Ever fearful of a return to the Internet Explorer / Micro$oft controlled landscape of the original browser wars, I’ve always tried to keep my options open and rely on more contrarian browser options.
Sometimes those browsers were based on Chromium, like Brave. Other times, they used a different rendering engine, like Firefox. At different times in my life, I’ve even been an Opera user.
The thing is though, at least as of late, I’ve been growing more and more disappointed with these under dog options. Some folks are doing some great things in terms of security and monetary rewards, but at the same time, I find they rarely match Chrome in terms of stability, speed of improvements and (at least on Android) a better overall integration with the platform.
Every so often I have to pop back into Chromium for something, like using Google Optimize to add a test to my site, or Loom to film a quick video. Nearly every time, I’m thoroughly impressed with the improvements that have happened since the last time I used it.
I describe these interactions with Chromium as the scene in The Wizard of Oz when it flips from being in black and white to full Technicolor glory.
Don’t get me wrong, other browsers are making improvements, but they always feel a bit behind. Perhaps more work is being done under the hood and it’s not as ever present as say, improvements to the UI or developer tools.
With that being said, After quite a few months of using Firefox and after dumping Brave after a year or so, I’ve opted to move my browsing to Chromium (on Linux) and Chrome (on macOS, Windows and Android) exclusively.
While I know this decision may not be a popular one, I feel that with Micro$oft’s recent adoption of Chromium in Edge, and quite a few other [successful] Chromium-based browsers on the market, the browser wars this time around are way more beneficial to us as users.
Because Chromium is open source, having more larger companies, especially competing entities, all contributing to the same project is going to have some positive impact.
Similar to how Canonical based Ubuntu on Debian, and how there are a myriad of Ubuntu-based (and by proxy Debian-based) Linux distros out there. Hell, I’m running Arch and Canonical’s contributions to GNOME are positively impacting me.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t be scrutinizing Google and their ad-centric focus as a business. We definitely should be, but hopefully by having more and more eyes on a project, those types of things will be easily identified and mitigated.
Maybe I’m just an optimist, but I do believe that Google has attempting to do good in the world with Chrome.
Anyway, just one man’s opinion. Feel free to flame the hell out of my in the comments ;)