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Why I Dread Google's New Browser

Google is coming out with a new Web browser. Sigh. Like an old editor of mine used to say: "I need this like a third armpit."

Sure, it's probably going to be really cool (read about it here). And it will probably be able to handle video much better than current browsers. That will be good for vid-heavy sites like ourselves.

But another browser will complicate the Web world a little more for those of us producing sites.

You see, different browsers sometimes read Web sites a little differently. Usually it's just tiny stuff, like type formats and spacing. But enough little things can add up and make your site look really strange from one type of browser to the next.

Since Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) represents about three-quarters of the market most sites, like us, gear their presentation to that type of browser. But then people using Mozilla's Firefox or Apple's Safari — growing segments of the Net population — might get a bad experience. So you try to keep them all happy with code tweaks here and there. Just to make it a little more challenging, there are different versions of each browser as well. Something that looks fine in IE 6 might look odd in IE 7.

And now here comes Google's "Chrome." And because Google has such a devoted following and an aura of present-day coolness, a lot of people are likely to try it out. And we'll have to make sure that all the pages which look fine in IE, Firefox and Safari will look fine in Chrome too.

Sigh. Another armpit.

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