I remember when Googles Chrome Browser was announced, after an online comic appeared.
At the time, Chrome was a Windows only Webkit browser, the big innovation being having each browser tab run in its own CPU process, so that if one crashes, it doesn’t take down the entire browser. Its a model that has since been copied by other web browsers, and in part responsible for fans going at full tilt on laptops everywhere.
The 1st September marked 10 years since Chromes first released, where it has gone on to be the most popular and dominant web browser around. Its actually quite surprising given how entrenched Internet Explorer was, that people would actively download it, though it was also the only web browser I seem to remember having a mass ad campaign, even posters on the tube at one point.
I remember downloading a version through an emulator / runtime (Crossover Chrome) which allowed it to run on Macs before the official release. Later there where the Chromium builds, which are the official releases of the open source part of the browser, but without many, though not all, the Google extras.
There are concerns though that with Chrome almost corning the market, that Chrome may be becoming the new IE6. That there is an increase in web applications that are designed Chrome first, even Chrome only, or even a general assumption that if it works in Chrome then its ok. This undermines the spirit of the web somewhat, in that no matter what browser or device a person is using they should still be able to browse and read your site. Instead, in some cases its likely to see a nagging banner to change browser, and in some cases a door slam saying only works in Chrome. Perhaps we will go back to the late nineties with site badges that say works in IE or Netscape again.
Chrome (well Chromium in my case) is still the browser I do my own development in, given that I am used to the dev tools that are built in are actually very useful, although they originated in Apple Safari, a browser I do my main browsing with both on mobile and laptop.
Of late, Google have been more concentrating on Android as there platform, with talk at one point of the Chromebooks becoming Android devices. I kind of get this, with mobile becoming the more important platform, there is a desire to control the full stack. That desire can be the danger, and allowing too much control in one company may not do well for the vitality of the web as a sustainable platform, where new ideas and implementations have been a driving force.
The web is however better with Chrome. It has given a lot more people a much more better and stable browser to use, and web developers a better set of web technologies to target and make use of, even making other browsers up their game. The web and tech in general has changed a lot in the last 10 years, heres to the next 10 years.