Let’s face it, you’re here because either you’re surprised that someone’s talking about ditching chrome, or you’re surprised that someone’s talking about ditching chrome.
Chrome has been the go-to browser for pretty much everyone on the planet. You use, I use it, almost everyone does. And here I’m talking about ditching Chrome while writing this using Chrome.
You see, Google Chrome’s success is primarily because of the time it was released. Google saw the need for a versatile browser and launched it. Back in the day, the only option you had was Chrome, unless you wanted to use Internet Explorer — no idea why would you do that unless you’re a government bank employee.
Internet in the early 2000s
However, let’s talk about IE first. You see, back in the late 90s, Microsoft didn’t even bother about the internet or a web browser. They simply thought it wasn’t needed. However, they’d be proven wrong soon after by the thundering success of Netscape Navigator — one of the first GUI browsers out there.
This pushed Microsoft to develop a web browser of their own that would ship with Windows. Eventually, Microsoft beat Netscape by the simple fact that IE (specifically IE4) was free and included with Windows, while you had to buy Netscape Navigator for anywhere between $50-$90.
Now paying that much money for an internet browser seems crazy today but back in the day having a web browser for free and built into your OS was a huge deal. This is exactly what led the Microsoft built IE to a roaring success.
By the early 2000s, IE6 had come out and the browser enjoyed a 95% market share. Let that sink in for a minute.
It seems like Microsoft was having a pretty good time. So where does Chrome come in?
The rise of Google Chrome
As mentioned above, Chrome came at a time when Internet Explorer was the browser of choice with Firefox picking pace. There were a couple of options but they were suffering from more or less the same problems.
You see, the thing with Microsoft was, they pushed everyone out of the market and well, didn’t do anything to improve at all. Even if they wanted to, they had very limited scope as IE was the de facto industry standard at the time.
Entire industries built their online infrastructures around IE, and it became complicated to be able to do anything. Besides, Microsoft as a company had virtually no competition and there wasn’t much incentive for them to do anything.
Enter Google Chrome, which was exactly the browser consumers needed. It was fast, stable, had a bunch of new features and came from the most popular search engine. I wouldn’t blame you if you’d choose it over IE or Opera at that time.
Back in the days of IE, if a tab crashed, it would cause your whole browser to crash. Chrome fixed this by sandboxing different tabs so they wouldn’t affect each other. This also stepped up the security of the browser in a big, big way.
Now, this might not sound like a big deal, back when a webpage took like 12 minutes to load, having your browser crash with like 3-4 windows meant a lot of pain.
Chrome fixed everything that was wrong with web browsers and made them better. It is available for all platforms and lets you block ads, make payments easily, change themes, and it integrates seamlessly with other Google Services as well.
Besides, Chrome was and still is easy easily accessible. Worked across all your devices regardless of the OS and the synchronisation is seamless.
So why would you ditch Chrome?
Should you ditch Chrome?
Don’t get me wrong, Chrome is a great browser. The cons might seem a fair trade-off when compared to the features but here’s the thing — the competition has caught up.
Opera and Firefox are both amazing browsers these days. Safari has some of the best anti-tracking stuff in place, period. But one browser that stands out the most is Microsoft Edge, not Internet Explorer, Edge. More so, the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge 2020.
Edge is based on Chromium, the open-source version of Chrome. This means that not only it’s lightweight, but also has everything Chrome has to offer. Moreover, it integrates seamlessly with any Microsoft services you’d like to use, which is good news if you’re on Windows.
It also has backward compatibility with IE, in case you were looking for that.
Edge is also available across all devices. This makes it way more accessible as well. Besides, Microsoft generally has much better data protection policies as compared to Google.
This is simply because Microsoft has a greater incentive to protect your data as it is a service-based company. Compare that to Google, which runs on ads and you know what you’re in for and it’s not good for your data privacy in the long-run.
Overall, Edge has come a long way from being a gimmicky new browser that it was. Microsoft has put in some serious work in their browser and made it a viable competitor.