Having worked with Online Applications for a number of years, I am rarely happy to be introduced to a new web browser. A new web browser means another test case - every line of code has to be verified against all of the major browsers before going into production. Another browser means new faults to watch for and program around, which translates to longer time to market. When I first heard about Google Chrome I thought to myself “great. Here we go again.”

As far as actually using the thing, it took a long time. My preference has been Firefox for quite some time and although I have flirted with other browsers I always found myself preferring the usability of the software Mozilla’s team has put together for us. So when Chrome first came across my desk I didn’t invest much time into trying out its features. What a mistake!

Over the past couple of weeks I have found myself moving over to Chrome. After I got over the absence of the usual interface I began to relax; as it turns out, you don’t need a lot of buttons to navigate the World Wide Web. Google has once again simplified common usage patterns down to tasks that anticipate what you intend to accomplish and hide unneeded options.

Most Visited Sites The handiest feature by far is the grid of most visited sites that greets you when you create a new tab. I will never again have to type the url to access my mail and analytics.

Draggable Tabs On Firefox I often found myself wanting to create separate windows for specific tabs. I’d have to copy and paste the url into a new instance. With Chrome I just grab the tab and rip it out of the pane - presto chango - new window! I can even drag tabs between windows to create and destroy Chrome instances as desired. Very useful.

Basically, Firefox has been relegated to online banking. My new weapon of choice is Google Chrome, and for the time being I doubt I will be looking back. The download manager could stand to be updated, but otherwise it is a slick and mature product.