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The best part of Google's browser pitch

Google Chrome
From the Google Chrome announcement

Well, I'm sold.

With all due respect to the Firefox crew, I've been hoping and waiting for more attention to be given to the problem of slowdowns after long periods of use. And even with Version 3 of Firefox now in fairly wide use, I've yet to see dramatic improvement.

Frankly, the sheer fact that I've yet to see a mainstream browser release -- from any of the major players -- adequately address this issue had me convinced that I was in the minority in experiencing problems.

Still, this is an important issue for me, and I don't think I'm alone. I tend to keep a single browser open for as long as I can, until the memory issue forces me to close it down, that is. I can't imagine I'm the only one who uses the Web so often that routinely shutting down and restarting their browser seems superfluous. Why shouldn't we be able to keep it open for hours at a time, if not all day? Clearly, at least a few others out there feel the same: complaints about memory problems have persisted online for years. And still, I've yet to see major improvements in this behavior.

Maybe I'm just expecting too much from my Web browser, even if it's the single most important piece of software I use daily. I hope not. And Google seems to agree -- a browser can be fast, efficient and not suffer from memory hogging at the same time. (Others, like Opera and WebKit-based Apple Safari, have made the first two characteristics a cornerstone of their own marketing, I should note.)

So, at the very least, Google's saying some of the right things. The real test will be seeing how it follows up on the rhetoric -- and, naturally, how any of Chrome's success impacts Firefox's user base (who represent the most likely candidates for switching, I imagine) as well as those of IE, Opera, Safari, et al.

Why are Firefox users among the most likely to switch to Google Chrome? They've already signaled a willingness to ditch Internet Explorer (or Safari, if they're Mac users) for another option but evidently aren't willing to stray too far from the mainstream for, say, an Opera.

Sean Michael Kerner has more to say about the Google Chrome release, including what Mozilla thought about it. Microsoft has a reaction of its own.

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