Firefox 3.5 vs. Chrome 2 Why Firefox Wins For This User

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winner-firefox-vs-chrome I do a lot of reading online.  Some of it is for my freelance writing business, other times, it is research for my own projects like my saving and investing advice website, and other times, it just shows up in my RSS Feeds which I never used to read, but now read all the time because I like reading them on my phone (via Google Reader on Windows Mobile).  Plus, I’m a reformed IT professional, and you can take the techie out of the computer world, buy you can’t take the computer world out of the techie.

Anyway, a lot of sites and feeds I read are starting to trickle out articles about why people are switching from Firefox to Google Chrome as their primary browser. 

When I read the reasons why these people think that Chrome is better than Firefox, I realize that they don’t use their browsers like I do.  They may think they are power-users, but until you’ve done 24 Google searches (still open in their tabs in case you still haven’t found what you need), opened 100+ sites, twenty or so online PDF files, clicked every one of the reference links at the bottom of eight or nine Wikipedia articles (Wikipedia is a good way to find sources, Wikipedia is not a good source for professional writers.) read through page 188 of a 533 page SEC public comments posting in order to find out just where the regulatory agency stands on what type of disclaimer is required in an investment related corporate email, all while still messing around on Facebook, Twitter, and Hulu, you don’t know what a power browser is.

Ironically, you don’t even have to push the browsers to advanced capabilities to see that Firefox is better than Google Chrome (at least for now.)

Why Firefox Is Better Than Chrome For Main Browser

When you are done running tests and calculating that Chrome loads a Javascript page in 1.834 seconds while Firefox takes 2.122 seconds, the choice comes down not to speed, but usability and functionality.  There are several critical features that are missing in Google Chrome, either intentionally, or someone just hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

I’m not talking about playful little plug-ins and things like moon-phase calendars or digital clocks or skins.  I’m talking about things that interrupt my workflow so dramatically, that it causes me to sit stunned for a few seconds while I try and figure out what the best way to proceed is.  Do I work around it in Chrome, or do I wait forever for Firefox to load and copy and past the link over there?

Here are the Top Reasons Firefox is Better Than Chrome As a Default Browser

  1. File Handling – I don’t care if Chrome’s built-in download manager is better or not.  Sometimes I don’t want to download the file (or technically, I want to download it in the background instead).  PDF files come to mind.  There are hundreds of PDF files that are linked to out there.  In Firefox, it opens Foxit Reader and loads the file.  I can scan it and decide whether to read it, save it, or get rid of it and move on.  In Chrome, it downloads it, puts a button at the bottom of the screen and waits for me to decide what to do with it.  That’s after it asked me where to save it.  I had to create a temporary directory just so I have a place to put all of those little files that I have to fully download and store in Chrome, just so I can access it.  I also get no choice to Open, Run, or anything else.  You can’t get through 40 PDF files on a website by doing it this way.
  2. Google Updater – Yeah, I know, they finally pulled their head out and started doing it in a way that makes sense, but I spent so many months killing, deleting, closing, and stopping Google Update from starting automatically with Windows, that I don’t even know how to go back to letting it run.  By the way, even if it doesn’t run all the time it still runs every single hour and doesn’t bother checking with you to see if now is a good time to update.  If you are pushing a tight deadline and trying to download, proof, and re-upload some big files, too bad.  Google Update will be wasting your bandwidth (and number of connections) downloading the upgrade from version 2.1.03.2 to 2.1.03.3, because we all know that is more important.
  3. No Print Preview – Seriously, how hard is this to code? There is nothing quite like printing out what you think will be 2 pages only to get 14 pages thanks to all the extra stuff that prints funny.  I also hate that one extra line that prints on a new page. I never print without preview first, and Chrome doesn’t have one.
  4. Plug-ins – No Zotero, no default browser. The same people that used to say plug-ins were one of the main reasons Firefox was so much better than Internet Explorer, now say they don’t need them. Not me.  Some of my plug-ins are optional, but plenty of my add-ons are not optional.
  5. Bookmark Tags – No tag support for bookmarks? I long ago passed the point where folders were sufficient to find my bookmarks efficiently, this is a deal killer.

Notice that I didn’t say anything about Ad-block Plus or NoScript or other Firefox add-ons that make browsing less annoying.  If those are your main reasons for using Firefox, then by all means, switch over to Chrome.  But, until I have usable bookmarks, usable printing, usable file handling, and my can’t-live-without-them add-ons, Chrome will be my secondary browser.

Chrome Is Faster

Don’t get me wrong.  Chrome is faster, way, way, faster.  The quicker start-up time alone is worth the extra resources I use up having another browser.  When I need to check something out quickly, Chrome is my go to browser.  But, when I’m settling in to get some real work done, it’s worth the wait to start up Firefox.

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2 thoughts on “Firefox 3.5 vs. Chrome 2 Why Firefox Wins For This User”

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