I’ve been using Google’s Chrome web browser at work (the only place where I have access to a Windows machine). It’s growing on me because of a few small, easily-copied features – mostly little things that have to do with tabs.
First, I love the fact that tabs are along the top of the window. It just makes logical sense to have a URL bar contained within each tab.
Second, I also really like being able to drag-and-drop a tab to launch that page in a new browser window. Even dragging tabs around to re-arrange them is much smoother than Firefox’s way of doing it.
Third, I also like the fact that the bookmarks toolbar can be set to only be displayed within a newly initialized tab:
Then, once I have navigated to another page, it gets out of my way:
Finally, Chrome fixed something that Firefox has gotten wrong for a long time: when I’m within a tab and I middle-click on a link, the newly created tab should appear immediately to the right of my current tab, not at the end of the row. From the image above, if I middle-click on the “Blog” link…
…the Blog page is opened in a tab between the Evergreen tab and the VuFind tab. Contrast this to the same action in Firefox:
This doesn’t mean that I’ll be ditching Firefox anytime soon. For starters, Chrome hasn’t been released for Linux yet. More importantly, I can’t live without Firefox extensions. I’m not too worried, though. I’m sure that the Mozilla people are paying close attention and that we’ll see some cross-pollination between these two projects, if not in code, then at least in terms of ideas about user interface usability.