Chrome Market Share Fading as Novelty Wears Off

Gregg Keizer at Computerworld writes:

Chrome’s share of the browser market is fading as users who abandoned Internet Explorer and Firefox start to return, an Internet measurement company said today.

At the end of its third week of availability, Google Inc.’s Chrome accounted for 0.77% of the browsers that visited the 40,000 sites tracked by Net Applications, down from a 0.85% share the week before.

“The trend line on Chrome still has a slight downward angle, and these weekly numbers reflect that,” said Vince Vizzaccaro, Net Applications’ executive vice president of marketing. Although Chrome popped above 1% within hours of its release, the new browser now reaches that mark only in the middle of the night, U.S. time, Vizzaccaro added.

continue reading at computer world

Did Google reverse-engineer Windows?

Peter Bright writes:

Since its release a few weeks ago, curious developers have been sniffing through the source code for Google’s new Chrome web browser. Chrome’s source is interesting for a variety of reasons: there’s the new V8 JavaScript virtual machine with its boasts of near-native code performance, the WebKit rendering engine that does all the hard work of understanding and displaying web pages, and (last but not least), Chrome’s secure sandbox designed to minimize the impact of any security flaws that might exist in both the browser and plugins alike. It is this secure sandbox that has piqued the curiosity of some observers, and for a reason that many may find surprising. From reading the source, it looks as though Google has reverse-engineered Windows, and that’s explicitly prohibited by the Windows EULA.

But before looking at the question of disassembly, it’s worth taking a look at how Chrome is put together and at why its security architecture is interesting.

Continue reading at ars technica

Will Chrome Kill Operating Systems?

Charlie White at DVICE writes:

Someday soon, you may not even notice which operating system your computer is using. That broadband-connected machine may not have an operating system on board at all, at least not like Windows and Mac OS X are today. That’s because there’s a new kid on the block, but he’s not even on your block at all, but storing your data and running applications based somewhere else, out there, on the Internet — or as it’s more commonly referred to, “in the cloud.”

Continue reading | photo by jmarty

Chrome Attracts Nearly Two Million U.S. Visitors During First Week

New York, NY – Sept. 17, 2008- Nielsen Online, a service of the Nielsen Company, today reported that between Sept. 1 and Sept. 7, 2008, more than 1.9 million unique visitors in the U.S., 73 percent of them male, visited the “Thank You” page associated with Google Chrome, Google’s new Web browser. Nearly 1.4 percent of all U.S. users who went online during the week from home or work visited the page, which typically indicates a download. In addition, consumers immediately – and in great numbers – took to the blogosphere to discuss the new offering,

Men dominated traffic to the Chrome “Thank You” page, with males 35-49 accounting for 39 percent of overall traffic. Female visitors were more likely to be in the 18-34 age group.
(See “Table 1: Audience Highlights for Google Chrome “Thank You” Page URL, Sept. 1 – Sept. 7 (U.S. Home and Work)” in Full PDF Download version of release).

Online Buzz
Buzz about Chrome spiked on Sept. 2nd, the first day of availability, and peaked the following day, with 0.92 percent of online consumer discussion, outpacing buzz about competitor browsers: Firefox (0.4 percent), Internet Explorer (0.2 percent), Safari (0.09 percent) and Opera (0.07 percent).

“The interest in all things ‘Google’ was apparent in the online discussion surrounding the somewhat unexpected Chrome launch,” said Jon Stewart, research director, technology and search, Nielsen Online. “The browser was mentioned in nearly one percent of all online discussions the day after its launch – a respectable slightly-more-than-half of what the highly anticipated iPhone 3G generated when it launched earlier this summer.” (See “Chart 1: Browser Discussion Shown as a Percent of all Message Posts on Blogs, Boards, Forums and Usenet Newsgroups, Aug. 15 – Sept. 12” in Full PDF Download version of release).

