I prefer Google Chrome

I spent some time last weekend doing some updating and general sorting out on my dad’s laptop, an IBM Thinkpad running Windows XP.

Among the many updates I installed was Internet Explorer from version 7 to version 8. It’s pretty but, boy, is it slow to load and then use, especially compared to version 7 (which is pretty slow as well).

My experience doesn’t match Microsoft’s claims of performance improvements. It’s slow compared to Firefox, too (and others are saying that). And that’s slow as well.

‘Slow’ is a bit subjective, I realize. What do I mean by ‘slow’? I mean the time it takes for the app to load and display your home page, whatever it may be. It’s a perception: I don’t sit here with a stop watch nor do benchmarking.

Internet Explorer 7 and 8, as well as Firefox 3.x, take up to 20 seconds to get to the state where you can start clicking or scrolling.

That’s not good enough, especially for a user like my dad who’s not at the leading edge of computing nor an early adopter. His laptop is not the latest and greatest but it’s still pretty good, runs XP without any issues: it just works. He wants to get at the information he’s after and not sit waiting for something to happen on screen. Not an unreasonable state of expectation.

So I’ve installed Google Chrome on his laptop.

Why? Because it’s fast. Very fast compared to Internet Explorer and Firefox: from clicking the icon to getting a home page window takes less than 10 seconds with Google Chrome. That’s to a usable state in half the time.

Good enough.

I’m still running Firefox on my own desktop PC as my primary browser. That’s largely because I have a few add-ins that I find indispensible with no equivalents for Google Chrome.

But I’m fast approaching the moment when a good usability experience with Google Chrome outweighs the benefits of those add-ins.

I don’t think it will be long.

[Later] Two things:

  1. I forgot to acknowledge image sources before publishing this post. The IE icon overlaid with a prohibited symbol you see at the top is by Neuro-Designs. The Google Chrome icon is from the Wikipedia entry.
  2. Remembering that I recorded an audio commentary about IE8 on Audioboo at the weekend. About 3 mins 40 secs. Very first impressions. Some of my timing is a bit out compared to today’s. But today I did pay close attention to loading times so more accurate.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Stuart Bruce

    Surprised you find IE8 is slow. When I installed it on Sunday I tweeted about how fast it was compared to either IE7 or Firefox. I actually prefer IE, but switched to Firefox because I found IE7 too slow. I’m now back on IE8, but still have to figure out why it keeps saying “Internet Explorer has stopped working” and then “Internet Explorer was closed” – when neither is true and it is running fine!

  2. neville

    IE is a real slowcoach, Stuart. That’s my experience and that of everyone I know. Other than you. ;) And you’ve highlighted other issues, too, like crashes. Get those far too frequently in Firefox as well.

    Tried Flock, Serge, just don’t like it, sorry.

    Michelle, the only Firefox add-in that is holding me back from switching completely to Google Chrome is PDF Download. I find it so useful.

    So I’m still waiting to switch!

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