Last week Google released Chrome, its new standards-compliant Web browser. But what does that mean to you, the business person? Though Google offers a great comic book that explains the big changes, it is a bit jargon-heavy and, frankly, long at 32 (comic) pages.

So I offer you an introduction of Google Chrome for the layman. We will look briefly at the improvements in the user interface, performance, and technology advancements so that you can more easily decipher why Google Chrome matters to you.

The Big (Browser) Picture

The browsers of yore (if you can call 15 years ago "yore") were built on the assumption that a Web browser was your gateway to the Information Superhighway. Meaning—it was required for entry onto the big road, and any improvement to the browser was by definition an improvement to your Web experience.

Over time, more and more features were added to the browsers in an effort to help you. The problem is that these features usually ended up hurting more than helping.

  • Making up their own stuff. Some sites worked in some browsers, while others did not. This is a well known issue in Web development and often the cause of many Web users' frustrations.
  • Increase their "silicon footprint." Browsers have evolved into notorious memory hogs. This means a Web experience with continually worsening rush-hour traffic.
  • Crashing your entire system. Browsers tend toward "memory leaks." So if you leave a browser open for a couple of hours, or worse, overnight, you usually wake up a sluggish beast that can only be slain with a computer system reboot.

You've probably heard the phrases Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 (the latter usually stated with sarcasm by many). These terms are also a neat and tidy way to think about Google Chrome.

Chrome aims to revolutionize the browser marketplace by introducing a browser that takes a back seat to your Web surfing. Chrome does the bare minimum of what a Web browser should do, but in the safest, fastest way possible. Google states that it seeks to have the Web visitor "ignore the browser."

In essence, Google is trying to do for the browser what it did for search—revolutionize. Let's first look at the changes in the browser user interface.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Felfoldi is chief experience officer and founder of Sherpa! Web Studios (www.sherpawebstudios.com), a digital experience marketing and development consultancy based in Atlanta, Georgia. His goal is to make the Web a better experience, including for people who write emails in all capital letters.