I'll be honest. I have always been a default browser girl. It probably stems from some misspent youth.. that, or working for companies with corporate networks and needing certain browsers for their proprietary software.. or perhaps I just don't deal well with change.. (let's not speak of the drama involved when they change my Facebook....)
As regular readers would be aware, recently my computer was upgraded and, at the same time, I upgraded my Windows PCs to Windows 10 (thank you for that nice little bonus, Microsoft). Along with that comes a brand spanking new browser, Microsoft Edge. I was curious, had a quick look and then my Mr Master Tech advises me that Microsoft is using the opportunity to phase out Internet Explorer (IE) and that IE version 11 would be the last one. I admit, there were nearly tears. I have used IE for soo many years, I just know it. I know where everything is, I have it set up just how I like it.. *sobs*
So, knowing that my beloved IE was on the way out, I decided that it might be time to Explore my options (pun definitely intended). Over the years, I had given a few halfhearted goes at Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome. Being a Mac user as well, I pretty much exclusively use Safari when I'm on my MacBook Air. I decided I really did need a change.
With an open mind, I started with Microsoft Edge. If IE was going, and I wanted to stay true to my 'default browser' reputation, it seemed like a logical place to start.
We'll start with just a basic screen shot of a Google homepage on all four of the tested browsers
The Pros and Cons
They all pretty much display the Google page the same way, so that I furrowed my brow, took a deep breath and installed Mozilla Firefox. I knew, of all the browsers, if I was going to move away from IE, it would most likely be Firefox, because there were some compatibility issues with reporting software.
I surprised myself with how much I genuinely liked Firefox. I'd used it (tried it) many moons ago and hated the way it rendered buttons. I was very pleasantly surprised to see they had fixed this annoying quirk.
I then noticed that there was some fun customisation it could do. Doctor Who theme installed and I was (almost) sold. I was completely sold once I found I could still have my new tabs open with my choice of homepage (the one feature I was reeeeally going to miss in moving away from IE). Ok, I had to install a third party add-on but hey. It worked and I was happy.
No issues with compatibly found so far with pages I use regularly (including ATO Business Portal).
All in all, a great, clean browser that has enough customisation to be fun and has all the features I wanted (or add-ons to make it so [insert Vulcan salute])
Verdict: honestly, I could not find any cons. Officially my new browser of choice! 10/10 ?
Generally found it as fun with themes as Firefox and, truth be told, I actually tried this before Firefox and until Firefox one me completely, I was nearly converted.
Again, Doctor Who theme, and I am in love. It displays most things *ok*
Bug bears: cannot choose my own new tab opening page. Reeeeeeeally not happy. Not recommended for ATO Business Portal (important to me, but not to all - if these bug bears are not yours, feel free to disregard my objections).
I love the way my Google accounts interact so well - that being said, I use the Google toolbar so this was cool but not quite enough for me to say 'yep. Google Chrome for me'
Verdict : all in all, pretty good. A few bug bears with compatibility but still a good solid runner up. 8/10.
Oh, Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft.... Where do I begin. I hate your new tabs page. Hate it. By trying to be simple, you took away so much functionality and there is no customisation / theme options.
Something positive... something positive... Being their new flagship browser, it'll be updated and maintained? As it goes on, the compatibility issues will resolve or no long be issues... Ummmmmmm does sort of pretty count?
Big compatibility issues and just... Nope. Not happy. Back to the drawing board you go.
Verdict: 3/10 - not good. Not a contender for m new default browser.
Ok, I am aware that this will be unpopular but I love me some good old IE. I worked too long in the corporate world where systems only ran on IE so it was what I used day in day out, so it carried on to my home PCs (Safari on my MacBook Air - that is another story)
I just love it. I don't notice any compatibility issues and the themeing only became cool to me when I knew was looking at moving away from IE.
Biggest con is Win 10. IE is being discontinued. I gotta let it go. I will cry and scream and throw a big tantrum. IE will always be that ex that I would happily cheat on my new browser with
Verdict : RIP. *grab trumpet and plays 'TAPS'* the coffin draped in a stylised E logo'd flag - I'm sad to say your successor has a long way to go to fill your shoes.... A fond and heartfelt 8/10 (hey, themeing matter now. So does breaking my heart by leaving me).