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Monday, August 04, 2014 3:47 PM


Browser Wars: Google Chrome Passes Firefox With 20% Share; Mish Chrome Test Run


I have been a Mozilla Firefox user for what seems like forever. I never liked Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.

Lately, Firefox has been quite irritating, especially when I have a large number of windows open. Firefox frequently crashes, then every page goes down. This has happened before at times, but crashes are even more frequent now.

Also Firefox frequently locks up, and Adobe Flash is the culprit. This problem also seems to have gotten worse. To fix the lock-up problem, I open up Task Manager and kill adobe flash player. My Firefox pages then instantly free up.

Chrome Passes Firefox With 20% Share

Today I read, Chrome Passes 20% Share Milestone, Locks Up 2nd Place.

Computerworld - Google's Chrome browser in July broke the 20% user share bar for the first time, according to data published Friday by Web measurement vendor Net Applications.

But because the browser war is a zero-sum game, when Chrome won others had to lose. The biggest loser, as has been the case for the last year: Mozilla's Firefox, which came dangerously close to another milestone, but on the way down.

Firefox accounted for 15.1% of the desktop and laptop personal computer browsers used in July, a low point not seen by the open-source application since October 2007, a year before Chrome debuted and when Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) was only on version 7.

Chrome's July user share of 20.4% put the browser solidly in second place, but still far behind IE in Net Applications' tallies. IE's share last month was 58%, down slightly from the month before.

Firefox also lost user share in July, dropping half a percentage point to 15.1%. It was the ninth straight month that the desktop browser lost share. In the past three months alone, Firefox has fallen nearly two points.

The timing of the decline has been terrible, as Mozilla's current contract with Google ends in November. That deal, which assigned Google's search engine as the default for most Firefox customers, has generated the bulk of Mozilla's revenue. In 2012, for example, the last year for which financial data was available, Google paid Mozilla an estimated $272 million, or 88% of all Mozilla income.

Going into this year's contract renewal talks, Mozilla will be bargaining from a much weaker position, down 34% in total user share since July 2011.

Browser Wars



Mish Chrome Test Run

After reading the above article, I decided to give Chrome a spin.  Chrome imported my tab favorites from Firefox flawlessly.

Initial Appearance Different

The appearance on my blog looked different in each of IE, Firefox, and Chrome. It looked worst, by far, in Chrome. I could not get the fonts and text sizes to match.

The solution to that problem was to modify font-families specified on my blog.

I went with a simpler scheme of "font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;" across the board after reading Which Font Should I Use for My Web Page?.

That scheme may not be the best, but it is likely to be the most consistent across all browsers.

Helvetica

Curiously, when I was attempting to fix the display issue with settings rather than in blog code, I noticed Helvetica, a popular font is not even in the selection list.
.

Each Window a Different Task

After the appearance issues were fixed, I liked what I saw. Task manager shows that each open Chrome window is its own task.



If a page crashes (I purposely crashed a Chrome page in task manager), you get a response that looks like this.



Firefox Crashes and Memory Leaks

In Chrome, if one page crashes they all don't crash. I setup Firefox that way at one time, but the plugin container used an enormous amount of memory when I tried it, and I had to switch back.

Other users still report Firefox Crashes for various reasons.

I do believe Firefox has a memory leak of some sort. Memory use goes up and does not fully recover even if you start closing pages.

In Chrome, unlike Firefox, Google reports "Adobe Flash Player is directly integrated with Google Chrome and enabled by default". Hopefully, this will prevent the freeze-ups I experienced with flash in Firefox.

Translation, Settings, Other Features

Chrome provides built-in translation, a feature that will come in very handy for me. I frequently translate pages from Spanish or German, and now Russian and Ukrainian as well. The process was very cumbersome before. Now, it's one click.

Also, Google Chrome allows you to pick up settings and sessions from one computer to another. This is very handy for me, although some will object to Google storing all the information required to accomplish that task.

Anyway, I like what I see so far. If I run into no Chrome issues, it will be goodbye to Firefox for me.

It appears others may be making the same choice.

If you wish to give it a try, here is the Google Chrome Download Link

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

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