Replacing Firefox with Chrome

I blogged about my first impressions of Chrome a while ago and have barely touched it since. Largely I have been happy with Firefox in terms of what it gives me in terms of a browser and the extended features I have come to rely on in my day to day life.

However, recently (over the past year) Firefox has also started to give me some other things… headaches and  high blood pressure to name just two! I have loved using Firefox for so long I am tempted to blame Windows for the constant freezes, crashes and general slowness. Unfortunately I can’t. I use a PC at work and a Mac at home, and Firefox behaves the same on both of them.

Today I found out that Firebug is now available on Google Chrome, which prompted me to take a look at what else is available. To my surprise I found a Twitter client, XMarks, a great page screen-grab utility and an SEO tool. Wow, things have moved on since I first tried out Chrome.

In fact, all my deal-clinch extensions are now available on Chrome!

So, as of 2 hours ago I made the jump to Chrome. So far I am loving it. Despite having my extensions active the browsing experience is still very slick and it has not frozen up once. I still have an open mind, but for now I think I have closed Firefox for the last time.

I will keep trying Firefox from time to time, but I think until they release v4.0 their back-end core is just too flaky for my liking.

I am glad Chrome now has extensions. I know it is a matter of debate as to whether it should be kept as a “clean browser” but I kind of figure if you want it clean then don’t install the extensions. Completely bare of extensions Chrome is still faster than Firefox!

I hope Firefox does get it’s act together. It has done wonders for the web community, helping topple IE off its perch (or at least getting them to play ball, not sit on their market share). If Chrome does compete with Firefox I think it could be a game changer for the web. With the Google Apps behind them I think they have a better chance of reaching the general public and hopefully will eventually push IE below the magic 50% market share mark!

What are your thoughts on Google Chrome?

4 replies
  1. Rarst
    Rarst says:

    I am still on Opera and fine with it. 🙂 Do use Firefox for web development plugins only.

    For me personally Chrome doesn’t have enough leverage to make me drop Opera. Initial Chrome version were really primitive in functionality and development is flaky with multiply branches and constant betas.

    It got better, but still doesn’t interest me much.

    Reply
    • Jim
      Jim says:

      Hi Rarst,

      I prefer to keep a single browser for all jobs, hence I was with Firefox. However, Chrome seems to have come a long way since I last tried it and it’s working well so far. I do like Opera, but the lack of plugins is a game changer for me. The browser is starting to become an environment in itself and so far only Chrome and FF seem to have embraced that. Hopefully Opera will follow their lead at some point.

      Reply
  2. Rarst
    Rarst says:

    @Jim

    Web development is hardly mainstream function. And other than that there is nothing that Opera can’t do for me. When Dragonfly gets to the point it can compete with Firebug I will be likely to ditch Firefox for development as well.

    I see no point for Opera to go plugins route. That introduces crazy amount of performance and security issues Opera does very well without.

    Not saying that Opera’s approach is superior, but I am tired of “but there is no plugins” attitude. You don’t need plugins to have great browser. You need them to make browser do something it is unable to do natively.

    As I remember bulk of Firefox users never bothers to install a single plugin. I think this applies to Chrome just as well.

    Reply
  3. Jim
    Jim says:

    You could be right there, in the first instance people chose Firefox because it was more secure and more stable than IE, then the geek community discovered plugins and it appealed to them too.

    Chrome has started the same way, simple and secure and now integrating plugins. If they fail to keep a handle on them then they will fail like Firefox, if their core code is more secure then I think they will succeed in bringing onboard this (albeit small) community.

    For lots of people a simple browser is enough, but then Opera doesn’t really have enough of a marketing engine to get those people away from IE/FF/Chrome. For me personally I need (want?) plugins.

    I guess the debate is really whether you want to use a simple browser or whether a browser should be a “suite” to encompass other parts of your workflow.

    Reply

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