Today Google released a first Beta of Google Chrome, a new web browser.  Just installing it already showed how Google Chrome is different from other browsers. Since I am always logged on on my laptop as a normal user I right-clicked the installer and choose the “Run as” option and installed it under the Administrator accout. The result was surprising: it didn’t work. No error messages during installation, but I couldn’t get any website to open. After some searching I figured out that Google Chrome installed itself in “%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Google\” so you have to install it as the user that is going to use it. So after installing it as myself I could see pages and the fun starts.

One of the touted differences between Chrome and current browsers is that Chrome runs each tab in a separate process and processes are independent and one process will not affect another, even when it crashes. (Reputably the current IE 8 beta has the same feature, but I haven’t tried that yet.) So when you look in the Windows Task Manager you see separate processes for all tabs. With Chrome’s own Task Manager you can see a little bit deeper since you can see which process is which tab, but the real good stuff is in the “Stats for Nerds” which shows detailed information. I have included screenshots of all three below here.

Windows Task Manager view Google Chrome Task Manager Stats for Nerds

The most remarkable thing other then that is how unremarkable Chrome is. It is very unobtrusive with very little chrome and lots of room for content, it feels extremely responsive and it just works. It didn’t ask if I wanted to install the Flash Player, it just worked. I don’t even know if it is embedded or if Chrome borrows the Firefox plugin or something. But since it runs in its own process the memory consumption becomes visible. So I guess pretty soon people will start to look a whole lot closer at the memory consumption of Flex applications.

All in all the first impression is very good. After the installation hurdle it just works and I really like the security / process / memory model (it feels like Unix and specifically like the model of PostgreSQL). And I mean really like it. Now I know I am a bit peculiar in my security habbits / preferences (how many others will have run into the installation issues I did?), but I really take such issues into consideration when I choose tools. And so far Google Chrome is scoring big points.


  1. PaulH says:

    did you try chrome w/adobe feeds? keep seeing “Error 320 (net::ERR_INVALID_RESPONSE): Unknown error.” when i try to click on a link.

    i was pleasantly surprised too about flash. thought for sure they’d try to croak flash.

    it passed all our unicode tests (though it defaults to latin-1). doesn’t seem to use it’s own “glyph of last resort” like FF3, buzzword, etc. do (ie something other than boxes & question marks).

    going to run some tests against some of our flex apps.

  2. Gopi Nathan says:

    Chrome doesn’t display Unicode … I tested with some newspapers like and a simple page on my PC. It failed to display.

  3. Jochem says:

    The Adobe feeds give the same problem for me, but it appears it is a known issue. You may want to add a URL there to be sure they test it with the nect build.

  4. Dennis in MKE says:

    I do some website development so I was naturally curious about Chrome. I installed it on a Vista and XP machine and reviewed some of my websites. Here are the results:

    - Most everything worked perfectly and very fast as well.

    - One site got a “Bad Image” error message. This same site works perfectly in IE, Firefox,and Safari

    - The Vista machine could not play my Flash videos. The XP machine could.

    - I have a Halloween site that plays music on page load. It works perfectly with Internet Explorer AND CHROME, but not with Safari or Firefox.

    Go Figure…

  5. PaulH says:


    chrome passed all our unicode tests (and we have a *lot* of tests). and i just tested that paper website, displayed fine for me (even though i don’t have a “meera” font installed & i didn’t noticed a font family or any fallback ones in it’s html goop).

    something wrong on your end.

  6. katy says:

    Tests speed measurements on Google’s new browser Chrome with our application ( shows that Chrome is faster then IE and just a little bit faster than Firefox 3.0. See the graphics:

  7. film fan says:

    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…