– Ben Martens


chromelogoThe first web browser I ever used was Netscape Navigator. Sometime around the release of Internet Explorer 4 (1997), I switched over to IE and I’ve used that almost exclusively since then. Coincidentally, I ended up working with one of the guys responsible for the Trident engine which powered IE4 and is credited for giving it such a big market share over Netscape.

I’ve been on board with IE for almost 20 years, but now I’m switching away. It was great for a long time but it has atrophied in recent years. The focus seems to have shifted to the new Edge browser and while that is very fast and standards compliant, it also lacks a plugin model so I can’t use things like Ad Block Plus or LastPass. That’s a non-starter for me.

So goodbye Microsoft browsers and hello Google Chrome. It’s hard to find accurate statistics, but pretty much everyone agrees that a majority of users use Chrome with the remaining users scattered among IE, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and others. Chrome has a huge array of extensions available for it. My favorite are Ad Block Plus, Delicious, and LastPass. Of course if you include too many extensions, you’ll bog the browser down, but generally it’s very snappy and works with almost all websites. (There are still a couple old company intranet sites that require to me to use IE.) You can sign in to the browser and let it sync your favorites and extensions across your various computers.

Switching to a new program after two decades takes a little while to get used to, but I’ve been using Chrome for about a month and I don’t think I’ll be going back for quite a while unless Edge can really bring the fight to Chrome.