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Op-Ed: Chrome the top web browser now ten years old

Chrome launched when users and developers grew dissatisfied with Internet Explorer

When Chrome first launched, the Internet browser landscape looked very different. Firefox had been steadily gaining ground on the more popular and venerable Explorer.

Google borrowed components from Apple’s WebKit rendering engine as well as Firefox to help bring Chrome to life. It made all of Chrome’s source code available in the Chromium Project. Chrome focused on web standards and respected HTML5. All of this during a time when Microsoft with Internet Explorer was struggling to adhere to open web standards.

Chrome was also a big step forward in how tabs could be used in that it had “sandboxed” individual tabs so that should one tab crash the others would still remain unaffected.

Chrome now dominates the browser market

According to netmarketshare Chrome now has more than 60 percent of the desktop market share. Despite the fact that Internet Explorer has now been replaced by Microsoft Edge, it still ranks second with 12.8 percent of the market. Firefox is third with just a bit less at 12.5 percent. Edge is a distant fourth at just 3.49 percent. Safari, the browser specifically for Apple computers, has just 3.49 percent. Opera, an excellent browser, has a mere $1.56 percent. Vivaldi, which I use now on my main computers, has a minuscule .08 even though I find it works best for me.

Chrome has dominated the market now for several years. Chrome engineers have continued to improve the product and have pushed the latest web standards. It is now perhaps more than a web browser and has become an entire platform that can run on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and even iOS for Apple phones.

Chrome powers the new Chrome OS

Chrome OS is Google’s new lightweight operating system that is used in laptops and recently tablets. Google has been bringing Android apps over to the Chrome OS making its Chromebooks and tablets more useful. Even fully-fledged Linux apps are coming soon to the Chrome OS. Chrome is helping push progressive web apps to make them a lot better. Although Chrome has not seen a major redesign in years unlike Firefox, a Material Design Refresh is slated for the browser this month.

Future of Chrome may be more as a platform than just a web browser

There are concerns that Chrome is becoming dominant as was Internet Explorer. It is dominant among web developers.
Google engineers steer the latest web standards and push these into Chrome. Other browsers need to catch up or risk falling even further behind.

Final thoughts on browsers

All the popular browsers such as Chrome and Firefox do most things well. Internet Explorer is now superceded by Edge. While I have tried Edge and it works well for most tasks I do not like the fact that Microsoft pushes it by not allowing one to uninstall it, as it comes pre-integrated with Windows. Every other browser you can download and uninstall.

I have tried all the main browsers except Safari but there are particular tasks involving writing for Digital Journal and using my blog that they do not do everything as I want. I used Opera for a long period as it did everything exactly as I wanted, and also had features that appealed to me. However, all of a sudden it did not work as it had in the past copying material to my blog. I decided to go back to Chrome but it did the same thing. I then checked Vivaldi and found that it still worked. I decided to change to Vivaldi until things change again.

Most people probably find the browser they have is satisfactory and have no desire to change.This would explain why Internet Explorer is still the second most popular browser even though it has long been replaced by Edge. However, browsers can all be downloaded free. It is worth trying them out to see which one suits you and you like best. If you want to be even more adventurous and dislike Microsoft and Windows you can also try out numerous Linux operating systems that can be downloaded free as well.

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