Google Chrome has a way to go

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I would like to try Google Chrome, but as a longtime PC/IE7 user, I am afraid to migrate all at once and irreversibly. Is there a way to download Chrome, then toggle back and forth between IE7 and Chrome until I gain courage for commitment? -- John

A: Yes. At any given time I run about three different browsers on my computers. That may seem excessive, but I've found that sometimes Web sites, ftp sites and flash games might not work in one browser as well as another.

Though I am a fan of Google Chrome, it still has a long way to go until it is a fully functioning browser. It's still in a beta mode, so it should never be used as a standalone browser.

The great news is you can easily use both. Internet browsers are very similar to any other program, you could run Microsoft Office and Quickbooks at the same time. Similarly nobody out there is stopping you from running Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome all at once.

The great thing is Firefox and Chrome will copy your bookmarks and other relevant information from the primary browser on your computer but will leave the established browser intact and untouched. They will even request upon installation if they can be the default browser. Feel free to say no and use the program on your terms.

But by all means, feel free to experiment with the program.

Q: Concerning Google Chrome, I've noticed it is not compatible with the state of Georgia Web sites. This fact makes it unusable for me, because I do a lot of online filing of tax returns and payments for my clients.

Apparently, Chrome has a way to go yet, but I appreciate knowing about this new product. -- Jim B.

A: Sorry to hear it's not working with the Georgia Web sites yet, but trust me, it will.

Google is the biggest search engine in the world. As such, it has what they call "crawlers" that search the Internet constantly for new Web sites.

When Google decided to enter the browser market, it created a crawler for Chrome that would reach out and test different Web sites that are linked to off of their servers.

Google has the potential to test a very large market share. Certainly that's something to make most software manufacturers jealous. That type of complexity is usually not met until the beta releases are open to the public for external testing.

Not to say that there isn't work to do. Again, beta versions are always going to have bugs and be a bit wonky. But that's why we rarely use full beta versions in the workplace.

It's fun for at-home use, but take my advice and use it as a second browser. The key principles that Chrome is bringing to the market will catch on and be the standard some day.

Reach Heather Hamilton at primadata@morris.com.


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