Jolie O’Dell reports that Internet Explorer’s share of the internet browser market has fallen below 50% for the first time in a very long time. Meanwhile Firefox’s share grew by half a percent during September 2010.
Three things seem pretty clear to me. One, Internet Explorer is fighting a war it can’t win. Two, Firefox is going to have to scramble to stay in the game. Three, Chrome is going to beat everybody. Maybe sooner than later.
Internet Explorer had a good ride, replacing Navigator and becoming the people’s (default) choice for a decade or so. I moved from Navigator to Internet Explorer back in the day (after much urging from my IT friends at my old firm), and then from Internet Explorer to Firefox a few years ago (also at the suggestion of my IT friends). Internet Explorer seemed bloated, and Firefox seemed lithe and nimble, and offered a web-full of excellent extensions that allowed me to create something akin to a custom-made browser. But over time, Firefox started to get a little pudgy.
Then came Chrome.
I tried Chrome when it was first released and was very under-whelmed. I ran straight back to Firefox for another year and a half. A few months ago I tried Chrome again, and, wow, what a difference!
Chrome, at least so far, is the best combination of efficiency (e.g., non-bloat), speed, good design (both looks and usability) and customization. It’s both minimalist and robust. I love it.
The universe of extensions kept me tethered to Firefox for a long time- probably too long. When I took another look at Chrome I realized that you don’t need as many extensions with Chrome. And I realized that the ones I really need are available. I only use 7 extensions, but they are 7 great ones: AdBlock, Google Dictionary, Google Mail Checker, Google Voice, iReader, NPR and RSS Subscription Extension.
Chrome is, hands down, the best browser right now. Add Chrome’s elegant (and strategically advantageous) integration with other Google products, and Google’s obvious commitment to push out upgrades and new features, and I just don’t see how the other browsers can compete.
I’ve moved my entire family to Chrome and, unlike my disastrous attempt to move my family from Word to Google Docs (which resulted in an immediate and simultaneous mutiny on the part of every other member of my family), everybody is happy.