Back to the Browser Wars: BYB Style
With all this talk about Google’s new Explorer-killer, Chrome, BYB decided to test run three of the major browsers and see what we think about them.
Chrome already is getting beat up a bit because it’s buggy, it crashes, it’s not compatible with anything, etc etc. My experience with it thus far shows that all this is true, but it’s still only a beta version and it just came out two days ago. Give it a break! I still like its super-simple, Google-y interface and I have high hopes for its open development plans, which should quickly bring other Web sites up to speed with Chrome. That said, I recommend we all put Chrome away for a while and let Google sort things out.
My favorite – the loyal and trusty Firefox – is not perfect, but it’s reliable and I know what I’m going to get with it. Moreover, it rarely crashes (unless Chrome interferes, as it did today) and it’s just feature-heavy enough. I’ve also become really reliant on the so-called “Awesome Bar,” which lets me short-hand Web addresses and then get swept there without much thought. Similarly, Chrome lets you type in something like “you” and www.youtube.com immediately comes up. Chrome’s opening page also pictures users’ most-visited Web sites, bringing them directly to the places they go most. I think I’ll find that handy when I finally get back to using Chrome.
All of that is unlike Internet Explorer 8, beta 2, which I downloaded on Tuesday. I want to like IE, I really do, because almost everything I use online that’s mission critical relies on it, but the browser has so much going on it can barely hold itself up. The thing is slow and crashes so often that I cringe when I have to launch it. It’s also very paranoid, so it doesn’t store my passwords like Firefox does, which means I have to remember them, which means there’s lots of places I can’t go in IE because I have no clue what my password is. Finally, I become resentful that IE is always trying to force me to use Microsoft services, just like I become resentful when forced to use Microsoft Live (and can’t remember that freakin’ password either, although I did have a very good experience with the three hours I spent with an Indian-based MSFT tech yesterday). I haven’t played around with it enough to learn all the features that IEb2 offers, so will try to leave a part of my mind open to love everything that IE8 is trying to bring to the table. So far I’m not feeling it, however.
For those of you out there who are now checking the none-of-the-above box, try Apple’s Safari. It’s designed by Apple, so it’s slick, although it shares Firefox’s compatibility problems, which forces us back to IE. Between Vista and Explorer, I ask you: how did Microsoft manage to hoodwink all of us so completely?