Friday, April 03, 2009

The Next Generation of Browsers

It's been noted all over the place that the browser wars are starting again (well, they've been going strong for the last few years). I've been a long-time Firefox user ever since I forced myself to live with the browser for a month just to try it out. I coudn't go back to IE.

I've tried Safari, Opera and Chrome without feeling too tempted. I was impressed by the design of Chrome but the lack of familiar features (add-ons and scripting) failed to win me over. I'll admit though that I've found Opera to be the browser of choice on the Blackberry.

Recently, I decided to give IE8 a go. Ok, so it was on the morning of the FIRST day of release but that doesn't mean I'll be lining up for any other MS products. I decided to see how well it worked doing the normal things I do every day.

It almost made 45 minutes but then it crashed and I haven't used it much since then.

I then switched my attention back to the Chrome 2.0 beta browser I had been testing. I've been using this as my main browser for nearly three solid weeks now. I've left it running overnight on most nights and it's still as fast as ever. Remember, this is a BETA product. I was willing to tolerate some crashes but thus far, I haven't experienced one.

I also expected to have problems accessing some sites but I've had no problems so far. I've been right through all the major Google apps, iNotes and many of the major news and social networking sites. It also works with our intranet and extranet.

I'm impressed.

I'm not sure that I can live without Sharaholic or my "Copy as plain text" menu option but I've discovered that I need to start Firefox up for one of these less than three times per day. I'm also missing my Google Toolbar (for some reason it isn't available in Chrome).

I'm not ready to dump Firefox for Chrome yet - but I don't want to dump Chrome 2.0 either since it has proven to be even more stable than Firefox. I can't afford to have three browsers, so I guess it's goodbye IE8.


Henning Schmidt said...

I've been using Chrome for a while now and it is my browser of choice. You are right, it lacks some of the features of other browsers, but it is fast!
I use it in conjunction with pivoxy ( With this tool on top I get rid of almost all ads and it works like firefox's NoScript as well.

Patrick Kwinten said...

I am also on Chrome for quiet a while. I have most of the other borwsers installed. Firefox I use for development, Chrome for surfing and IE... tja to check how applications get rendered for clients...

Gavin Bollard said...

Update: Chrome Market Share for March 2009.

This is according to statistics on Matt Cutts Blog (obviously a Google person - so there's a bit of bias).

Nevertheless, it paints an interesting picture of the general state of play of browsers at the moment. Look at where Firefox is in comparison to Internet Explorer.

Lars Berntrop-Bos said...

That should read Privoxy

Tony Hollingsworth said...

Hi Gavin
Great to see you the other day and fantastic to see you blogging about your passions (I'm hoping there will be some home cinema blogging in here somewhere? - my passion too - looking forward to the Star Trek movie next week!)

I haven't looked back since installing Chrome - it's just so fast. I like the way its architected too - if a session crashes (a tab) you just close that tab and keep working. The browser itself rarely crashes.

Occasionally some of my bookmarks with passwords saved wont work. It fails to remember some passwords even though I told it too. Minor glitch.

That aside its a great browser.

No doubt you follow many of the IBM Lotus blogs too - I am starting to experiment with a community blog around Lotus Energizers - the User Group for IBM Lotus Product Professionals in Australia. Do drop in and add it to your LinkedIn profile. The URL is

At this point the news feed is being fed by a Twitter account I am managing.

I think there will be value in the Discussions section when more people come on board. Your blog is a great example of that - promoting discussion around an interest area.

I'd encourage you to join Twitter too if you haven't already. Many interesting IBM Lotus bloggers are present, eg:
and many more.

Ed Brill uses Twitter in an interesting way - you remember we met him at the luncheon last year - well he blogged about that day, mentioning how he uses Twitter:

Tony Hollingsworth

Gavin Bollard said...

Hi Tony,

At the moment, I'd say that Twitter is the one major piece of Social Networking technology that I've failed to get my head around. I'm working on it though. I'll have to start "following people".

As for film stuff, I decided to keep this blog "Tech". All my movie stuff will eventually appear on my web site though at the moment, it's mostly just lists - a lot of lists though;

My Favourite Films by Genre and Year

Tony Hollingsworth said...

Hi Gavin
I don't think this is a threaded comment (Blogger doesn't suppport them) but in reply to your reply, I tried to explain one aspect of what I like about Twitter in my blog in November. Another post is warranted as I've learnt so much more since then.

Your movie list is inspiring - I also wrote a letter to Andrew Urban (of Urban Cinefile - years ago and we did discuss something but he couldn't help me at the time.

If you haven't already you must watch JJ Abrams talk at TED - his love of the movies come through - I just love the Jaws reference - and as a family man so will you.