For a number of years, my desktop PC has spent most of it’s time running just three basic programs. A web browser, an email client and a ssh client (unix remote terminal).
So does it matter what the OS is? Not really, as long as it’s reliable and secure. What matters is those three programs.
I’ve been using Firefox and Thunderbird as my primary applications for some time, and I have a love/hate relationship with each. They’ve both got shortcomings and real issues, but so far, they’re each the best option.
With the browser being one of these important applications, I am always interested when something new comes along to shake up the status quo. Without new entrants, there is little innovation, so Google’s Chrome browser is an interesting new entry. Alongside the IE/Firefox duopoly, it’s not the only other browser, there are Safari and Opera – that’s about all that comes to mind.
But, Chrome has Google behind it – and they have been thinking of the web itself as applications for a long time. This concept, plus a tidy interface and some nice features look like a win so far.
My favorite feature so far is ability to grab a tab and tear it off into a new window. In IE and Firefox, you’re stuck in the application, viewing one tab at a time. When you are watching something (a video, for example) and want to view it while doing something else, you’ve got to open a whole new window, move that URL in, and start the video over.
Chrome lets you grab any tab and drag it out, creating a new window, without interruption of the video or application. Perfect! I’ve got my windows concept back and can juggle “applications” (web pages) however I like on my desktop!
Chrome is beta, but you can use it alongside your current browser without any problems. Play with both, compare, and use what you like best. Then, as new releases of Firefox, Safari, etc come out, try them too – hopefully we will continue to see innovation driven by competition.