Chrome Might Get You Home

On Tuesday, I gave a sneak preview of Google's browser called Chrome. Soon after I wrote the item, the download became ready. Matt Morollo, our VP of publishing here at Redmond magazine, wrote to me raving about Chrome and how fast it was. I also heard from a Redmond Report reader or two who were similarly impressed.

I downloaded Chrome on a spare computer -- the one my daughter Lauren gave me when she made her now famous and controversial switch to the Mac -- and gave it a whirl.

Like the Google home page itself, the interface is sparse. It did a fine job of importing my Firefox bookmarks (which are synced on my machines through Foxmarks), so I was ready to browse. It did seem pretty snappy, and the tabs were easy to figure out (it uses the same Ctrl-T shortcut as Firefox).

But I didn't see a lot of features -- they seemed as sparse as the interface. I'm sure they're there, or will be, or maybe I just need to spend more than five minutes looking for them. The good news for Microsoft fans (and shareholders): It only runs on Windows!

Have you tried Chrome? What do you like or dislike and what does it mean for the future of IE? Your expert analysis is welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com. Or if you want your comments to be considered for a review in our print magazine, fill out the comment form here.

Browser Market Getting Fun
Regular Redmond Report readers know there's nothing I like better than good, old-fashioned competition, and now the browser market is showing signs of becoming a real battleground.

Even before Google made its Chrome play, the competition was already heated. Recently, management consultancy Janco Associates claimed that IE had only a 58 percent market share. Oddly, it gave Google Desktop a 4 percent share, even though that isn't even a browser.

Janco believes the downward IE trend could continue, dropping to less than half by year's end. Hmm...and how much share will Google's non-browser have by then, I wonder.

TNT Software Blasts Out Upgrade
TNT Software, a veteran in the event log management and server monitoring space, just upgraded its flagship product -- with an eye toward Vista and Windows Server 2008.

The company actually changed its plans midstream, according to VP of Sales and Marketing Brent Skadsen.

"Our plan was to rush out an interim build of ELM to support the adoption of Windows Server 2008 and Vista. Originally, the scope was to efficiently monitor systems running these new operating systems," he said. "Then, it expanded to run on the platform. As the project developed, it became clear, supporting Windows Server 2008 required monitoring 64-bit systems and adding a mechanism to manage the higher event log frequency. In addition to boosting the performance and scalability, filtering features were designed to reduce the event noise."

What do you use to monitor servers, and would you recommend that tool to others? Experiences welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Mailbag: More Thoughts on Vista, Mac and IE
It wouldn't be a Mailbag section without some reader letters about Vista. Brian starts us off by explaining why his company won't be adopting the OS any time soon:

For my corporation, I feel it's an unnecessary migration to go from XP to Vista. The migration plus the learning curve for users is not necessary since there is little that is tangible lost for us by staying on XP, a now stable and well-known platform with huge user acceptance. It's a big decision for a company to commit the resources to migrate. In this vein, management must see a business-need incentive to approve the leap.
-Brian

Meanwhile, another reader doesn't think sticking with XP is a good idea:

To quote your bit on Mojave: "If these [compatibility, performance and stability] issues can be solved, Vista will be OK. If not, XP will suffice."

No, XP will not suffice. You writing that is a disappointment, and if I have to tell you why, then you don't get it.
-Anonymous

And Walter steps up in Vista's defense...and wonders about the ribbing we've been giving it:

My problems with Vista have been far fewer and less drastic/dramatic than with any other Microsoft OS. In fact, of all the permutations of Microsoft OSes, Vista has more than lived up to its expectations. I've read your newsletter faithfully for a couple of years and nary an issue passed without you or some member of Redmond mag's staff really giving Vista the business. In fact, you tout Macs and their OSes as the thing to buy.

As with everything, people like what they like. I'm very, very satisfied with Vista. Very. A friend of mine wrote you fairly much the same thing and your condescending reply was more than I could take. If you want to continue to rag on Vista, I suppose you're going to no matter what. But at least keep in mind that there are plenty of folk out here that like Vista. Everybody has a right to an opinion...and that includes those who like Vista.
-Walter

While some of you questioned Doug's daughter's move to Mac, one reader seems all for it:

Don't cave in to the anti-Mac whiners. After supporting Windows for 15-plus years, I won't touch it unless I'm getting paid to. Mac and Linux systems comprise my home network. MS can stick its garbage where the sun don't shine.
-Anonymous

And John's left scratching his head after one reader's comments about Internet Explorer's market share:

I just had to comment on this quote from a reader: "In my opinion, IE's share of the browser market is a direct result of its bundling with Windows. If users had to download it separately, Firefox (or perhaps some other player by now) would have the commanding lead in browser market share and IE would be an also-ran at best."

How could a user download a new Web browser if a Web browser were not bundled with Windows in the first place? Would you have to go out to the local Best Buy and buy a copy? This never made any sense to me. If a computer did not come with a Web browser pre-installed, just think how much less useful it would be.
-John

Join the fray! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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