Google recently issued a new beta of its infant web browser and while it touts some huge improvements over older builds, we still find ourselves hesitant to give it any real face time on our machines. Let’s start by covering the improvements: First and foremost, Google claims the new version 18.104.22.168 runs over 30 percent faster than previous builds according to benchmark tests. Wow. To jump over 30 percent from one build to the next is nothing short of incredible and in our time spent playing with it, the improvement is quite obvious. Beyond speed, Google has also added some customization options to the new tab page, tweaked the display in the Omnibox, added some basic HTML5 capabilities and added 29 themes just in case the old Google blue bored you. Long story short, the new version offers a pretty respectable bump over previous builds — but we’re still not using it. Why? The answer is simple: one product cannot be all things to all people.
Firefox’s greatest advantage over Chrome is still its open nature and its vast development community. We have about 15 Firefox add-ons we simply could not browse without, literally, and another 10 or so that we could probably live without but really don’t want to. Thanks to the endless stream of available add-ons, Firefox’s behavior and functionality can be tweaked to suit individual users’ needs as opposed to just being a solution that meets the basic needs of a wide range of users. Mozilla has amassed a tremendous community of developers who support its open source projects, many of whom are simply brilliant and more than generous in donating their time and skill to making Firefox a more versatile browser. We’re sure you can see where this is going. We’ve grown accustomed to the versatility Firefox affords and until Chrome or any other browser can manage to attract developers like Mozilla has, they just don’t stand a chance on our machines.
[Via Google Chrome Blog]