7 Reasons Why Google Chrome, the New Google Browser is a Bad Idea

star-wars *

Do you remember the browser wars? No, not Star Wars, the browser wars. In the prehistoric era of the Web we had Netscape Navigators which guided us through the World Wide Wait. Netscape 2, 3 and 4 were the dominant browsers back then. Then Microsoft made the situation more difficult by gaining market share.

Believe it or not but at a certain point the Internet Explorer was the best browser to use. Netscape failed to fulfil both Internet users’ and web developers’ needs.

Thus Netscape 6 (there never was a 5) was built from scratch. Firefox is what came out of it in the end, so it was a happy ending, unless it was no ending at all! Now Google wants to go to war again with a proprietary browser!

Google Chrome is a bad idea for many reasons, at least 7:

  1. Proprietary: In case you think the Microsoft monopoly sucks don’t you think that a Google monopoly does suck as well? It might be partly open source, but Google Chrome won’t be another Firefox, you can bet. Google is the Microsoft of the Web. It won’t be friendly forever. Just ask the Chinese.
  2. Privacy: Google knows what you search (Google search), what messages you read (Gmail), what people visit a site (Google Analytics), what sites you visit (Google toolbar, lifetime Google cookies, DoubleClick tracking cookies) etc. but there still are some unknowns, from time to time. With a Google browser you can’t hide anything anymore.
  3. Ads: Firefox, Opera and even Internet Explorer come with either built in or easily added Google ad blockers. A Google browser is basically a Google Ads feeding machine.
  4. Web Development: Web developers have a difficult enough job to fix websites for the 4 most used existing browsers now IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera. Do you think a Google browser and IE will make it easier? Currently building websites often takes up less time already than tweaking them for different browsers.
  5. Web Standards: Do you really expect Google and Microsoft to implement the same Web Standards? No way, they attempt to push their own ways of interpreting them, both will differ. We’ll end up with web apps or even websites working just on one of them.
  6. Firefox: The guy who built Firefox now works with Google or for both FF and Google. Do you really think this will go forever and Google will support it’s own free and non-profit open source competition?
  7. Search: No other search engine will be able to succeed in future. Google will just like Microsoft bundle the browser with the search engine so that any new search engine that comes up in future will face an insurmountable disadvantage: It won’t be able to gain market share without owning a browser.

What do you think? Are you eager to fight in the browser wars, do you need more sequels? Do you really think Microsoft is the dark side and Google is not? In case you’re with the rebel forces use Firefox instead.

This new initiative raises a lot of questions, we won’t like some of the replies. Personally I do not trust Google, like any other corporation, to own me. Let’s hope the best and prepare for the worst by using Google-free open source software.

* Creative Commons image by Pascal.