Google Chrome 1.0 is no enterprise browser

Enterprise users take note: the Google Chrome browser is now in “release” mode at version 1.0. In theory, this would make it more stable for mass deployment, but a few obvious omissions make it a questionable choice as a default desktop browser. Released on September 2, the product has had a remarkably short beta testing period of just over three months. Of course, it’s widely known that Google used the browser internally long before releasing it to the public. TechCrunch reported that the 1.0 designation will help Google secure deals with companies like Dell to include the browser by default, since it is now out of beta. The Official Google Blog just claims the release now meets their standards for reliability. One of the critical problems for enterprise users who have standardized on Mozilla Firefox (or at least allow people to use it) is that Chrome is only available for Windows. It’s hard to do a mass deployment of anything when it leaves out all of your Mac and Linux users. Another issue is that the browser has no extension engine, which means there are few – if any – options available for IT managers who want to add support for a custom Web app, install a widget that monitors usage, or perform other tasks outside the bounds of the typical. One of the reasons so many users prefer Firefox these days is not because it is reliable or fast, but it is so extensible. There are also lingering questions about reliability. I’m still having a few problems with a select all bug where the browser sometimes selects all the text if you click in the wrong place. If you keep tying after a select all, you can replace the text and lose any way to undo the deletion. However, there is a bright spot. In a large compute environment, it’s always preferable to find the best product and do your deployment. No one likes to deploy Internet Explorer, since we know it’s slow and has compatibility problems. Chrome is by far the fastest browser around. Given the choice, many IT managers would like to give users the best option. Here’s hoping Google works hard on the extensions engine and starts to define “mass deployment” as including Linux and Mac. Until then, my advice is to steer clear.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022