A couple of months ago, my son was struggling with the old laptop from his elder sister. Old laptop, running the same original Vista since 4 years…. you know what I am talking about, right? Bad, very bad perfomances. The kind of performances where you cannot event enjoy surfing the web….
The teen-ager was not so hot on the fact that his old IT daddy would try to fix something…
…but, once he asked me an opinion on something he was doing and I saw something unexpected on his laptop: “Hey, are you running Chrome?“.
“Yes, dad, it is the only way I can use this old PC“.
My son, for my great disillusion, is not at all a “tech guy”. He just uses the PC, without asking too many questions about how it really works. Internet, MSN, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia….. He just “has an hotmail mail account” (despite I have a domain name and an hosted IMAP server… in my naivety I thought he would have found cool to have an email address containing his family name after the “@”….).
As a person with a minimum of “computer culture”, I would have thought to Firefox first…. Why? because …
ah yes, because it is cool and it has a lot of handy exstensions (could I leave without Foxear, Scribefire, Tmmy and Session Manager ?)
I just use Chrome via the “Chrome Applications”. For instance I created one for BluePages so that, when I need to find the BP record for a collegue, I quickly fire the Chrome BluePages icon… et voilà, I quickly get to where I need.
So, I have Chrome and I seldomly use it. I would have never thought to get Chrome as THE ALTERNATIVE to IE !
But my son, who “just uses” the PC… well he installed Chrome and uses it everyday (by the way, at Christmas he got a brand new laptop and, guess what, he still uses Chrome even if the PC is very very fast…)
Well, at the end because of the same reason I created my Chrome Bluepages application: speed!
I (the father, the “pseudo-geek” or the “once-the-geek”) use Firefox because I like the extensions and because I got used to it. Actually it was “cool” in 2003 when I started using it and, in reality, the only extension I could not avoid is Foxear. But, sort of “I choose Firefox because I like the container in which I play“.
I think my son does not care about the container. He cares about the content. And the quickest way to get to the content is Chrome. Full stop.
I thought to this post when I read this article : “Why Firefox is doomed“. I do not know if firefox is really “doomed”…
…but I think Firefox lost the train (or, at least, one train). It lost the possibility to establish a new pattern for accessing the web. I am not that good to validate the merit of a given technology, but I think that XUL could have become something closer to RIA and Firefox the tool that would have helped transforming the web of pages into the web of applications. Concentrating on the content more than on the container.