We have Mozilla Firefox, the open-source browser of choice for most of the 21st century; and then, there’s Google Chrome, the new kid, my personal favorite, which is aware that things on the Internet browser scene needs some change.
And change they bring. Mozilla, the largest competitor to Internet Explorer in browser market share, released a beta version of its new and improved Firefox 4. The design is faster, for starters, which was one of the main complaints users had about Firefox compared to Chrome and IE, but is not fast enough to compete with Chrome.
For Firefox's aesthetic changes, Mozilla took cues from other browsers like Chrome and Opera and changed the interface to a more minimalist approach, with the tabs located on top of the slender address bar and removing File menus. Now a single menu is located in the upper left corner, from which most features of Firefox can be accessed.
Still, especially while the improved Firefox 4 is in beta phase, if you haven’t tried out Google Chrome yet, you definitely should. For anyone with even the smallest hint of geekery, it provides a more complete, manageable, faster, safer and just all-around better internet browsing experience.
Chrome’s multi-processing design makes it more stable because faulty code or a crashed add-on in one tab won’t cause the whole browser to cease functioning (common problem for IE users). If you’ve ever lost a whole browser window worth of tabs in Firefox or Internet Explorer because Flash Player or Shockwave crashed in one of those tabs, then you know the value of having each tab run in a separate process.
The other great advantage of Chrome’s multi-processing design is that you can monitor the amount of memory each tab uses, and manage each one individually using the browser’s built in task manager.
Want more? Probably the greatest feature of Chrome is the ability to sync your bookmarks across computers by signing in to your Google account on any computer that has Google Chrome installed on. No more will you need to import bookmarks/favorites or monitor them with bookmarking websites.
Many of Chrome’s other features, like incognito browsing and the thumbnail-style homepage, weren’t really innovations at all. As it is with many other technologies, Google was able to draw from many different sources of inspiration and combine those ideas into one cohesive internet browser, making it a tool that’s superior to its inspirational counterparts by themselves.