While Google's new browser Chrome got lots of attention, it hasn't amassed many users. Net Applications tracks browser share across 40,000 sites, and Chrome has at best won around one percent of market share, with usage slipping from 0.85 percent to only 0.77 percent since last week. But hey, it's probably still beating Opera. [ComputerWorld] (Image by Miles Goodhew)
Bidding for an Australian's copy of Google's comic-book press release on its new Chrome browser closed after 17 bids at AU $454.99, or approximately $363. If all proceeds weren't being donated to charity, we'd have a truly disturbing waste of money on our hands here, especially considering the Chrome presser isn't even the best "Google" comic available on the auction site.
Users of Google's Chrome browser account for about 1 percent of the market, reports Net Applications, a market researcher. European browser-maker Opera — which you might have heard had it agreed to make the iPhone's browser, but it didn't, so you haven't — claims 0.74 percent of all users. Microsoft's Internet Explorer still dominates the market, but its latest version, Internet Explorer 8 beta 2, which was released around the same time as Chrome, owns only a third as much market share, around 0.34 percent. [PaidContent]
Marc Andreessen invented the friggin' Netscape browser. Have you heard of it? He also wants you to know that he's the idea guy who shifted your computing paradigm by getting Netscape to develop webtop software. So while gabbing at the Churchill Club, Andreessen slyly noted the realization of his ideas. By Google. Today's featured commenter, WilliamMarkFelt, explains the thing about ideas:
On Blogoscoped, obsessive Google watcher Philipp Lenssen has posted an exhaustive list of "Google Chrome Tips and Pointers." Go there if you are, for example, a freeloading jerk who wants to learn how to install ad blockers in Chrome. But I think the best part of the FAQ is the question Lenssen raises about where the logo came from. Voice your preferred theory in our poll:
Google Chrome has the potential to replace the Windows desktop — and kill Adobe's Flash for extra points. So said Marc Andreessen, one of the programmers behind the world-changing Mosaic browser. He'd long ago envisioned a future where instead of running applications from a desktop operating system, computer users would get everything from servers on a network. It wasn't his original idea, but Andreessen pushed Netscape developers to replace the desktop with a "webtop." The result, Constellation, was bloated and slow. Ten years later, Andreessen told a small crowd at the Churchill Club in Palo Alto that Google is finishing his work:I've edited down Om Malik's report on the talk.
The media frenzy earlier this week over Google's Chrome Web browser was so over the top that I wondered: How far did reporters go questing for commentary, for insight, for historical context? How many of them chased down Jamie Zawinski, the Netscape engineer turned beer-peddling South-of-Market nightclub owner, who played a critical role in making the Netscape browser open source — a move which, years later, made Google's browser possible? So I IM'd him: "What is the absolute worst media inquiry you've gotten about Google Chrome this week?""I have gotten none until now," he replied. "Which makes this one the worst by default."
Web wonks got into a tizzy over a clause buried in the terms of service for the new Chrome browser from Google which gave the search engine rights over all content created with the software. An insidious conspiracy to abuse copyrights! All your data is belong to Google! Not so much. Google's legal eagles, under the direction of general counsel Kent Walker, were just really lazy. They copied and pasted the text from other Google legalese without thinking. Now Google will be moving to strike the clause from the record. Just goes to show we aren't the only ones who don't read the terms of service — Google's lawyers can't be bothered, either.
The Googlers who built the Chrome browser hired popular cartoonist Scott McCloud to illustrate their white paper on Chrome's technical architecture and design process. But let's be honest: They also bought Scott McCloud versions of themselves all over the Internet. Reader theodp matched up McCloud's illos of the Chrome team to the real photos of them from Wired's inside-access article. Above: software engineer Ben Goodger. The rest:Product manager Brian Rakowski:
Nobody reads terms of service agreements, those legal documents new users have to click a box to say they've read. And the truth is, they hardly matter to anybody but the cyber-rights-now crowd who get worked up by articles on Boing Boing, and the paranoid lawyers at large Web companies who want to avoid money-fishing lawsuits. But sometimes they go far beyond protecting corporate interests into la-la land. Did you know that when you download Google's new Chrome browser, you agree that any "content" you "submit, post or display" using the service — whether you own its copyright or not — gives Google a "perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute" it? Google's ambitions for Chrome are even larger than we thought; by the letter of this license, Google will own all information that flows through its browser. But Chrome's terms of service are just the latest in a long line of ludicrous legalese.
The real browser war isn't between Microsoft and anyone. It's between Firefox and Google Chrome, jostling to become the aftermarket browser of choice. Yesterday, a Google engineer assured News.com that the company's new open-source browser processes webpages much faster than Mozilla Firefox — "Many times faster. I guarantee you." Mozilla engineers released their own test results that show Firefox with a slight performance edge. But the latest test, run independently by News.com, skews the other way.News.com reporter Stephen Shankland ran tests suggested by the Chrome team. Google's browser trounced the rest of the field:
Magazines aren't in the business of breaking news. But had Google PR not inadvertently leaked word of its Google Chrome Web browser, Steven Levy's feature in Wired's forthcoming October issue might have been both the first and last word on the project. It required the Faustian bargain typical of fly-on-the-wall features: Get deep inside the company, in exchange for letting the subject dictate the timing of the story. But this story was trickier than most, since Chrome was still a secret when the issue was under production. Normally, dozens of eyes would fall on the story. How did a magazine's labor-heavy business model intersect with Google's maniacal obsession with secrecy? This was, in some ways, the exact opposite of last year's cover story on "radical transparency." Bob Cohn, Wired's executive editor, explained to Valleywag how they pulled it off:
"I think operating systems are kind of an old way to think of the world," Google cofounder Sergey Brin told a klatsch of reporters after the Mountain View ad agency's song-and-dance routine to announce its new browser, Chrome. Brin is a little older than me, which I find surprising — not because I'm so old, but because even I remember the days before there really was a personal computer on every desk (and on every lap, and in every pocket). What was there?