Google Chrome: the Little Browser that Could.

Remember when you switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox for the first time? Remember that sense of, “Jeez, this thing is waaaay better that that piece, Internet Explorer!”

It ran faster, cleaner, had better options and stability and you could add functionality by adding on minor applets (ingeniously named addons) and could open multiple tabs within one browser window to reduce clutter on your taskbar. You could control popups, use mouse gestures and it even offered better security because it wasn’t directly tied to Windows. In general, switching to Firefox was probably the best move most users could make and I will wager that most people who have migrated to it  have done so with nary a backwards glance.

After using Firefox for about two years I got tired of watching my computer performance get slower and slower as Firefox chewed away at my RAM. Time to make a break.

I’ve played with a few other browsers, notably Safari, Opera and Netscape Navigator and while I liked they way that some of them worked, I found myself looking at a browser that was essentially the same as everything else that was out there, not to mention having their own slew of difficulties; Opera didn’t like a lot of sites and so wouldn’t render them properly (not their fault really; sites often have to be optimized for use with a particular browser) and it often had difficulties with handling some multimedia file types. It’s sort of the geek‘s browser, as it’s very powerful but in order to get it to do a lot of things you want it to, you have to undergo extensive personalization and configuring to get it to work with everything.  Safari didn’t capture my interest and Netscape eventually transmuted into Firefox.

Enter Google Chrome.

Smaller, faster, better architecture, simpler in both design and layout, combined with an excellent array of optional extensions along with the best features of existing browsers, not to mention Gmail integration, better security, stability and customization, Chrome quickly overtook both (and soon to be combined) Opera and Safari’s browser share, establishing itself as the child prodigy of the browser wars.

With Google’s established clout as a genuine innovator, introducing such products as Picasa, The Google Phone and Gmail (all of which have been huge successes), Chrome has a real chance of wresting major market share away from the biggies. If this trend continues, Microsoft and Mozilla could soon find themselves holding an empty bag.

My say in the matter? Make the move to Chrome: no rear-view mirror required.

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