I posed the question of whether it was time to reconsider the use of Firefox, highlighting some performance degradation that the popular open source Web browser appears to be suffering from. Not surprisingly, a number of readers have written in and commented that they have noticed similar problems pertaining to how Firefox would intermittently "grab" all processor cycles and an inordinate amount of memory.
Despite various complaints and feedback, the general consensus is that the capabilities afforded by the various Firefox plug-ins are indispensible. Indeed, reader iron wil noted that some of the security-related plug-ins for Firefox actually make it more secure against potential security threats compared to other browsers. I spend a substantial amount of time reading and researching when writing new articles, however, and have found the occasional slow-downs and freezes to be extremely frustrating, as well as an impediment to productivity. I needed to switch to something better, and the obvious choice appears to be the Google Chrome Web browser.
I gave it a spin a couple of weeks back, and have not looked back since. I share my experience today.
I've used Google Chrome intermittently for at least one year now, and the interface has always struck me as being minimalistic, yet perfectly adequate. Beyond basics such as conformance to various Web standards, what I really liked about Google Chrome is how it renders each tab as an entirely separate process.
This capability is a huge boon to me, since Web sites that crash do so on a per-tab basis, without pulling down their neighbors in the dreaded dynamo effect. One might point out that Firefox does remember previous tabs when it is restarted, mitigating the disruption of crashing. I sometimes hibernate my computer to write in places where no Internet is available, though - and I'd rather the loaded tabs don't crash in the first place.
In addition, an added benefit of running each tab as an independent process is that I am able to monitor the exact memory consumption of loading each Web site or misbehaving extension. On the other hand, I have no way of knowing the source of problems when using Firefox.
One of the most common complaints pointed out by reviewers when Google Chrome was first released is that it doesn't support third-party extensions. In recognition of what made Firefox the leading browser that it is today, the Chrome team has since added support for third-party extensions. For now, this feature is only available in Google Chrome Beta, the version I am using.
I started by making a list of some of my indispensable plug-ins in Mozilla Firefox. Surprisingly, I was able to find their counterparts or extensions with similar functionality in Chrome.
The extensions are:
In a nutshell, Google Chrome has effectively become my new browser of choice since I "migrated" to it a couple of weeks back. Perhaps due to the number of extensions, which seems to have reached a tipping point, I have found switching to Chrome to be fast and easy.
Your experience may vary, though. I encourage SMBs looking to move away from older versions of Internet Explorer to seriously consider Google Chrome.