Google Chrome is kinda awesome...

If you've been living under a rock for the past week - or maybe just been on holiday - you might not've heard about Google's new web browser called Google Chrome.  Chrome is a direct competitior to other browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.

The first I heard about Google Chrome was on Techcrunch the day before it was revealed, and then one of the guys at work downloaded it the next day. News sources all over the place were raving about it - which just shows you the what a link on the homepage of Google can do.

As for Chrome itself, there's a few things I really like about it - like no total-browser crashes, better performance, its own task manager and the fact that it uses the Webkit rendering engine - which is the same as the one used by the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR).  Oh, and the fact that I don't have to endure repeated crashes all day long - like I do with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

The design something a little different, with a few new takes on old ideas, like tabs and the browser status bar.  But what's really quite interesting is the underlying architecture and the way that they've implimented the javascript - something called jittered JavaScript or JavaVM.  Whatever the hell that is, it apparently means its really fast (read an article about it on cNet) - and hopefully it also means that old annoyances like javascript locking up the browser will be less of an issue!

Can Chrome replace browser x?

Not right now - I don't think.  It's certainly fast and pretty, but for me there's a good deal of things it can't do that other browsers can do.  Like RSS feeds, or the development plugins that I use at work.  These things might be 3rd party extensions to my other browser, but at least they're there. As soon as I can however, I can see myself switching default browsers.

Of course, Chrome is still in Beta so it'll be exciting to see it when it goes Gold...