What Is Google Chrome?

Home & Family, Technology
on March 14, 2012

Google Chrome is an Internet browser that can be used on computers running either a Windows or Apple operating system. Like all other browsers, Chrome allows users to complete a host of activities online and is like a portal that provides users with the capability to search for information, chat with friends, go shopping, complete banking transactions and more.

Brief history. Google Chrome was first launched in September 2008, when it was made available to Microsoft Windows users in a format intended to encourage testing and feedback for the company (a so-called beta phase). It was launched fully in December 2008, and since then has been rolled out to include versions suitable for Apple operating systems. In February 2012, Google Chrome was launched (again in a beta phase) to users with mobile phones supporting the Android operating system.

Number of users. According to the technology website Mashable, in October 2011, there were 200 million Google Chrome users around the world. That number continues to increase steadily. In December 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google Chrome's market share had increased to see the browser become the second most-used in the world. Chrome's market share at the time was reported to be 25.69 percent, overtaking Firefox at 25.23 percent. Internet Explorer continues to be the most popular browser globally, at 40.63 percent.

Performance. Chrome is widely recognized for a number of performance features that set it aside from other Internet browsers. Chrome is designed to be as fast as possible and uses the V8 JavaScript software, which speeds up the process of loading a web page. Chrome is also unlike other web browsers in that the address bar (where users enter www web addresses) also acts as a search engine. In Google Chrome, this bar is called the Omnibox, and it is intended to make searching quicker and easier.

Other features. Google Chrome is also the first Internet browser to incorporate the capability to translate web pages into other languages within the browser, without having to download and use additional tools (or add-ons). New tabs can be opened within the browser, which allow users to view different web pages separately, without having to go back and forward. If one of these tabs crashes or freezes, the others are unaffected. Google Chrome is also, therefore, popular for its reliability and stability.