Some features, like SPDY, can be implemented even though not all the browsers support it -- which means that those that don't will find that their users think their browser is slow.
Some features can be emulated with things like long-polling.
And some (WebGL) can't.
I doubt you will be right about those features that can be replaced or emulated but you are properly right about those that can't.
Then again every day we choose to exclude some customers (you only speak Japanese? Well sorry then).
SPDY can be implemented as an Apache module which could be used only when the browser supports it.
It is true that WebSockets replace long polling, but there are plenty of libraries that abstract the differences out nicely.
obviously it's not an ideal situation, but i have no qualms about using webGL to implement something labeled an "advanced feature" in my app, and give IE users an error saying their browser isn't supported.
I like the sentiment and agree with most of it. But we are definitely not in a good place quite yet.
It looks like Chrome will overtake Firefox this year on desktop. It will likely also overtake IE on desktop, simply because the number of people forced to use IE - in big corporations - is small compared to the number of normal users. So IE will continue to go down quite a lot more.
So Chrome will be the #1 browser on desktop. But that's just one side of things. Chrome will also be the #1 mobile browser because it will be bundled on Android, the #1 mobile OS. Combine desktop and mobile, and Chrome will get a dominating majority. (ChromeBooks might also take off, making the control even more complete - but it's hard to say if they will.)
Chrome's rise is the result of a great product and a truly massive marketing campaign. But it looks like it will succeed far too much, potentially replacing the currently open and competitive space with one dominated once again by a single player. And just like the previous dominator, this one has other products it can and will leverage with the browser (as we saw indications of in the leaked Dart memo, and as we currently see with Chrome-only features of gmail and google docs).
Yes, Chrome is mostly open source, so that by itself makes it less evil than the previous browser monopoly. But even an open source project that is controlled by one company, and used to further its own ends - which legally it must as a for-profit - can be a very bad thing. We can't blindly assume that what is good for Google will always be good for everyone else - if that ever was the case.
The way I see it, if everybody started using ad blockers like I do, google would implode almost instantly. So how would they combat that? Control the platform for viewing the web and be positioned to kill ad blockers if it ever became a problem.
Would you buy a DVR controlled by a television network? That would be insane, as soon as DVRs ate too much into their revenues they would just
kill the skipping feature.
But because of the abundance of chrome fanboys, this is just what is happening, and everybody is looking the other way.
A little while ago we had a big company doing everything they could to control the "personal computer" platform, even evil things, and illegal things, and now there's another company trying to control the internet as a platform and a lot of you hackers are eating it up, I'm just baffled.
A little, but do be aware that (i) Mozilla is 83% financed  by search royalties from that same ad company, and (ii) Chromium has a somewhat independent developer community
Making money from ads is also not evil: you are probably served by a local newspaper which is probably both good for your neighbourhood and financed mostly or entirely by ads. This stream of revenue comes with conflicts of interest, but these can be handled better or worse. I think Google has done pretty well in this; at least my criticisms of Google mostly do not lie here.
Potential opportunity here to make a special adblock which tracks user using an anonymous ID code? Essentially acting as a trustable middleman in the equation?
If google does something like that it wouldn't take long until someone forks Chrome.
Since you brought up television companies controlling DVR's, I will make an attempt to extend upon that. Would you use a DVR controlled by a television network if it was significantly better than a DVR of any other nature? I have no problems admitting that I would, and I feel that a lot of others would as well. That is how I relate Chrome to other browsers. Sure, its controlled by an ad company, but it's also an absolutely fantastic product that includes a lot of features that make my day much less stressful than using "other" browsers, especially as a developer.
If Google wants to start killing off the AdBlock extension, then they can do that. It's their product and they can do whatever they want to, but that also means I have the freedom of jumping ship and using Firefox. Chrome has gotten its popularity among this crowd because they have made consistently good decisions when it comes to features, ui changes, etc.
Going back to DVR's, if a television company wants to release a product and then take away features that user's have had from the start, then fine. It's their decision. But remember, Sony did it with the PS3 and look how that turned out. There is almost always another choice, and that is especially true in the browser market.
Now, it's easy to think of features that sounds "technically useful" but also "going to bring a lot more ad traffic / much less privacy".
Heck, why not make 3rd party cookies mandatory for example? :>
And if Google can't win through the browser war, they will try other fronts, like they do with NativeClient, which is a good lock-in, because others will not want to implement it.
