Chrome has been the reigning king of Browsers for a significant amount of time, but has it been dethroned by the well-known underdog in the market? Mozilla's Firefox is Chrome’s biggest and only substantial contender if we ignore Internet Explorer (which we should).
In the last year, Firefox has seen a steady rise of users from 7.7 percent in August 2016 to 12.0 percent in May 2017.
The following are some reasons that may have prompted these astonishing figures.
While Chrome is still faster than Firefox, it is only because Chrome uses more CPU than Firefox. Regardless of how smoothly this makes it run, you are bound to expand The trade-off is the battery drain. And to be honest, Firefox isn’t that much slower.
Data gathered from millions of Windows 10 users showed that Firefox uses approximately 31 percent less power than Chrome in real-world usage.
Meaning, your sessions between needing a charge are significantly larger on a laptop.
A simple speed test proves that if you keep your tabs to a maximum of two open at once, Chrome actually uses less RAM than Firefox]. Also, Firefox seems to fare better with eight or more tabs open Firefox is then the clear winner for many power users.
Over the years, Chrome has morphed from being a simple to use (and look at) web browser that was lightweight and incredibly minimal, to some complex beast that no longer remembers what made it so lovable in the first place. The problems probably started when Google wanted to turn Chrome into a standalone operating system, as evidenced by the likes of the Chromebook.
In the same period, Firefox, who has never been a victim of minimalism, has maintained its simple browser purpose and functionality.
Since Chrome is based on Chromium, one may argue that it is open source to an extent. Chromium has been used to make other Chrome-esque browsers like Opera, Vivaldi, Slimjet, and Brave
Technically, but embracing the true nature of open source has far-reaching responsibilities than allowing others to use your source code.
The world is in the grips of the net neutrality debate, and Mozilla, no stranger to controversy, threw their full weight behind the fight for data privacy in 2014 and again in 2015 with the release of their State of Mozilla report.
“fighting for data privacy — making sure people know who has access to their data, where it goes or could go, and that they have a choice in all of it — is part of Mozilla’s DNA.”
“There are billions of people online, but not enough transparency and control in the form of security and privacy protections for users from companies, app developers, and governments. Mozilla is focused on influencing key internet health issues like privacy and security…”
For Mozilla, the success with consumers may come from the fact that they are not nearly as big as Google. Google is a mega company that collects copious amounts of data about its users.
Chrome browsers look nearly identical, especially since Google disabled a custom background image for their home page. With the advent of material design, the monotony has spread across devices and platforms. Other than hiding certain toolbars or removing a few icons next to the address bar, the most you can do is skin the title bar and tabs.
Firefox, on the other hand, allows you to move things around and skin the general appearance. There are many themes to choose from and completely change the browser’s appearance, even emulating the appearance of other browsers.
WebExtensions is a cross-browser API that allows developers to create extensions once and have them work in multiple browsers. This means that since Mozilla began supporting WebExtensions, all the extensions which you use on Chrome can run on Firefox as well.
This isn’t applicable to all Chrome extensions as yet, but as the WebExtensions API grows, many more developers will make extensions with this capability in mind.
Because of its popularity, Chrome has many more extensions than Firefox, but Firefox has several unique extensions that aren’t natively available yet to Chrome.
Examples include the Tree Style Tab which allows you to view your tabs on a sidebar, organised into a hierarchy which can be shifted.
Ultimately, there are minute differences that set Firefox apart from Chrome. One might be slightly faster or use less battery, yet they both seem to be excellent in terms of usability. Whatever Chrome can do, Firefox is able to as well.
What has your experience with Firefox been so far? Share in the comments section below. Thank you for visiting Base64!
Related: Make Firefox Great Again