By Savio Rodrigues

Like many of you I eagerly waited to try Google Chrome this week. But to be very honest, I wanted to find flaws with it.

I felt somewhat guilty about using a browser other than Firefox. When I first started using FF 0.8 in 2004, the underlying technology and architecture of Firefox was so different than what was around. Firefox raised the bar and I wanted to support the team for doing so. Over the years I've come to rely on various add-ons such as FireGestures, CookieSafe, FireFTP, Firebug, GmailManager, and Web Developer.

With that in mind, you'll understand why I originally gave up on Google Chrome after using it for ~2 hours yesterday. But, as I started to write this post, I remembered that I was an Opera fan before I became a Firefox user. The initial transition was tough; largely because FF didn't support mouse gestures initially. But, the notion of a lightweight, modular browser that I could tailor to my own needs was reason enough to make the switch to Firefox.

As much as it pains me to say, I'm going to make the switch to Google Chrome as my primary browser. I'll deal with the lack of mouse gesture support and the lack of functionality equivalent to CookieSafe, etc. But I'll also enjoy some new benefits like not having to shut down FF because one of the sites (of the 20+ tabs) that I have up is blowing up. I have to remind myself that Chrome is a 1.0 release (well, beta, but so is GMail right?). Supporting (third-party) add-ons is a natural next step for Chrome.

At the end of the day, I'm making the decision to switch to Google Chrome for the same reason that I originally switched to FF. The underlying technology and architecture of Chrome is so different than its competition. Chrome has raised the bar and I want to support the team for doing so.

I suspect others have made or will make the same choice for similar reasons. It pains me to say this, but Chrome isn't going to steal from IE share as much as it will cannibalize Firefox share. The only people who will try Chrome are the same people who initially tried Firefox.

It is possible that Firefox will adopt some of the technology that underlies Chrome, such as the V8 JavaScript engine. Or maybe the folks at Firefox will use Chrome as impetus to take their game to the next level? Mozilla is claiming that their new JavaScript engine is faster than V8. Interesting.

Who knows, maybe I'll switch back to FF. But for now, Google Chrome just leapfrogged everything else on the market (from a geeky underlying technology standpoint). BTW, how cool is it that the Google Chrome Task Manager has a "Stats for nerds" link???

About the Author:

Savio Rodrigues is a product manager with IBM's WebSphere Software division. He envisions a day when open source and traditional software live in harmony. This site contains Savio's personal views. IBM does not necessarily agree with the views expressed here.