Thoughts on using multiple browsers

Years ago using Internet Explorer was the only choice for my line of work. Sure, you had Netscape and several other browsers but no viable alternatives for working with Microsoft solutions, such as SharePoint.

With the recent introduction of Google Chrome it’s been interesting to see how Firefox, IE 8 (beta) and Chrome have and will shape one’s daily work routines.

Having used Chrome for 15 minutes I must say I really, really like it. It seems to have all the good stuff imported from Firefox, a (fairly) low memory fingerprint and it’s super fast. Not that Firefox or IE are slow but Chrome doesn’t keep you waiting when you hit Ctrl-T.

On a daily basis I use Firefox 90% of the time, and IE 8 beta 1 whenever a site requires IE.  This works for me since Firefox introduces so many neat features I’ve grown to like – the ‘Add keyword here’ for custom searches, fast tabbing, Adblock and customizable icons and themes. Whenever I can’t use FF, I fall back to IE which I open manually through Start > Run > iexplore.exe. I’ve configured IE to execute 32-bit by default since so many sites seem to use proprietary 32-bit client extensions that do not work with x64.

SharePoint is one of the first products use to perform the ‘can I use this daily?’ test for emerging browsers. Chrome didn’t quite pass this due to several reasons:

  • The righthand scroller for the page gets confused with an OOB SharePoint page
  • Moving of web parts doesn’t work, but it also doesn’t fall back to the legacy mode
  • Default templates don’t scale correctly vertically
  • Manage Content and Structure –tool flickers and renders incorrectly

Minor problems and definitely something that can be fixed but still annoying.