Chrome and the Nation of Google

by Mike Shea on 14 September 2008

Another browser? Do we really need another browser? I think all of us asked this question, including those within Google, so they developed this online comic book on Chrome to explain exactly why. Of course, they start in with the techno mumbo jumbo. After using it, however, it is clear what Chrome's strength is:

Chrome is built around how we use the web.

All of us have a workflow for web browsing. Often that workflow is different. One of the common features I use in Firefox is the "Google I'm Feeling Lucky" effect of the address bar. Type any two words in the address bar separated by a space and Firefox will do an "I'm Feeling Lucky" search for those terms and directly send you to the most likely site associated with those two words.

Google does something similar but even more wonderful. Type in the name of a site like Amazon and then hit tab. Now you can enter a search query without actually going to Amazon yet. Amazon TAB Forgotten Realms Players Guide goes directly to the product page. That's a browser built around how we use the web.

It's unfortunate that there isn't an OSX client yet for Chrome, but as soon as there is, I am very likely to switch to it and stick to it. I want a browser built around my flow. I want to get the interface out of the way and find a purer connection between the data on the internets and my brain. God help me when I find it, I still don't exactly know what that stream of data is actually DOING to my brain, but the information addiction is still there and Chrome helps me get my fix.

Chrome is an excellent browser, and why shouldn't it be? Google has the best programmers on the world.

And what sort of world will that soon become?

The science fiction part of me loves to ponder Google's huge success. I wrote a short story about Google taking over the world called "Citizen Fred's Book". I also remember the Matrix anime short film, Second Renaissance 1 & 2. If you want to see one possible future for Google, consider that short film with Google taking over the robotic AI nation of 01.

We're at a dangerous point in the world where the majority of information funnels through a single corporation. I'd be more concerned about it if they weren't so goddamn good at it. I use google many times a day. I count on it for email, search, and soon web browsing. I use it to see where I am and look back over my own data. I can't even imagine what someone could put together about me based on all the data that one company holds. And should that data fall into the wrong hands? Who knows what would happen to us.

In the mean time, ignorance is bliss. I'm going to switch to Chrome.