In the past two days both Google and Microsoft have announced either changes or a new releases for their browser. Both are obviously touting improvements with speed being the main focus of Google and features being that of Microsoft.
As reported in PC Advisor, Google Chrome’s blog announces the latest beta of Chrome. Google had dropped the beta tag back in December but it is back as well as the beta channel that is designed for feedback. No indication why that happened but they are Google after all and they can do what they want. The greatest change according to Google is its increase in speed.
“The best thing about this new beta is speed – it’s 25 percent faster on our V8 benchmark and 35 percent faster on the Sunspider benchmark than the current stable channel version (of Chrome) and almost twice as fast compared to our original beta version,” said Brian Rakowski, Google product manager.
Google’s philosophy is to give users the changes as they go rather than save them up for a big release. Other features to look for are autofill, autoscroll and the ability to drag tabs for side by side views.
While Google’s blog gave its point of view, the new IE 8 from Microsoft, which will be available at noon today, was reviewed in the WSJ today by Walter S. Mossberg. From a 30,000 foot fly over point of view, the review was that the new features are fantastic but the trouble is speed. On that note he did not let the new IE 8 unseat Mozilla as his favorite browser for Windows but it appears as if the latest version of the most widely used browser has made strides to be better.
Some of these features can’t be matched out of the box by its main rival browsers. For instance, related tabs are color-coded, the search field can show images along with text, you can get instant fly-out maps of place names in Web pages, and you can easily hide your tracks online from the prying eyes of advertisers.
The review is very detailed and looks at improvements in search functions, privacy features and compatibility, which appears to be pretty strong for the most part which will help ease the nerves of designers and developers who wonder what the impact may be on existing sites.
In a kind of informal survey tell us what browser you currently use and if it isn’t one of these two would you be willing to switch for any reason? Also, which is a bigger event today; the release of IE8 or the start of the NCAA tournament?