I spent some time last weekend doing some updating and general sorting out on my dadâ€™s laptop, an IBM Thinkpad running Windows XP.
Among the many updates I installed was Internet Explorer from version 7 to version 8. Itâ€™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 doesnâ€™t match Microsoftâ€™s claims of performance improvements. Itâ€™s slow compared to Firefox, too (and others are saying that). And thatâ€™s slow as well.
â€˜Slowâ€™ is a bit subjective, I realize. What do I mean by â€˜slowâ€™? I mean the time it takes for the app to load and display your home page, whatever it may be. Itâ€™s a perception: I donâ€™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.
Thatâ€™s not good enough, especially for a user like my dad whoâ€™s not at the leading edge of computing nor an early adopter. His laptop is not the latest and greatest but itâ€™s still pretty good, runs XP without any issues: it just works. He wants to get at the information heâ€™s after and not sit waiting for something to happen on screen. Not an unreasonable state of expectation.
So Iâ€™ve installed Google Chrome on his laptop.
Why? Because itâ€™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. Thatâ€™s to a usable state in half the time.
Iâ€™m still running Firefox on my own desktop PC as my primary browser. Thatâ€™s largely because I have a few add-ins that I find indispensible with no equivalents for Google Chrome.
But Iâ€™m fast approaching the moment when a good usability experience with Google Chrome outweighs the benefits of those add-ins.
I donâ€™t think it will be long.
[Later] Two things:
- 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.
- 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.
[Blog] I prefer Google Chrome [link to post]
– Posted using Chat Catcher
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!
Tried Flock yet (http://www.flock.com/) ? I like it so far…
I’m thinking of making the switch myself, for the same reasons. Curious: which are the add-ons you can’t live without (for the moment)?
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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