Two popular Vietnamese tech blogs, E-Learner 2.0.vi and Technology as an Innovator, posted about the new Google Chrome browser still in beta in the last couple of days. The reviews as mixed which seems to be the norm in the blogosphere around the world.
Even though I had to test it with Windows XP (inside of VirtualBox), I was quite impressed with Chrome. For some strange reason, it brought me back to the days of Mosaic when I first started to surf the web as a young undergraduate student. Mosaic made surfing the web fun at the time until Netscape and Internet Explorer came around. Chrome made it feel like I was surfing the web anew again.
Downloading Chrome was very easy though since I was located in Vietnam, I inadvertantly downloaded the Vietnamese language version (Google finally takes notice of Vietnam). Installation was easy. I was impressed at how fast it loaded up inside of Windows XP, much faster than Firefox and Internet Explorer.
I really enjoyed the simple layout. The developers must be either Gnome or XFCE desktop users. The Gnome/XFCE influence can easily be seen in Chrome. I think many BSD/Linux users will appreciate Chrome the most. For the eye candy crazy KDE, Mac, and Windows users, they may find Chrome too boring. Do not expect the new young computer users to embrace it, it is just not pretty enough for them, unfortunately. Google better start pumping out nice themes and plug-ins which, sadly enough, ‘could’ slow Chrome down.
(Wear a Helmet campaign site XHTML/CSS drop-down menu bar worked perfectly)
Similar to Internet Explorer, Chrome had problems properly rendering this Flash banner but this may not be related to Chrome:
(Too much white space above and below the Flash banner)
Flash videos did render perfectly on my blog though:
(SaigonNezumi.com on Google Chrome)
When I tried to access the Vietnam BSD/Linux Mirror located in the Quang Trung Software City, I was surprised. I just got a blank black screen below:
(Blank screen while trying to access the FTP server)
After hitting refresh a couple times, I was able to access the mirror. It was a bit ugly when compared to both Firefox and Internet Explorer but look what it did below. Yep, That’s Vietnamese you see. Chrome translated everything into Vietnamese. This could explain why it took longer to load. Amazing!
(Chrome seems to automatically translate English into Vietnamese)
Speed wise, it did not seem to be faster than the other browers I have used. I then realized that I should try to access a website located in Saigon so I chose digipower.vn. It loaded quite fast though you can see it load up each image.
Definitely a lot of positives from me for this browser. I cannot wait until Chrome is ported to Linux. I will probably use it more often than Firefox.