Monday, November 15, 2010

What Internet Explorer 9 needs in order to make me switch from Chrome

As I regularly switch between IE8 and Chrome, I’m constantly reminded of the features which IE9 will need in order to make me switch.  I know the particular needs are different for different people, but here are mine:

1. Spell-check

I’m a good speller.  But I still make typos, and there’s still the occasional word that I’m unsure of.  Having to look up unknown words in an online dictionary is an annoyance I shouldn’t have to deal with in 2010.

2. Tab-dragging/removal/insertion

Now that I’ve been spoiled with Chrome’s ability to drag tabs in and out of browser windows into new instances, I’m annoyed when I don’t have this.  I am an unapologetic “tab whore”, and organizing them is important.

3. The ability to switch to another tab while the previous tab is loading/rendering content

Microsoft likes to defend IE’s speed versus Chrome, conveniently measuring only those situations which favor such comparisons.  But here’s a common situation you’ll never see quantified:

I load a page in a tab (either by clicking a link or typing a URL manually).  The page is taking forever to load, so I click to open a new tab (or switch to a currently open tab).  In Chrome, this happens effortlessly.  In IE, however, I’m blocked until the page loads completely.  This is gets old very quickly, and every time it happens, it serves as a reminder for why I prefer Chrome.

4. More efficient URL auto-completion

In Chrome, if I want to visit Facebook, I commonly follow these steps:

1. Click in the address bar.

2. Type the letter ‘f’.

3. Press [Enter].

In IE, it’s these:

1. Click in the address bar.

2. Type the letter ‘f’.  See that the History list has brought up a bogusly-entered URL “http://fa/” from a prior failed attempt to visit

3. Type the letter ‘a’.  “Facebook” now appears in the History list, underneath “http://fa/”.

4.  Press the down-arrow key twice to select the History entry for Facebook.

5. Press [Enter].

Now, if I know you as well as I think I do, you’re going to launch all sorts of counter-arguments:


“It’s your fault you typed ‘http://fa’ and expected it to work, causing the invalid History entry.”


One, this would have worked in Chrome, so it just illustrates that Chrome is simpler; and two, Chrome is smart enough not to save bogus URLs in its history, so even if I manually typed http://fa/ in Chrome, it won’t create a History entry for it.  Another strike against IE.


“You can just hit Shift+Enter to load the top URL in your History.”


So in other words, it’s more complex than Chrome.  Thank you for proving my point.  And I still have to type more characters to eliminate http://fa/ as a history option.


d-roc said...

how's about a follow up to this after your switch?

sangeee said...

Found your blog on Google and have enjoyed reading your posts. Nice work!

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