Why I've Switched from Google Chrome[Editor’s note: Please keep in mind that this is a guest post. While it takes a pretty definite position against Google Chrome, not everyone here at LockerGnome feels this way about the browser. In fact, I think most of us here actually like Google Chrome. We usually try to avoid taking a “this is better than that” approach to this sort of thing because we truly believe that your “best” will be different from our “best,” but in the interest of presenting a different perspective, we decided to share this. If you agree or disagree, you’re more than welcome to leave a comment below. Hope you enjoy!]

Let’s face it: being the world’s most popular browser is no easy feat, and for Google Chrome to have achieved the top spot in less than five years makes it all the more respectable and admirable. Every geek I know uses Google Chrome, and pretty much every non-geek I know uses it, too, so it’s no wonder that it’s at the top spot. All I can say to the folks at Google is congratulations! Google Chrome is amazing!

But I’m not going to use it anymore.

Why People Like the Google Chrome Browser

So sure, it’s amazing and everyone loves it, but why do they love it? What is it about Google Chrome that makes everyone have a burning desire to use it? What makes Google Chrome that little bit better than every other browser on the market? Well, there’s the quick answer and the long answer, and I’m obviously going to deliver you the long answer in an attempt to be intellectually stimulating!

Google Chrome is sexy. I’m not going to deny it. All of its buttons are in the right place, the tabs are slidey, the windows are fadey, and everything is animated in a crisp, practical sort of way. But as every geek will tell you, the looks mean nothing. I mean, geeks put up with DOS for God knows how many years! So what is it about Chrome that attracts the geeks?

Well, it runs WebKit, for starters. WebKit is that fancy, open source HTML-rendering engine that developers can use to make fancy, open source things. Geeks like WebKit because it renders everything in the way that developers want it to be rendered, and it’s quick and easy and all of that.

Google Chrome also has a library of hundreds — if not thousands — of applications and extensions that suit every task imaginable, and this makes the browser seem infinitely customizable to the aesthetics and needs of each user. What most people don’t realize is that these apps are just basically bookmarks placed in a different position, but that’s a story for another day.

So, to sum up, people like Google Chrome because it’s:

  • Sexy
  • Running WebKit
  • Filled with Applications and Extensions

Why Don’t I Like the Google Chrome Browser?

Well, I’m not going to lie. At first, I loved it; Google Chrome was my best friend. It was reliable and did everything I told it to. I could arrive at home, click the button, and bam! I had the Internet on my screen. Amazing. But then, over time, it began to slow down. I had been downloading extensions and colorful themes and searching and storing bookmarks and navigating and playing Cut the Rope and reading articles like this one. As I tried to push Chrome further and further to its limits, my computer fan started to hiss more and more at me until it got to the point that I couldn’t stand it. My computer was slow and lagging and it started to take forever to load pages on Chrome.

Now, as a geek, I am forever asking myself “but why?” and in this case, the “but why?” was relatively simple.

What you don’t realize when you first download Chrome is that every single little bit of Chrome runs its own process. There’s the rendering engine, the thing connecting the browser to the Internet, and this and that and a whole load of other things that aren’t really necessary. As one starts to download more and more applications and extensions, Chrome starts to create more and more processes and eat up more and more of your memory until it gets to the point that it takes forever to load a page and your computer fan hisses at you like a snake.

What Are the Alternatives?

So what can you do about it? Well, do what I did: switch. I gave up on Google Chrome. I couldn’t be bothered to uninstall all the extensions and sort the problem out, and so I just deleted it and tried a different browser.

I first tried Microsoft Internet Explorer (or re-tried, I should say). People say the new IE is amazing, or at least that’s what the advert says, so I thought I’d give it a go. Is it much better? No.

So then I tried Opera. It’s supposed to be pretty good, too. Yeah, sure, it was fast and all that, but it, too, ate up loads of my memory.

So then I tried Mozilla Firefox, the obvious one. But, I was so used to WebKit that I actually hated the rendering engine on Firefox.

So that left one option: Apple Safari. Could this dark horse be the chosen one? Could it be my browser? The answer, of course, was yes. Safari had everything I wanted:

  • WebKit
  • Fast and Lightweight
  • Easy to Use

So why have I wasted about seven minutes of your life telling you about my journey from Google Chrome to Apple Safari? Well, to tell you one thing, Google Chrome is a great big con. It’s not the love of your life and it’s not your best friend. It may seem pretty at first, but over time it starts to grow greedy and it sits there and eats your memory. So what should you do? Well, ideally, I’d like each and every one of you to boycott Chrome, but let’s face it, it ain’t gonna happen.

So instead, what I suggest we do is carry on life as normal, and forget the fact that I’ve just wasted about seven and a half minutes of your life. Just remember that not everything is what it says it is, and Google Chrome, most certainly, is not the most reliable browser on the market. I have no doubt that one day it will stop working for all of you, too, and when the day comes, be prepared to switch — to move on and to discover realms that you never knew existed.

My name is Alok Kumar. I am a Web developer and a blogger; I have spent much time teaching the art of the Internet to many people and have transferred my computer skills to my blog to bring my (somewhat cynical) opinions to everyone who wants to read them.

Image: Today’s Guerilla Geeklatte, Google Chrome shared by yukop via Flickr