I'm keeping a close eye on what Chrome does in terms of privacy related settings. The moment I feel that Google does indeed leverage Chrome to spy on me more than they would otherwise be able to, I'm back on Firefox. After all, Chrome has some very annoying issues of its own (window switching is broken on pages with Flash vids, and Flash keeps crashing more often than in other browsers)
I'm not convinced that blocking all ads helps my privacy interests though. The alternative to ad funding is a paid subscription model which takes away privacy altogether.
The simple fact is that Chrome serves my web browsing needs wonderfully, so I use it as my primary browser. If the day comes that this is no longer true, I will just switch back to Firefox, or whatever awesome browser emerges between now and then.
I can't tell if this is a joke. You know why IE user base is so high, right? Like, because of a better example than this one?
The stability of FF has been dismal lately. This is largely a memory issue: my system starts to bog down if I leave FF running too long, so I have to restart it at least once a day. But more recently, it hasn't been able to survive more than a couple of hours. It will randomly "tear off" a tab, and then freeze itself using 100% of one CPU core, and must be killed. I assume this is a badly-behaved extension, since I haven't heard the world screaming about it, but I haven't been able to determine which one it is.
Anecdotally, I routinely have around 100 tabs open and Firefox runs for days on end, if not weeks. It only gets closed for OS updates requiring a restart.
I notice that Firefox 7 has gone to 7.01 today. What's changed? It doesn't seem to have helped me.
I use FF all the time with 10s of tabs open, and I don't have any issues with stability. My FF window is open for days and some time for weeks.
Compare to Chrome, which has its own task manager, which shows CPU and RAM usage of each extension.
What's preventing people from using other search engines?
Microsoft's monopoly was based on exclusive contracts with PC makers, which made it extremely difficult to buy a PC without paying the "Microsoft tax".
I like HN and am sad to see HN user base going down because the comments are getting dumber and dumber. Sorry you just won the dumbest-comment-of-the-week award.
That being said, I'd much rather be proved wrong. :)
Hanging hopes on web apps seems a like a startup echo chamber. Sure, the potential is there for lots of things, especially in the collaboration space, but Google Apps is a Mount Everest away from usurping MS Office.
For examples: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/customers/index.html
I'm not saying that businesses don't use web apps, but counting on web apps to shake IE's dominance in enterprise, at least in the short term, is wishful thinking.
In Ukraine IE is third. Guess who has #1 spot:
Unfortunately, what I foresee happening is home user market saturation reaching 100%, but Chrome never taking a majority thanks to business types (you know, the people still on IE6.) Too much reliance on ActiveX and AD and being able to lock down the homepage and other things that get corporate IT control freaks all hot and bothered.
Obviously this is very far removed from reality (you can read Chromium's source code and audit yourself. IE? Nope.), but these people aren't operating in the real world. IE is the best browser for the imaginary world that the "decision makers" live in.
(On my work machine, running chrome.exe causes an alert to be triggered and execution is denied. Of course, renaming it to not_chrome.exe allows it to work fine. Secure!)
People are down on MS because they feel that it's just the "easy" decision, but they also have a mature and well developed product that works pretty well for a midsized business with a small IT staff.
If you take Firefox + Chrome and credit them both to Google (unfair in many respects, I know) - Google can claim "responsibility" for the majority of web browsing today. They have almost single handedly engineered a competitive marketplace in the browser space (ok, unfair again to the Mozilla devs, but it's still profound to me to contemplate it).
Don't get the deal wrong. Mozilla as a small non-profit gets a lot of money for their size, but the deal still is the hell of a good deal for Google.
It actually played a major part into making Google the de-facto search engine among the community that matters most, us, the techs, the geeks, etc.
We all win, because even if Chrome is the slowest, it's not slow.
Two things this Lifehacker article did not cover that are important to me: creating new windows and creating new tabs. I do a lot of this. I haven't timed it but if I had to take a guess I'd say Firefox is at least twice as slow as Chrome at making a new window. I think that explains why Chrome feels faster to me.
(OS X 10.6.8, Firefox 7, whatever latest stable Chrome is, in case anyone's wondering.)
Who cares if browser startup takes 3 or 6 seconds? I start my browser in the morning, and never close it.
