Google Chrome, an Internet browser designed by Google, Inc., is one of the newer additions in the competitive Internet browsing market. For years, the Internet browser genre of software was dominated by Microsoft with its flagship Internet Explorer. However, since 2000, more Internet browsers have been appearing on the market for free, challenging Microsoft's dominance.
Google Chrome takes a minimalist approach when browsing the Internet. The browser is very simplistic in its appearance, but that is by design. According to the Web site for the browser, "Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go."
However, Chrome is among the first to offer a number of different features. For example, though tabbed browsing has been added to nearly all browsers, Chrome takes it a step further. Instead of just opening up a blank page, the browser opens a page with thumbnail shots of the user's most visited sites. This allows for the user to quickly navigate to their desired pages.
While the design of Chrome may be somewhat simplistic, the company believes the overall product is on the cutting edge of technology. For example, if a Web site causes a conflict within a browser, often the browser would freeze up and the entire browsing session would need restarted. Google Chrome allows for only that one tab to be frozen, while the other tabs continue to function normally.
In designing Chrome, the designers borrowed from other open source software for a number of ideas. Particularly, they credit Apple's WebKit and Mozilla's Firefox. One of those features is seen in the URL bar, which serves both the traditional function and as a search bar. Firefox has an intuitive search bar where users would not have to type, for example, "www.google.com," they could simply type "google" and the proper Web page would appear.
To compete with Internet Explorer, Web browsers must continually offer a list of new features that stand the browser apart. Google Chrome and others often tout speed and responsiveness as a big issue, taking a direct aim at one of the biggest points of criticism for Internet Explorer. Stability is another key that some competing browsers often mention.
Also, as with most browsers truly interested in competing for market share with Internet Explorer, the software is free to download and use. This is nearly a must with any Internet browser simply because Internet Explorer is always included with a Windows operating system. Therefore, there is very little incentive for users to buy a different product. In many cases, standalone products have enough of a sell simply getting users to download the free product.