I am not an IE guy at the beginning. In my early days of Internet which is the time I start my college life, I tempted to use Maxthon and World Browser mainly due to two reasons. First, they are faster. Second, they are more customizable and provide more functions. Although later I know both are just IE-variants, they benefited me a lot at that time. Then I came to US and knew the first non-IE browser, Firefox, from my friend. Oh, by the way, I also used Netscape back in my college but not quite into it. The stability and customization capability of Firefox got me the minute I tried it. I was like a boy playing his new toys, installing add-ons, themes and all kinds of customization. Since then, Firefox becomes my first-choice. What’s more important, it introduces me the world outside of IE. Later I also play Chrome and Opera and know browser more and more. So here is just a brief summary of my experience with the four big browsers.
- Firefox. IE is my first browser but Firefox is my first lover and the love is continuing. The reason I still love Firefox most today is its balance between the stability and customization. It still has the most high quality add-ons/extensions (the so called “web app” in Chrome are not counted here) and its layout is more customizable than the others. What’s more important is its stability, e.g. the good control of memory usage now. I know that many web developer love Firefox because of the easiness of debug but I am not a developer so can’t comment on it.
- Opera. Opera doesn’t have as many add-ons/extensions as Firefox and Chrome. But the browser itself is probably more customizable than the others if you devote some time to play it. The biggest advantage of Opera for me is its stability. I still remember the days Opera saved me when Firefox suddenly became unstable after a big update although the problem was solved later. Opera probably has the best memory management and almost never crashes. It’s especially meaningful if your machine doesn’t have high configs, which is my case right now. I am writing in Opera while waiting for my 4GB memory stick. It’s also worth mentioning that Opera has a Turbo mode which allows faster browsing under slow Internet connection.
- Chrome. Chrome is the most popular browser right now. It’s fast and has clean UI but I was not quite into it at the beginning. But I happened to use it for some time recently and found that it has some very interesting and helpful extensions especially those about google services. The synchronization across platforms is also well implemented. But it still eats a lot memory unless you install extension to free up memory from time to time. So it’s not very stable in my opinion. Besides its tab management is not as flexible as Firefox and Opera.
- IE. It’s just in your system and couldn’t be unistalled (right?). It’s always a backup especially considering that it has the greatest supportability. Before IE9, it’s barely usable, slow, unstable and ugly. IE9 becomes a modern browser with new layout design and features. But the customization is still miles behind the others. Wish IE10 would become better.
The above is just my 2 cents.