As with most Google products, many of which I use, simplicity seems to be the overarching theme. This is good for many of their applications, such as Google Talk and Earth, which makes it easy for the average user to navigate and operate. However, I must admit, I was hoping for a bit more functionality with the release of this new browser. Because it lacks some of the “out-of-the-box” functionality of Firefox and even IE (such as a basic menu toolbar), it fell short of my expectations.

Now, I know you can add applications to it and so forth. In addition, it is still in Beta testing, so things could change with it. But I doubt much will be added, knowing Google’s simplistic mode of developing applications. Their web browser is no exception. And for that I think I will simply stick with Firefox, at least for now.

Also, I did some investigation on what “engine” (or the component that drives the browser) they are using to render web content to your computer screen and this is what I found in the log files after hitting my websites: “AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/ Safari/525.13.” So, they are essentially using Safari as the browser core? That’s disappointing, though I know it’s not for you Mac fans out there. However, that’s not me, nor is it a great majority of my colleagues.

I figured they would be developing their own engine and going from there. Maybe that was already outlined from the very beginning in the initial news release, but since I only heard about it the other day, I haven’t had much time to investigate that. Regardless, I’m disappointed. I guess I was hoping maybe they would create their own engine code that made browsing even more efficient. But it’s just (in the Democrats words) more of the same, it seems.

I will say though that if you just want a straight, vanilla browser with no complex parts to it and all you want to do is read news on the web, or whatever, this is the browser for you. But if you want more default functionality, stick with Firefox or IE. I’m not impressed so far.