I’ve been a Firefox user for a long time, too long to remember (and before that Netscape Navigator 2.0 and before that Mosaic). I preferred Firefox to Internet Explorer because it implemented cool features, like multiple page tabs and private browsing. Internet Explorer and other browsers followed to implement these features, and for my purposes they are now functionally equivalent.
As for general layout and appearance, I prefer Firefox, but I have had a number of instances of Firefox locking up lately, and there are some other problems with it not accurately positioning to in-page links, such as a comment on a blog. A big problem is printing a web page to a PDF using the Adobe Acrobat 9.5 driver—some text comes out gibberish. I was looking for an improvement.
Here’s how it happened. My other blog had a huge 2-day spike in readership last week and when I examined the source, it was a link from reddit.com. I looked at the browser distribution in Google Analytics and was surprised to see that the younger-aged folks visiting through Reddit use Google Chrome 61% of the time (and hardly any of them use Internet Explorer).
General usage worldwide web statistics show Google Chrome running around 40% of the time, with Firefox and Internet Explorer at around 20%.
It was time to reconsider my browser choice. I’ve had Chrome installed for ages but used it only on rare instances, mostly for testing. I took the plunge and imported all my Firefox passwords and bookmarks into Chrome (pretty painless once I removed the master password in Firefox) and I set it to be the default browser.
Everything is working well so far. The two problems I had with Firefox aren’t a problem with Chrome. I like the language translation feature built into Chrome, and I like its ability to synchronize bookmarks and passwords across devices (Firefox has this too, but it only works with passwords when you don’t have a master password). I’ve uninstalled Firefox from my tablets entirely.
Internet Explorer in its current incarnation is a very good browser in my opinion, and for technical reasons, it will remain the default on my Windows tablets for now. It is also the only one of the three that has a tablet-centric mode of operation that I know about. There are also some web sites that only work properly with Internet Explorer.