Stephen Shankland thinks speed beats accuracy and usability and switched to Chrome

Mr.. Shankland is certainly entitled to use whatever browser he wants and for whatever reason.  He wrote of his switch in a posting on C|Net.  He says that since he ‘spends hours a day using the Web-not just browsing, but also uploading photos, issuing instructions’ to his bank, editing documents on line (!) and other such things so the tenths of seconds ‘add up’.  Really?

Mr.. Shankland shares a story about how he spoke to Mozilla’s Chairman Mitchell Baker and told her of his switch and why.  She commented that maybe that would be the kick they need to improve Firefox. We’ve been increasing our focus for some time.’  Ok, if that is true, why do they need to increase it?  Is that an admission that Firefox’s performance really is subpar to Chrome?

Mr.. Shankland, in an effort to show how fair he is, points out the shortcomings of Chrome. Problem is, he failed to point the biggest problem that I saw with it: it does not render all sites correctly.  This blog, for instance, does not display properly.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not trying to discredit the author nor am I making light of his writing. No, I’ve read his stuff before and generally like what he says.  I just take issue with his argument that Chrome is better because it is faster. In fact, other authors have made the same statement.  In my own experience, I found SOME sites did APPEAR to render faster than in Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3, but, for the most part, I really could not tell any difference.  And those sites that did render faster were not very complex-like the Google homepage and other Google pages. (Cue the conspiracy theory.)

The fastest browser I have used-in rendering that is, NOT startup time, is Safari.  The latest release does seem faster. However, it, too, does not fully render this blog.  It is closer, but not complete.  And, really, what good is that speed if the page does not fully render?

I still think that Chrome feels (and looks) more like a browser that is still on the planning page and not close to usable.  Yes, I know it is beta, but feels more like an early alpha.  It is, however, better than the current public beta of Internet Explorer 8. I have no doubt that by the time IE 8 is released, it will be better.

To each their own, I suppose.  If nothing else, Mr… Shankland did make me reconsider my browser of choice and maybe that makes his post worthwhile reading anyway. 

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