Nielsen

Google Chrome Update 1.1 Released

CNET:

Through a new developer program, Google is letting people try the latest versions of its Chrome Web browser, and the first update is available.

Those who want the newest Chrome versions can install the Google Chrome Channel Chooser software from Google’s Chrome Dev Channel site. The switcher lets people choose whether they want the latest cutting-edge Chrome builds or the less frequent but more stable beta versions.

“Google Chrome now provides a way for people to get early-access releases automatically: the Dev channel,” said Chrome Program Manager Mark Larson in a Chrome mailing list posting late Monday night. “The Dev channel lets you test the latest fixes and get access to new features as they’re being developed. We will release new builds to the Dev channel about every week so that you can preview–and provide feedback on–what’s coming in Google Chrome.”

CNET

Google patches critical Chrome code flaw

The first security patch for Google’s new Chrome browser is out, fixing at least two “critical” vulnerabilities that put Windows users at risk of code execution attacks.

Google Chrome version 0.2.149.29 was released on 5 September 2008, and
all users are being automatically updated. Automatic updates are a key
security feature in helping to ensure the safety of Google Chrome
users.

This is a security and bug fix update, with no new functionality.

Security Updates:

– Fix a buffer overflow vulnerability in handling long filenames
that display in the Save As… dialog. This is a critical risk that could
lead to execution of arbitrary code.
– Issue: http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=1414
– Fix: http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome?view=rev&revision=1766

– Fix a buffer overflow vulnerability in handling link targets
displayed in the status area when the user hovers over a link. This is a
critical risk that could lead to execution of arbitrary code.
– Issue: reported internally to Google
– Fix: http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome?view=rev&revision=1797

– Fix an out-of-bounds memory read when parsing URLs ending with :%.
This is a low risk that can be used to crash the entire browser, possibly
causing loss of data in the current session.
– Issue: http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=122
– Fix: http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome?view=rev&revision=1760

– Change the default Downloads directory if it is set to Desktop,
and ensure that Desktop cannot be the default. This mitigates the risk of
malicious cluttering of the desktop with unwanted downloads, which can
lead to executing unwanted files.
– Fix: http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome?view=rev&revision=1793

Other changes:

– Fix a couple of data transfer issues with the Safe Browsing service causing
unnecessary traffic.
– Fix: http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome?view=rev&revision=1762

– Fix a JavaScript bug that affected facebook.com. The fix properly
handles negative indicies when using for…in.
– Issue: http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=131
– Fix: http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome?view=rev&revision=1763

– Fix search suggestions not working properly for http://search.daum.net/,
http://search.empas.com/, http://meta.ua/, http://search.naver.com/, and
http://search.yahoo.com/ on several non-United States sites.
– Fix: http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome?view=rev&revision=1759

ZDNET

Google Wants you to try Gmail in Chrome

From the Google Blog:

Yesterday, we launched Google Chrome, a new approach to the web browser that comes with a few features that can give you a better Gmail experience:

  • A browser built for speed: Google Chrome features a new JavaScript engine, V8, that has been designed for performance from the ground up, so web applications like Gmail that use the browser to its fullest run lightning fast.
  • More room for your stuff, less browser window: We’ve removed all the unnecessary clutter from the browser window to give you more room for your favorite applications and websites. If you use an application shortcut (below), you can launch Gmail in its own streamlined window that gives you as much working room as possible, without the URL box or browser toolbar.
  • Application shortcuts: You can create an application shortcut to access Gmail straight from your desktop. Simply go to Gmail while you’re using Google Chrome, click the page menu and select ‘create application shortcuts.’ When you double-click a shortcut icon, it opens in a streamlined window.
  • Crash control: Every tab you use is run independently in Google Chrome, so if one tab crashes, it won’t take the tab with your inbox down with it.
  • Ready to try it out? Download Google Chrome and let us know what you think. (Chrome is currently available for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or later and Windows Vista. Mac and Linux versions are being developed, so stay tuned.)

Google Blog