Google Chrome Test Drive – First Thoughts

Ian Lurie

This is a live narration of my first test of Google Chrome:

No Mac version? WTH?!!!!….

OK, I’ll try it in Parallels (Windows running on my Mac):

Google Chrome

…OK, it’s stinkin’ fast: Google Chrome started up Plurk, a javascript-heavy microblog, in just under 1 second. In Safari it took about 3 seconds. Hardly a big deal either way, but it’s definitely handling javascript more efficiently.

…Google Reader load times are faster as well, by about 50%.

Checking memory usage. Check this out. Chrome launches a separate process for each tab:

Google Chrome memory usage

Installing Flash now. Google Chrome seems OK with it. Gives me a handy little confirmation button:

Google Chrome Flash warning

Mental note: Don’t start up 5 YouTube videos at once when running Chrome in Parallels.

Signing off for a bit to do real work…

Final Thoughts

I’m not sure Google Chrome itself is going to have that big an impact: Average users aren’t going to flock over to Google to download the browser.

Google Chrome will spawn a lot of innovation, though. It’s totally open source, it’s clearly very lean (and easy to work with), it’s blazing fast and it integrates other Google technologies like Gears.

If enough developers embrace Chrome as a platform, we might be seeing the beginning of the Google Operating System in earnest.

But, Google will have to compete with other browsers, like Internet Explorer and Firefox. It will also have to compete with other web application platforms, like AIR.

We’ll see. Chrome is clearly a very strong entry into the browser market. But I wouldn’t worry about testing websites in it for a few months.

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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  1. Google Chrome seems to be a good backbone for people interested in developing open source (more so than the memory hungry Firefox).
    I think the success of Chrome will depend on if many open source developers choose performance over popularity.

  2. I don’t think Chrome is meant to compete against Firefox just yet.
    First of all because FireFox is more robust that Chrome due to the fact that’s it’s been around for longer and it’s already in version 3 (but that doesn’t matter: IE is in v7/8beta and FF is far better than IE!), and Google knows that.
    Second of all: if Google planned to compete against FireFox, then why would they extendtheir Firefox funding contract weeks (if not days) before chrome was released?

  3. @Joel To avoid anti-trust issues. But I do agree it’ll be some time before they’re ready to compete. In the mean time, Firefox keeps pressure on Internet Explorer…

  4. there are so many advantages and features with Chrome, such as it’s speed, for example; now if only they would take care it’s quirky cookie management…

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