Google Chrome Browser First Impressions

Today, Google has launched their own browser called Chrome.  There’s no doubt Google is trying to control all things on the web and this is yet another step towards that goal.  Their search engine is dominant and they’ve been trying to push online applications such as Google Docs.  By creating their own browser, they can more tightly integrate their web applications with the browser.  


The first thing I noticed when trying out Google Chrome was the speed.  It felt very fast to me so I ran some simple speed tests trying to render using the latest Firefox and Safari.  Firefox and Safari were very similar taking slightly less than 5 seconds.  Chrome did the same site in less than 3 seconds.  There’s no doubt it is a fast browser.  Google claims it has the fastest javascript engine which may be the reason it loads faster than the other browsers.


Chrome tries to simplify their browser.  The end result is the default has no visible bookmarks, menus, or even a button to add bookmarks.  Type something in the address bar like “firef” and it will list the Firefox site that you can arrow down and select.  It does this even if you’ve never been there before so the browser has some intelligence about where you might be trying to go.  It is as if Google is saying bookmarks aren’t necessary.  Another feature saying you don’t need bookmarks is the most visited page which is the default page shown when you load.  It displays the 9 pages you visit most with thumbnails of each displayed so you’re one simple click away from your most favorite sites.  You can add a bookmarks toolbar but there is no menu of any kind.

Mac? Linux?

I expected Chrome to be lame and pointless since there are already several good browsers out there.  But its speed has impressed me and makes me want to see more.  Unfortunately, they have not released Chrome on Mac or Linux yet.  I’m sure they eventually will but it could be a while.


Google recently extended their deal with Mozilla, makers of Firefox, until 2011.  Google pays Firefox to have be the default search.  But what will happen then when Google no longer needs Firefox to point to their search?

Mosso Cloud Computing

Mosso is a very ambitious web hosting solution designed to be infinitely scalable. It accomplishes this by clustering together as many servers as they need to handle their load.  For just $100/month, you get 50GB of storage and 500GB of bandwidth for as many sites as you want.  You can use some of the most popular web development technologies such as PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, .NET, ASP, MySQL, and MS SQL 2005.  Because this is a clustered environment, you lose a few of the pleasantries that a dedicated server gives you such as shell access and root access to the server allowing you to run any processes.  On the other hand, you gain scalability and you don’t have to worry about managing your server.  If Mosso goes down, everyone notices so they address it as soon as possible.  The biggest problem is that it does seem to go down.

Mosso appears to be targeting less mission critical websites such as blogs that can afford to have a little downtime every now and then.  It is slower as far as web pages loading than using a dedicated server but on the other hand, if you grow in visitors, the speed will be the same whereas on a dedicated server, with increased visitors, your server may become overwhelmed.  For non-essential websites, Mosso appears to be a very nice hosting choice.

The most impressive aspect of Mosso is all the technologies they try to support.  Google has a very similar service called Google App Engine.  It only supports python though so it is very limited.  It can’t even support SSL certificates like Mosso can.  Amazon also has a cloud solution called EC2 but it is really only for tech experts.  It does not scale automatically by default like Mosso.  Instead, you have to turn on more servers as you need them.  You can program your Amazon servers to do this themselves but that’s part of why this is expert only.

It looks like we’re headed towards more scalable hosting solutions for the future.  Managing your own dedicated server is both difficult and time consuming. Mosso needs to work on their reliability and uptime but I think they are a company to watch since they seem further ahead than others when it comes to cloud computing.