I’m Switching (Back) to Firefox (Premium)

After several years of using Google Chrome, I'm switching to Mozilla Firefox as my primary browser on PC and mobile.

I don't make a change like this lightly.

And, to be clear, I'm still running Chrome on PC: I prefer---rely on---the pinned web apps for Google Inbox, Google Calendar, and Twitter Lite---on the desktop. (And I use Twitter Lite on my phone as well.) I will continue using them. So I will continue using Chrome as well.

But I've switched to using Firefox for day-to-day browsing. On my PCs. On my phone, a Google Pixel 2 XL. And on my iPad Pro tablet. This is my new browser.

Except, of course, that it's not really my "new" browser. I began using Mozilla Firefox before it was even called Firefox, back in the Phoenix days, when Mozilla began experimenting with splitting Navigator out of the Communicator suite so it could create a thin, light, and clean standalone web browser.

That was 15 years ago, by the way.

Since then, a lot has changed. Firefox succumbed, over time, to bloat and it slowed down. Chrome came along and stole Firefox's remaining advantage---its extensibility via browser extensions---and offered, at first, a thinner, lighter, and better-performing experience.

But Chrome has since slowed down, too. It's routinely criticized for high RAM usage, in particular, though I've never understood that worry: The RAM is there to be used, and Windows will take it away when it's needed elsewhere. More recently, however, Chrome has been criticized for its battery life issues, especially compared to Microsoft Edge. And I find that Edge, for all its issues, looks better and, most important, renders text better. Chrome, once the obvious choice, now comes with caveats.

With the release of Firefox 57, or Firefox Quantum as its also known, Mozilla has finally pushed back decisively at Chrome, has eliminated the performance and rendering gaps that one separated the two. And Firefox, of course, comes with none of the moral baggage of Google or Chrome, because this company is open and openly respects user privacy. There are no hidden, ad-driven agendas here. That will matter to many, as it should.

For me, however, using Firefox is a nice mix of logic and emotion---see what I did there?---in that it provides the text rendering acumen of Edge in a browser that uses less RAM and system resources than Chrome. It's a gorgeous browser, especially on Windows, where you can use a light theme that looks a lot like Edge. Which I like.

In keeping with my Embrace Change mantra, I routinely test alternates to the products I use, and with web browsers, in particular, I'm very active in doing so. I've been testing various versions of Firefox, Opera, and other alternatives over the years, plus Edge, of course. And though each offers some interesting, um, edge over Chrome, none really went over the top.

Until now, that is. I'm switching to Mozilla Firefox. And I strongly recommend that you take a look too.


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