Friday, December 12, 2008

Google Chrome: Color it gold

When Google first announced it was introducing a new Web browser called Chrome, I thought the same thing you might have: Why bother?

After using it for three months, however, I can say this: It's now my default Web browser.

Why? Because it basically delivered on its promises. For example, a crash in one tabbed window doesn't bring down the whole browser -- just the misbehaving tab -- just as Google promised. 

On Thursday Google took Chrome out of "beta" status and declared it golden -- a finished product. 

To be sure, the early public beta product had its share of holes where bugs and gremlins could find safe refuge. For example, the earlier versions had problems with parts of Facebook.

I like the smooth way in which tabs can be grabbed and reordered in Chrome and I like the way you can drag a tab away and create a new window and then grab that new window and bring it back into your tab lineup. It seems fast enough, and, yes, stable enough for everyday use.

Of course it's not perfect. Other browsers do certain things better. For example, Firefox has a handy, one-step "Undo Close Tab" command which quickly brings back Web pages you may have closed by mistake. Yes, you can recover closed tabs in Chrome via the the "Recently Closed Tabs" listing that pops up when you open a new tab, but it takes a few extra clicks.

And of course there are those Web pages that absolutely, positively demand Microsoft Internet Explorer, so you'll always need to keep that handy on your computer.

One thing you may have a problem with is making Chrome your default browser through Chrome's options settings. When you open up the options in Chrome, you may find that the "Default Browser" setting is grayed out and can't be changed.

In that case, assuming that you're running Windows Vista, try this: Close Chrome. Instead of double-clicking on the Chrome icon on your desktop or elsewhere, click the right mouse button. In the dialog window that pops up, select "Run as Administrator."

Once Chrome reopens, go back to the options page and the "Default Browser" setting should be unlocked and clickable. 

No Chrome isn't perfect, but it's mighty good for a one-day-old browser.

What do you think?

Copyright 2008 Stadium Circle Features

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