Google plans to use Chrome as a tool to reform the Web by encouraging use of a technology the company says will reduce data-transfer delays. The technology, called “False Start,” has the potential to reduce one round of back-and-forth communications between a browser and a Web server when establishing an encrypted connection. That’s a significant time savings–about 7 hundredths of a second for communication across the United States and 1.5 tenths of a second from California to Europe.
According to False Start co-author Adam Langley. Naturally, Google has begun building False Start into its Chrome browser, judging by a Chrome command-line switch that lets Chrome users disable it. Great, right? Free speed for everyone! Well, actually, there’s a catch. “We’re aware that this change will cause issues with about 0.05% of Web sites on Internet.”
That mayn’t sound like a lot, but according to NetCraft’s measurements, there were 227 million Web sites in Sep. Proportionally, the problem is small, but in absolute terms False Start wouldn’t work with about 114,000 sites by NetCraft’s tally.