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Happy 8th Birthday, Google Chrome!

small cake, big browser

small cake, big browser

Eight years ago today, on September 2, 2008, Google Chrome was officially¹ introduced to the world.

The aim was simple: improve the web browsing experience and ‘help drive innovation on the web’ forward.

Eight years on and I reckon that it’s more than lived up to its mission statement.

Google Chrome is now the world’s most popular web browser, with a smidgen under 54% of the desktop browser market¹ — almost double the marketshare of its nearest rival, Internet Explorer on 28%.

‘Chrome is much more than ‘just’ another web browser.’

On mobile the browser has a similar market share.

On an occasion like this it’s important to remember that Chrome is much more than ‘just’ another web browser.

Through Chromium, the open-source framework underpinning the browser, Google has used Chrome to incubate and promote new and emerging web technologies, web features and web standards.

Today the browser is doubling down on efforts to go back to basics and to move the burden of many of the web technologies it’s championed out of its codebase and onto the wider web.

Google Chrome 8 years ago:

first version of google chrome on windows

Google Chrome 8 years on:

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 10.59.59

¹Although news of Google Chrome leaked on September 1, 2008.
Google made its announcement, and released a version for testing, on September 2, 2008.
  • Oh my. That looks old!

  • “The aim was simple: improve the web browsing experience and ‘help drive innovation on the web’ forward. ” & eat RAM for lunch!

    • BUT BUT

      they DESERVE that RAM for succeeding in their goal! :] (I think Chrome might have influenced my choice in getting 16g of RAM instead of 8g this year.)

    • Sebastiaan Franken

      A *proper* OS will allocate all your “free” RAM for other things, like swap files, caching and stuff like that. RAM that’s not being used is RAM wasted.

  • Would it not be more fair to show the before/after on either both windows or both mac?

    • It would, but I couldn’t find a “before” running on anything other than Windows.

  • us_v_them

    I prefer the old logo so much more, they should bring it back…

    • it would look awful compared to everything else.

  • Travis Coble

    Now where are the Birthday Goodies, Google?!? ?

  • Moses Shezu Johnson

    =)

  • Chrome has come quite a long way.

    • Not long enough, i.e. speed, memory usage. But, what are you going to do?

      • There’s always gonna be some trade off with browsers this complex.

      • Sebastiaan Franken

        RAM not used is RAM wasted. Chrome (along with a proper OS) allocates the RAM before hand, and returns it to the OS when/if needed….

  • Ryan Johnson

    Chrome was so simple and light back then; I kind of wish it preserved that feature a little more nowadays

    • I’m not sure if that’s possible though, mate. Chrome needs to retain good extension support, its fantastic web standards, fantastic web dev tools and probably other stuff that’s over my head right now.

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  • Just_Joe

    I think the primary aim was to provide a native (and internally-controlled) environment for Google sites. That said, it runs nicely on my chromebox/-books.

  • dave

    If you want simple and lightweight, use Midori and Qupzilla, but you will trade some stability and usability for that lightness. If you want stupid simple and lightweight try Links2 or Surf. Links2 renders pages in HTML 1, so its like the web in 1995. If all you want is speed and to read say, the NY times (it also defeats paywalls as it blocks all Javascript) or Washington Post, it will work. Surf is keyboard driven browser with a webkit engine.

  • LeopardSurd

    As a Chromebook user I must recognize that i am disappointed with the way of the browser. Heavy and resource-hog.

    • Just_Joe

      If you have only 2GB, then–yeah–there are times you can feel constrained if/when you open more than a couple/three tabs. I’ve always gone with at least 4GB–never had an issue in several years of use.

      • LeopardSurd

        But a 4 GB Chromebook costs almost like a Windows 10 Laptop with about the same configuration but more functionality. Bad strategy I must say. 4 GB are sometimes not enough for an OS with a browser as user interface. That’s cheesy.

        • Just_Joe

          You and I clearly don’t buy stuff at the same places. Every chromebook I’ve bought in the past few months was less than $300, by more than a little. There wasn’t a lot of difference between 2GB and 4GB prices, some, but not enough to matter (since I know how my stuff will be used and that 4GB will be needed to feel satisfied about performance); most I could upgrade myself if I had wanted to (but I don’t bother with that anymore). Always “going cheap” is really what’s “cheesy”, but feel free to make your own choices with your own money. I would advise you, though, to always buy on sale–saving $30 or $50 or $80 always makes you feel better about your purchase. (Windows 10, huh? Now, that’s a bad strategy. You’re welcome to it.)

        • disqus_riOZ0Ax74r

          ChromeOS has many things built into it on popular request,, “..it would be nice if..”,, it also has to remain secure in an unplesent internet world,, and so it slows down and grows in size.

    • disqus_riOZ0Ax74r

      i’m using asus C201 4GB, and its FAST with 25 tabs no crashes ,, On the other hand, Lenovo N22, 2GB runs like a blocked drain,, slow,, slow,, slow,,,

  • Biky Alex

    I kind of miss the old Chrome. It was very lightweight and blazing fast compared to Firefox and Internet Explorer back in the final days of Windows XP. Happy birthday Chrome, though I’m on the 46% side, now using Firefox exclusively again (just ditched Opera because of crashes and overall instability and lag – sad).

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