Chrome makes Web browsing easy

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Google has done it again with its latest gift to the computing world: a Web browser that simply goes by "Chrome." Released Sept. 2 in its beta version, Chrome is everything a browser should be -- and more. It's fast, secure and simple.

The geeks at Google have creatively rethought the equation and have presented us with the future of browsing.

At first glance I was struck by the simplicity: an open window with the option to open more tabs. Sure, the "Tools" and "Options" can be found on the right-hand side, but they're not cluttering my work space. This is a clean, minimal, perfect package.

Open a few tabs and you'll notice that this browser is fast. Really fast.

To understand why, let's think about the Internet historically. Way back in the late '90s, browsing the Internet was different. There weren't videos, scripts and sparkling unicorn blingee plugins on every Web page. Like any average program, browsers would open and continue to grow.

When these browsers crash, the whole thing goes down.

Google's approach focused on building a browser for today's Internet.

Rather than stockpile memory to run different applications, eventually resulting in a slow online experience, Google's Web browser makes each tab its own process. When a new tab is open, a new process is started on your computer. When that tab closes, the process stops and the memory is freed up to the computer.

Granted, this takes a little more real estate in memory, but the end result is faster browsing.

The best part: If one tab crashes, only that Web page closes; the rest of the Web pages in the browser remain untouched.

The idea of separate process per tab extends to security, too. If malicious software is running in one tab, it can't access the information from the other tabs or on your computer.

When that tab is closed, so is the bad application.

Each tab/process is not granted any rights outside of the tab. This creates a safer environment in which to browse.

Another cool feature, if we're thinking about security in the undercover sense, is "incognito" mode. This mode allows users to work online in private with zero data, history or cookies kept about your whereabouts.

Searching ability is what you would expect from the No. 1 search company in the world. Finally someone built a search into the address bar.

Finally, I can type "Swiss Chard Quesadillas" into the address bar and pull up the recipe without stopping at a search engine first.

There are a lot of built-in conveniences to Chrome, but the last one I have to mention is the "most-visited" page. When opening a new tab, there are thumbnail pictures of all your most-visited Web sites. This is even easier than bookmarks.

Reach Heather Hamilton at primadata@morris.com.


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