On Google Chrome and other browsers
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On Google Chrome and other browsers

Tim Bray wrote up the browsers he uses on a daily basis. Impressively, he uses Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari consistently.

These days, I’m using Google Chrome for most things and Firefox for Web development. I’m hooked on Firebug and I like doing development in a browser that’s sequestered from the browser I’m using for email and standard Web surfing. Unfortunately, Firefox loses the basic speed test to Google Chrome, so I can’t use it for day to day browsing. If I were going to put up with a slower browser, I’d stick with Safari because it is a better behaved OS X application.

Like Majd Taby, I have various nits to pick with Google Chrome, but I’m using it for most everything these days. In the end, speed is the key. It renders Web pages very, very quickly. My biggest problem with it is that Google Chrome hangs a bit when you click on a link and then click on a different link on the same page in hopes of hijacking your original request and going somewhere else.

Until recently, I was using Safari for my day to day browsing. I love it as an application, but the speed difference with Google Chrome is noticeable enough to lure me away. I do still use Safari in a standalone Fluid app to read my work email (a Google Apps account) in its own application window with an unread email indicator in the dock.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Safari took another big leap forward soon and I went back to it. For whatever reason, I’ve found Firefox to be consistently uncompetitive with Google Chrome or Safari for a long time, but I’d be happy to use it for everything if they can catch up with the WebKit-based browsers.

Whenever I look at software markets with healthy competition, like the browser market, or the market for smart phone platforms, or the market for Web application platforms, I can’t help but think about the opportunity cost of the Microsoft desktop computing monopoly in the nineties. How much better would word processors and spreadsheets be had Microsoft had a real competitor for Office? How much better would desktop operating systems be had they faced real competition in that market?

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