Associated Press reviews Google’s Chrome: Needs more polish; no way to disable Adobe’s hoggish Flash

“Google Inc.’s new Web browser, called Chrome, does much of what a browser needs to do these days: It presents a sleek appearance, groups pages into easy-to-manage “tabs” and offers several ways for people to control their Internet privacy settings,” Peter Svensson reports for The Associated Press.

“Yet my initial tests reveal that this ‘beta,’ or preliminary release, falls short of Google’s goals,” Svensson reports.

“At work, I often have 40 or 50 tabs open in Firefox, grouped in different windows depending on which topic they pertain to. Frequently, Firefox would slow down all the other applications on my computer, then seize up completely,” Svensson reports.

“At first I thought JavaScript was to blame, and blocked it from running. But that made many sites unusable, and it didn’t help: The browser still froze,” Svensson reports. “It turns out the culprit is not JavaScript but another technology used to make Web pages more interactive: Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash plug-in.”

“Flash is a tremendous resource hog in Firefox, eating up processor time to the point where there is nothing left for other programs. It does this even if you’re not actively doing anything. Merely having a YouTube page open on your screen will suck power from your computer’s central processing unit, or CPU. This is outrageous behavior for a browser. It’s my CPU and I want it back,” Svensson reports.

“Luckily, there’s a small add-on program for Firefox that lets the user prevent Flash files from running automatically when a page loads, and it turns Firefox into a stable, efficient browser,” Svensson reports. “What does this mean on Chrome? Well, it has the same problem. It lets sites running Flash take over your computer’s resources. It doesn’t hog the CPU quite as bad as with Firefox, but in a way, it’s more serious, because unlike with Firefox, there’s no way to stop Flash from running.”

Full article, in which Svensson inexplicably fails to compare Chrome to the Internet’s #3 and growing dual-platform Web browser, Apple’s Safari (which goes completely unmentioned) here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “The DataDude” for the heads up.]

20 Comments

  1. Of course Chrome will be faster now, since it already includes the JavaScript multi-processing that Apple has yet to include in Safari.

    Apple and Google want to remove the web’s dependency on more and more plug-ins by moving to a compile-on-the-fly application model. What’s more, once Apple includes it inside MacOS X, it will be available not only to browsers like Safari, but all web function calls for developers.

    And for MS to include this functionality it will require a huge turnaround, throwing out their existing engine. We wont have to rely on the latest plug-ins to get the latest functionality – as soon as the developer puts it on the web, we get it on Safari, Crime, Mac/Win/Linux and iPhone/iTouch with no extra work for the web developers since it is all open source.

    Some people have been asking Apple to invent the next ‘PC’, but the thin computer with the powerful cloud application with cloud/local-based data is dawning. Maybe an 10″ MBA with an EVDO card and small SSD drive will provide all we want in a far more useful package than an Asus PC? Given Apple’s desperation to move to MobileMe, it seems the conversion of the dotMac utilities will not be the last.

  2. Chrome feels fast. Probably because each tab is an individual process, like individual IE windows. You can count them in the Windows Task Manager. I know even while the PC should be idle it’s cranking (loudly) with Google background processes (indexing and what not). Has anyone tried to open dozens or more tabs? What does that do to your PC?

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