Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Internet Explorer or Google Chrome?

My primary company laptop is a Dell Latitude D830: big screen, big memory, and heavy. There's another, even bigger Dell laptop I occasionally use (it's currently overseas on a demo tour with a fellow employee) -- even heavier. Both are hot on the lap (using all that memory and the fast processors).

Then, there's my little Dell "netbook" (Inspiron Mini 10). It's light, very light, and the battery lasts for hours; plus it runs cool (as information theory/thermodynamics would predict). However, its memory (1 GB) and  (1.6 GHz) speed create problems with Internet Explorer; the Microsoft browser is slow to load and reload and has problems with more than a few tabs. So I downloaded Google Chrome 5.

There are more than a few people who use other browsers than IE, such as FireFox and Safari. However, for my purposes, Chrome is just fine. It's much quicker than IE, although it lacks all of IE's functionality. If I need to shut down the netbook quickly, or the battery runs down while I'm doing something else, Chrome offers the option of restoring all of the previously open tabs.

Oddly, Microsoft Outlook Web Access in Chrome operates somewhat differently from Outlook in IE. For example, in Chrome there is a Junk tab for quickly dumping spam. In IE 7's Outlook implementation it's necessary to use the Move or Copy to Folder button (or equivalent right-click commands) to move spam messages to the Junk folder.* The Chrome version of Outlook uses Javascript and HTML, for the most part, but so does the IE version. It would be interesting to compare the source in each browser to try to figure out where the differences are coming from.

*Why not IE 8? My company has some intranet apps that don't appear to play well with IE8. I discovered this after downloading 8. What to do? Downloaded and installed FireFox. Uninstalled IE 8. Downloaded IE 7 and installed IE 7. I suppose I could have copied the IE 7 install to the desktop after downloading it through 8, without going through the FireFox drill, but what I did do sounds a bit more dramatic, don't you think?

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