Here are my thoughts on Google Chrome. Yup, I’m following the blogging pack about a week late. First off, the install process was smooth. The comic book stated that the rendering engine is Webkit, which should make testing relatively easy. This is borne out by the user agent string:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/0.2.149.29 Safari/525.13
They give you the ability to change the search engine, and other options, easily. It definitely follows a Macish configuration processs–you don’t have to apply or save the config changes you make, you just make them and close the options screen.
As Farhad Manjoo mentions, there is a lack of addons. (Addons are pieces of functionality that are extend the browser’s behavior [think adblock], as opposed to plugins which extend the browser’s ability to handle content [think flash]). I didn’t see much about addons or plugins for Chrome searching today, other than some strong desire for it. I don’t remember any mention of addons in the comic book or on the Chrome website. Also, as Manjoo mentions, opening a new tab by clicking next to the existing tabs doesn’t work (though there is a plus icon up there which it should not take too long to get used to).
The custom start page seems pretty neat, with the ability to have bookmarks not in a pulldown menu, but right on the start page, which also includesthe ‘most visited’ sites. Machine learning of this type can be a great time saver.
Finally, Cringley has some interesting comments on Google’s motivation.