How does the Chrome browser introduced by Google compare with the latest version of Internet Explorer 8, feature by feature? Read to find out.
Google has marched into the browser space with its ‘Chrome’! I was pleasantly surprised to find that almost immediately after the launch, a download link for the Google Chrome appeared on the Google Search web page which is my default opening page in my ‘Internet Explorer version 8’ (IE8) browser.
Hesitatingly, not knowing how it will affect my desktop computer, I downloaded and installed it on my Windows Vista OS. It appeared as a round colorful red, green and yellow icon on my desktop. The icon looked like the eye of a camera with segmented shutter for adjusting the aperture which appeared as a blue dot in the center. The icon was an attractive showy feature which looked completely different than the blue ‘e’ of the Internet Explorer. It looked like an eye to view the world through internet, which is what it is supposed to be. Kudos for Google for scoring the first hit.
I clicked on the Chrome icon. It opened. Automatically it imported my favorite sites into it. I saw some of the links on the toolbar below the address window. There was a folder named ‘Other Bookmarks’ at the end of the tool bar. I clicked on it and a drop-down menu opened showing the rest of the favorites. On closer examination, I found that only the sites from my ‘Links’ folder appeared on the toolbar, not the sites which were outside the ‘Links’ folder in my favorites menu. It took me a few minutes to organize the frequented sites on the toolbar and drag the other sites into the ‘Other Bookmarks’ folder. But this had also happened to me when I upgraded my IE7 to IE8. The showing of the important bookmarks on the horizontal toolbar was a different feature than the vertical side bar of the IE7. But the IE7 too has the upgraded this feature on its IE8 and it now is identical to Chrome.
I expected the Chrome to have the Google toolbar built into it, but it was missing. The Google toolbar has Iconic links to Google Earth, Gmail, and News, and has small search box. I have got used to its presence on the top. I decided to download and install it. The Chrome browser as well as the Google toolbar are both the products of Google and I could have never imagined that there was no Google toolbar available for the Chrome! But this was so. When I clicked on the download button, it opened a site showing requirement of Firefox2 and there was no option for Chrome. I am sure sooner or later Google will make this possible. But as of now, the IE8 scores higher than Chrome with its Google toolbar!
The IE7 had come bundled with my Vista and for a long time I linked it with Vista. I like the feature of opening new tags with the IE7 which was missing with IE6. I still have my older computer with Windows XP which had IE6. I am sure that many users may still not be knowing that they can install the IE7 and now the IE8 on Windows XP and have the benefit of the tags feature without needing Vista for their computer! Coming back to Chrome, the tag feature is right on top of the address bar and not below it as in IE8. I think The Chrome positioning saves a few mm of space which is utilized in making the tools bars marginally wider than the IE7.
The IE8 has a stop-loading button showing as red cross icon at the end of the address bar. I could not find it on Chrome. But it did appear as a black cross just for a fraction of a second while loading the page which disappeared as soon as the page was loaded. The stop-icon ever present in IE8 is redundant after the page has been loaded. Chrome scores! But it loses out on the dropdown pane for recently visited sites, which opens with a click on the small down arrow in IE8. There is no such drop down menu in Chrome, but if you open a new tag in Chrome, thumbnails of recently visited sites appear on the screen. This feature has its own merit but I like the dropdown menu on the address bar of the IE8.
My gmail account opened faultlessly in Chrome and I viewed my inbox. My daughter had sent me a photo as attached jpeg file. I clicked on the download link and to my surprise the usual window for ‘open’, ‘save’ or ‘cancel’ did not appear. Nothing seemed to have happened. But something was moving on the lower left hand corner of the screen. The browser was downloading the file. It was incredibly fast and the 2MB file was done in few seconds! I clicked on the pane as it finished downloading and the image opened in a new window. There was no option to save it! It took me a while to find out that Chrome had opened a new folder ‘Downloads’ in my Documents folder and saved the downloads in it! For quick reference to all the downloads, there is link in the dropdown menu under the spanner icon in the address bar. Chrome automatically saves its downloads whereas IE8 offers options to ‘Open’ or ‘Cancel’ without having to save the download file. I discovered later that Chrome offers a change in the destination of the download folder through Options under the settings (spanner) menu.
The ‘page’ and ‘tools’ links in IE are replaced by iconic images of page and spanner respectively in Chrome. However, the contents are not the same! There are many common features most of them the same as earlier versions of IE. It’s no point on dwelling on them. The new feature in both the browsers is the capability of stealth browsing without leaving a trace. In Chrome, this is called ‘Incognito Window’ found under the page menu of Chrome, and ‘InPrivate Browsing’ under the ‘Safety’ menu of the IE8. This feature is an absolute must for Chrome because its History is far more exhaustive displaying search terms, time and date of browsing each site. It also displays the search tags and terms of the web-page that has been visited! The Incognito feature can save the Chrome user from some very embarrassing moments. The IE8 has no detailed History, just the day and sites; I have to concede that IE8 lags behind Chrome on this count.
I didn’t find the facility of using Chrome Off-line like in IE8. The facility in IE8 of sending the page or link by email is absent on Chrome. The windows related links and facilities like blog with windows live, email with windows mail, translate with windows live, edit with MSO Front Page, and Windows Update link are missing on Chrome.
IE8 offers the facility of using the keyboard to select parts of text or images for copying instead of using the mouse. This is by enabling ‘Carot Browsing’ under the tools menu of the IE8. This feature is not on Chrome. The IE8 offers a “Suggested Sites’ feature. Here the IE8 has stolen a march over Chrome in spite of the fact that Google has unmatched capability to search and pull out sites related to the current website.
The Chrome browser does not have a page zoom feature in the bottom right hand corner like the IE8. This expands the whole page and not only the text. But the key based text zoom with Ctrl ++ / Ctrl +- feature in Chrome is quite as effective as the menu based mouse-click feature of ‘text size’ option in IE8.
In conclusion, both the new browsers IE8 and Chrome are fully capable to browse effectively. Is Chrome is faster? The IE8 is a very fast browser. There is hardly even a second wait for it to load. But Chrome appears to be faster! Chrome has a latent charm and magnetic quality which has attracted me often to click on Chrome icon in preference to IE8 icon on my desktop. I think it’s the hypnotic magic of Google. But on the number of features, I find that the IE8 definitely scores on Chrome.
I searched the Dictionary of Computing for the word ‘Chrome’ and this is what I found:
n. [from automotive slang via wargaming] Showy features added to attract users but contributing little or nothing to the power of a system. "The 3D icons in Motif are just chrome, but they certainly are _pretty_ chrome!" Distinguished from bells and whistles by the fact that the latter are usually added to gratify developers' own desires for featurefulness. Often used as a term of contempt.
Does it describe the Chrome browser? It’s upto you to decide!
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