Google Chrome, or 'Great, yet another browser to support'

Google's beta browser looks fine, though plug-in support is limited. But what's the deal on Google owning anything you submit through it?

After all of ten minutes using Chrome, Google's brand-new browser, I can safely say that yes, it is a Web browser. Surprisingly, most of the sites that I've visited (including those that I've written) seem to work as advertised, obviously with the lack of plug-in support. Flash works, but Shockwave and Java don't, among others.

It's simple, it's sleek, and it doesn't have much distraction from the main window. It certainly seems fast, pages render quickly and appropriately, even those that bend space and time with CSS like render like they should.

All in all, not too shabby for a beta browser.

[ Check out InfoWorld's Special Report for all the news, reviews, and commentary on Google's open source Chrome browser. ]

I dig the Incognito mode, although it might be over the heads of normal users who think they can't be tracked, since it may prevent sites you visit from appearing in the browser history, but the hits generated certainly will appear in the server logs on the other side. I also really like the Task Manager that shows you exactly what system resources the browser, tab, and plug-in are consuming -- that's really handy. The combined search/URL field is okay I guess, but didn't really have much of an impact on me either way.

The bookmark creating feature is nice though. It takes a snap of the page apparently built from the meta tags on the site, and creates a bookmark for the page on the desktop, start menu, or quick-launch bar. Google's pushing Chrome by claiming that most Web sites are really applications, and this is one small way to illustrate that thinking.

I don't think I'll be switching from FireFox to Chrome for my main browser, especially since there's no Mac version yet, but it certainly looks promising.

Now, the only real question is exactly how much of your browsing habits are being sent back to Google ...

UPDATE: Well, it's not just browsing habits. Google apparently owns everything you create using Chrome.