You may recall that a few weeks ago, I was angry at how sick I was from Google Chrome and wasted so much RAM on my PC. It was definitely cathartic to write down all my frustrations, but the response to the article was revealing. What impressed me was how many readers contacted me who agreed, while sharing their own frustrations with Chrome.
Although it is used by (almost) everyone, nobody seems to really like Chrome. A widely used software that is not "popular" despite its popularity – that sounds somehow familiar …
Suddenly, I realized that Chrome might be in danger of becoming Windows. Google should worry about that.
There was a time when Windows was the most used operating system in the world. Even though it's installed on so many PCs around the world, there was not the passion – the fandom – that you would expect from such ubiquitous software.
OK, there may be a few Windows fans out there. To be honest, I once saw someone wearing a Windows Vista T-shirt, and I do not think You were a Microsoft employee. However, they may have run out of other clean clothes.
However, there is not the same preference for Windows as for other less successful operating systems. Apple has a lot of ministrants who praise the benefits of macOS. The Linux community is one of the best features of the open source operating system.
But somehow Windows users never seem to like it that much. And while not every version of Windows was a success, I can still look back at the Windows ME startup screen – some of them were pretty good.
Microsoft did not try to make us love Windows. Remember, Microsoft has been trying to increase the excitement of Windows 7 (a perfect start) by encouraging all of us to launch launch parties. I do. If you've managed to forget (as I envy you), look at the classic piece Cringe:
In many ways, with Windows 7, you are hosting just one guest of honor. Shudder,
Anyhow, my point was that Windows was used by millions, but many people only used it because they had to. They did not use it because they wanted it. And that's a problem for Microsoft, because as soon as a decent alternative shows up, people will continue without further thought.
Fortunately, Microsoft, MacOS and Linux have not stolen too many Windows users yet. But the danger remains. And something similar happens with Chrome.
Chrome is by far Currently the most popular web browser in the world. And unlike Windows, it's not forced on anyone (unless you're using Chrome OS or Android). Many users choose to install Chrome.
But I've heard more and more from people who complained about Chrome. Meanwhile, less successful browsers like Firefox seem to have more enthusiastic fans.
There seem to be several reasons for this. The first is sheer scale. Of course, with so many people using Chrome, there will be more users complaining about it than with less popular browsers. And the people who have problems with it are probably the loudest (like me). People who just keep going and have no problems will not go on.
It could be argued that so many of us complaining about Chrome, but continue to use it, are good for Google – and an indictment of its competitors. If Chrome is really so annoying, why do not we switch to other alternatives?
For some, we stick with Chrome because it stores all of our passwords, contains our favorite extensions, is linked to all of our Google accounts, like Gmail, and is available on all our devices.
For others, it's laziness. We moan, but we can not bother to change. For me personally, it's a mix of both.
But we stay, because we love Chrome? Because we like the performance or the ethos of the company behind it? I'm not sure.
And if there's a competitor doing all that Chrome does, but better – and without any hassles – Google could jeopardize its once dominant position – as Microsoft did. Windows is no longer the most used operating system in the world. Android is.
Perhaps Microsoft could actually get its own support if its Chromium-based Edge Web browser is successful – and it convinces Chrome users. I would not hold my breath though.
So is there anything that Google can do to make people love Chrome? For one thing, it could stop removing useful features. Maybe take some time to understand why users are using their browser and why some users are not happy.
And if that does not work out, Google might be able to take a leaf out of Microsoft's book and try to get people to love their software through forced – and not at all cheesy – fun!
If it leads to masterpieces like the videos on this site, I would certainly love Chrome a little closer.
The price written on this page is true as the time it is written. It may change at any moment.