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Why Google Chrome won’t rule the world — yet

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I like Google’s new Chrome Web browser a lot — as in, I think it’s going to change the desktop world in a way we haven’t seen since Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina released the first modern Web browser, Mosaic, back in 1993.

What Chrome brings to the table are behind-the-scenes features like V8, a killer multithreaded JavaScript virtual machine. V8 compiles JavaScript code directly into machine code instead of interpreting it as most JVMs do. The result is that Web-based applications written in JavaScript — like, say, Google Gmail, Google Docs and Google Maps — run much, much faster than they do on other browsers.

How much faster? I put Chrome, Firefox 3, Safari3.1.2 and Internet Explorer 7 on the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark racetrack, and this is what I found: Chrome won, running away with a mark of 1,975.0 milliseconds. Firefox 3.0 came in second, with 3,125.2msec. Safari, which uses WebKit, the same open-source browser engine as Chrome, took third, with 4,006.8 msec. And IE — oh, the shame! It came in dead last, with a mark of 32,221.4 msec.

Fast enough for you?

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