Browser Battles: Firefox–Chrome – IE

I’ve been a longtime fan and user of Mozilla Firefox. It’s been far from perfect but the extensions had me hooked. As for IE, I’ve been a longtime hater. But that’s been changing recently. But that hierarchy has been turned on it’s head in the last month and my browser usage has changed.

image of WWW on gold

I’ve been a longtime fan and user of Mozilla Firefox. It’s been far from perfect but the extensions had me hooked. As for IE, I’ve been a longtime hater. But that’s been changing recently.

The company I work for during the day stipulates Internet Explorer, even worse, until recently it’s be IE 6. I went rogue when IE 7 came out and installed that so I could at least get tabs. The company is finally transitioning so I’ve been in the IE 8 testers group since it’s inception so at least I’ve been using a sanctioned browser. Like many large companies the biggest problem was internal sites or applications that didn’t work with IE 7 or 8. There’s still some isolated problems with IE 8 but those app owners are being forced to get their act together. The point of this is I’ve been using Internet Explorer 8 during the day and it hasn’t sucked.

In my world I keep a wall between work and home so I don’t have a need to share work related bookmarks, add-ins or anything else (not to mention security issues if I try to use an external service) so IE8 can be an island to itself and it’s been fine. But it hasn’t been so fine that I wanted to bring the experience home.

At home it’s been Firefox across all platforms. The add-ins gave me all the features I wanted. Unfortunately they also contributed to some instability and less than great performance. If I didn’t shutdown and restart Firefox regularly I’d eventually be forced to do it. Still, it was better than IE or Safari.

Then about 6 weeks ago I gave Google Chrome another try. I worked it’s way in to be my default browser and then Chrome 6 came out and solidified that position. I don’t do too much web browsing on my Mac so I may not have come across so issues, but it’s been peppy and stable. On Windows it’s been rock solid and has performed nicely.

I like the ability to sync bookmarks, preferences and extensions (plus a couple things I don’t care about). This makes new installations easy. I also like incognito mode since it allows be to open multiple Google Apps for Domains and Google mail accounts at the same time.

And now IE 9 has entered the public beta phase. I installed it on my laptop and have been giving it a spin. I almost ashamed to admit it, but I like it. It’s been fast and gets out of the website’s way. It feels very Chrome-like. The add-ins I want (LastPass, Evernote, and Delicious) all worked fine after the upgrade. They seem to have emphasized performance as during the first startup after the install I was told how much each add-in contributed to the startup time and was given the option to disable them.

Google Chrome will continue to be my default browser due to the cross-platform ability. Internet Explorer 9 will get added to my other Windows boxes (it seems stable despite being a beta) and I won’t hesitate to use it on sites that insist on being IE specific. I also use it for general browsing to get a fee for it. There’s an outside chance IE 9 could replace Google Chrome for me. I wouldn’t have expected to say this 4 months ago, but Mozilla Firefox is the odd browser out. I’ve no reason to use it, at least until Firefox 4 comes out, even though I like it.