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Chrome performance sustainable? What about Android?

Anyone who thinks chrome is a geek topic is missing the point. It is also not beta in the sense that people won't wait to use it in finance.

The recent launch of Google's Chrome browser is nothing short of genius. Not original thinking but excellence in execution by any measure. I will explain.

The best way to learn about google chrome is to read their comic book explanation (in a google book of course) the link is at the end of this article. It sets new standards for making technically complex stuff easy for the average business person to understand and really GET the strategic benefits, new features, inbuilt quality and ability to handle change and much more.

The real fun is what financial applications will now be enabled that were previously unrealistic to deliver such as data visualisation, quant analytics and more.

If google finance is already good, guess what it is going to be like once it automatically detects the other end of the connection is using their browser too and dynamically provisions more features. We did this years ago with the FIX (Financial Information Exchange) protocol, it is happening more and more on the web now too and this is a great example of how controlling both ends gives you proprietary power you can invoke dynamically.

The fact that the glass ceiling on Java Script performance has been removed - correction - raised substantially - will firmly place JS back on the agenda for web developers as a core part of their arsenal.

Getting technical for a second, we use big iMacs here so we ran the benchmarks on my old Windows XP clunker under the Firefox browser v3.01 and got 127 (google set the baseline at 100) and under chrome got 1276. Nice tenfold improvement! The iMac 2.8G running OSX 10.5.4 with Firefox 3.01 scored 203.

Google Chrome has not been released for Mac/OSX yet.

JS performance is an industry wide issue. As a reall life example the team at  (easy online accounting) did some work recently I led to tweak their JS intensive pages and the result was fantastic albeit expensive to achieve. If they like other developers now add (or substitute) chrome to get more speed it looks like they really will have the fastest/most efficient business apps around. Back to topic...

This is not just a topic for geeks. It will fundamentally alter the richness of apps every one of us get to use. Swifter more powerful apps will be the end result of these wonderful new speeds that are ten times faster in areas and of course the new features. Full Bloomberg or Reuters dealing room style capabilities on the average browser is looking more and more achievable with complex financial modelling and visualisation.

All congratulations to the Google team behind chrome and her new engines.

The main new engine inside Chrome driving the JS performance is called V8, arguably because it is big and powerful but ironically it is small and efficient and written in C++

However, having just read the google design docs on V8 which they have generously shared for good reason (world wide focus and contribution to the project and embedding of V8 in other apps will get developer mind share). Most of the three techniques appear clearly non-unique in that they can be replicated by the other browser producers. This is good for all of us and while it is sad that chrome won't have a sustainable advantage of more than a few months I expect they knew this well in advance.

They have kept a few things less than clear but since we can dig around in the code the secrets will be out in hours or days not weeks to be replicated by competitors.

But what about android?

If this new engine is written the way it appears to be written, there is no doubt that v8 and other parts of chrome if not most of it will end up on mobile phones in the new google android platform, their answer to the apple iphone.

Best of all, Google know that more...




Comments: (1)

Paul Penrose
Paul Penrose - Finextra - London 03 September, 2008, 10:05Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

For an alternative take on Google's comic capers, check out The Register, whose photshopping readers have come up with a satirical interpretation of the truth behind the speech bubbles.

Peter J Cooper

Peter J Cooper


Cooper & Co

Member since

27 Oct 2003


Yangon, Singapore, Sydney

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