02-Jun-2012

Google Chrome

Google Chrome Logo

After years of using Firefox which supplanted Internet Explorer a long time ago (before Firefox 3.6), I finally switched to Chrome. I still use Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome to test the websites that I develop for CSS/HTML/DOM compatibility.

In early 2011, I upgraded to Firefox 4 which at that time was a big advancement over previous versions. It was also the days when a new version did not arrive every single month, as it does today. That phenomenon might have be set by Google where Chrome updates are automatic without an option for the user to refuse. There is an argument to be made for getting security updates as they become available.

I used Firefox 9 for most of 2012 and recently upgraded to Firefox 12 to see if performance has improved - it has not. Although Firefox has been stable without crashing, I have encountered 3 malware attacks including RootKit attacks while using Firefox. However, the main reason for my switch is performance. With Chrome 19, page loads and overall usage is more responsive with fluid transitions, plus YouTube videos run much smoother without stutter effects.

Migration

I was apprehensive about migrating my Firefox usage patterns and bookmarks accumulated over the years. To my pleasant surprise, most Control/Shift/Alt key combinations function the same way in Chrome as they do in Firefox. Furthermore, there is a capability to "Import bookmarks and settings" from Internet Explorer and Firefox which I used to copy my bookmarks and saved passwords from Firefox.

Google Chrome Import

Since there is no menu bar in Chrome, it leaves me wondering why it was needed in Firefox - the truth is, I did not need the menu bar for the most part. Firefox menu items do provide a method to look up Control key assignments but an expert user will know those with great familiarity. Chrome help is a click away for the less often used function/key.

Browser Wars

Depending on whose report you are reading and desktop versus mobile as well as geographic region, there is variability on the actual market share numbers. However, it is sufficient to say that Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome are the 3 leading browsers in the market in June 2012.

I think the competition for browser market share is always a good thing for consumers. It pushes continuous improvement. I hope the big 3 remain in the fight to prevent dominance by a single player which would stifle progress and standardization. e.g. dominant player will set their own standard unimpeded.

It is interesting to see the recent Internet Explorer and Chrome ads on TV.

The fight is on - it has been for a while - let it continue.

See Browser Wars.


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