And who really cares if some browser eats 50% more RAM? RAM is ridiculously cheap, 8GB of laptop memory with the highest reviews on newegg is $40.
So more precisely, Chrome is fastest by a huge margin on the benchmark they explicitly tuned for.
Also, Chrome is the fastest in V8 by a huge margin, while similar or a tiny bit slower in other benchmarks like Kraken or SunSpider
There are plenty of real-world JS applications where Chrome (well, V8) is much slower than competing browsers. Just browse through V8's bug tracker. For example, here is one I filed,
And I am sure there are even more such issues on the internal (non-public) issue trackers.
Different JS engines tune for different things, we can no longer say that any one of them is simply "faster" than all the rest. It depends on the benchmark.
In terms of real-world scripting, almost any script I've benchmarked has always been ~1.5-2 times faster in Chrome than firefox (versions 4 through 6), except when bound by API calls (last I checked Firefox was on-par or better when dealing with TypedArrays). It looks like TypeInference might be a really big win though.
The last one I tried was 5x slower in Chrome than in Firefox... Sadly, it's not a publicly available url.
It was a very grim time.
Fortunately, a number of web developers held out of a viable alternative to a Win32/IE monopoly. When Firefox was finally good enough for general use it was embraced by many web developers, Google in particular. By 2005 many prominent new web sites (Gmail and Google Reader, for two) took special care to support Firefox from day 1, something that was would have been unheard-of only a few years earlier. At that point it was clear that Microsoft could not win the browser war, and IE development languished.
Literally everything else has been, OK, evolutionary.
What did you show them in Chrome that made them say "Wow!"?
The reason? He uses the dropdown box in the location bar as a kind of bookmarking mechanism. Chrome doesn't have such a location bar. And he's not content with using real bookmarks, it has to be the location bar dropdown and nothing else.
It does vary a lot by geographic region. Europe shows higher Firefox numbers. And, if I recall correctly, Firefox is number one in a few countries (Germany, Russia).
I'm not absolutely sure because Opera, Firefox and all the versions of IE combined have a very close market shares, and yes, Chrome is running up fast too. But I remember Opera held "the most popular single version of browser" the last time I checked.
Don't know if Chrome is going to overtake IE, but it would definitely be good to see it give it a go.
Additionally, most employees work for Mozilla Corporation, which is a for-profit corporation owned by the non-for-profit.
More info: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/careers.html
Once they've paid off some of the technical debt they built up with long-term supported releases, and they have a product that will wow Chrome users, I'm sure you'll hear their marketing department kicking into gear.
Also, exits are only a consideration for startup employees. 98% of programmers are working for corporations that have already had their exit, and so the primary considerations (as they are for employees everywhere) are salary, benefits, and options. I can't see Mozilla being too far behind the market on salary and benefits, and stock options tend to be pretty worthless for the average employees anyway due to blackouts and whatnot.
Not only that, but also a choice on our privacy.
If either MS, Google, or any such company gets a large percentage of the user base (75%?) again, the web is going to be locked and not very privacy oriented again.
Don't think for a second that Google cares much. They don't do evil, but they'll do as bad as their business requires.
They do use their quasi monopoly right now to promote Chrome and it works extremely well. Chrome is a very good browser but you may understand that such growth is not due to that alone, in fact, being a good browser is only a requirement, not the actual factor of the growth.
Unfortunately it will be used to enforce Google control over the web.
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 0.5; en-us) AppleWebKit/522+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/419.3
edit: Downvotes ahoy! I'm just relaying the information I found when searching. On the Anroid-DLS wiki, it gives a very generic "based on webkit" answer, so that doesn't say much one way or t'other.
Chrome will be coming to Android soon as per the notes made by the Chrome team in the last month.
And no, Chrome doesn't include Safari numbers either, just because it has Safari name in its user agent.
Apart from deals between mozilla and google, I much prefer to support the mozilla foundations than google. And when on linux I actually use chromium instead of chrome. Furthermore I even think the whole firefox concept focused more on real features rather targeting the dumbest possible user as chrome does.
But even considering all these aspects, I use chrome mostly because it has had a clutter-free UI for a while, fires up much faster and has a proper implementation of incognito mode.
Like many people, I use a browser all day, I cannot afford not to be pragmatic in here. If firefox catches up on these important aspects, I will for sure move back. It does look like they got finally they're act together and started to make major improvements. Let's wait and see.