Wednesday, January 06, 2010

My new browser

For years I have been a faithful IE user. I say faithful and not loyal because I have only used it because it suited my needs and other browsers were too cumbersome or clumsy to hold my attention for long.

FireFox is infinitely customizable, but it never felt like a well designed app - it felt clumsy to me. Plus, it always had problems rendering tables in an appropriate manner.

Chrome is sleek, fast and elegant, but in many cases it just doesn't work. I'm always finding some site that it doesn't render quite right, a video that it won't play, or a simple customization that doesn't exist.

I've also tried Safari from time to time, but never long enough because I never saw any advantages over IE.

However, a new version of an old browser has impressed me so much that I have switched for what I hope is good. Opera version 10.10 is an amazing piece of art. It renders fast and correctly, plays all the video sites I need (though I did have to "Mask as FireFox" for Netflix!), and has the simple customizations I want. For instance, I can use the address bar to search on various search engines (I'm not limited to Google like I am with Chrome.) If I want to search Bing, then I just type "b " followed by the search string into the address bar and viola! it goes to Bing and searches (I did have to manually set this up, but it was quick and easy). Other niceties include movable tabs for web pages with hover preview and a "speed dial" page that is much nicer and more customizable than Chrome's.

My requirements are simple. I want a browser that is easy to use, works on the sites I frequent, and has simple customizations. I don't want to spend a lifetime studying all the intricacies and hunting down new plug ins. I just want a browser that works. Opera satisfies those needs and left me happier than I was before. Give it a try and let me know if you feel the same way!