important, functions are rather limited?

In the end, I liked it. Truth is, it will be staying on my computer: not as my primary browser (that is the amazing Firefox 3), but simply, when for a change, I want to be exhilarated…

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