- The web browser is one of the most essential software decisions.
- Why do people end up using the wrong web browsers?
The usage of web browsers has been interesting to watch. The first web browser to gain wide acceptance was Netscape, and Netscape was eventually usurped in adoption by Internet Explorer using lock-in tactics by Microsoft. For many years, computer users continued to use IE even though it was one of the worst available options — for the primary reason, it came installed on people’s computers. We now have a similar problem with the dominance of the Google Chrome browser.
The Story of Chrome
People finally figured out that Chrome was a vastly superior browser (at the time). However, as Chrome increased in popularity, it undermined its value proposition. In addition to privacy concerns, a few years ago, I began having significant problems with Chrome consuming the computer’s memory. I performed testing, which I covered in the article The Enormous Difference in Memory Consumption Between Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Chromium.
Google took its Chrome users for granted and rolled out releases that did not serve the user but served Google. Furthermore, when I switched to Chromium, which is the open-source version of Chrome, and which showed in testing to dramatically reduce memory consumption, Google not long after I switched disabled the plug-ins in Chromium, and then prevented users from logging into Google Services. This was a shocking move because it clearly showed that Google did not want people to migrate from Chrome and actually use Chromium. This allowed Google to lie about supporting this open-source project, while essentially disabling the browser in many important dimensions. My observation is that the timing of Google doing this coincided with Google further reducing the usability of Chrome, and Google needed to stem the tide of people abandoning Chrome for Chromium.
Therefore, Chromium is yet another fake open source project controlled by a private company that pulled the rug from under its user community.
Many other problems with Chrome keep becoming apparent, as is covered in the following videos.
This video explains how non-Chrome-based browsers are dying. And this means that websites focus their development on Chrome’s rending engine and spend little time testing for the Firefox engine.
There are now many browsers based upon Chrome, but the problem is that Google controls the standard for Chrome, and as they are a private company, this is negative, as private companies should not be in control of web standards.
This video explains how Google’s primary focus is surveilling users and selling data, just like Facebook.
Google Opening Up Chrome Users to Malicious Plug-Ins
They also are not responsibly managing the Google Play store.
This means that there are loads of security violating plug-ins for the Chrome browser and browsers based upon Chrome. These plug-ins allow the plug-in creator to surveil the user of the browser, and Google does nothing to stop these plug-ins.
Google’s Lies and Monopoly Building
This video explains how Google is continually extending Chrome into being a monopoly. And as Google is doing this, it is constantly degrading the value proposition of Chrome.
In order to keep its reputation from suffering, Google constantly lies about what Chrome is doing, the violation of privacy, and how Google applications are disabled in non-Chrome-based browsers.
Notable Lies #1
Google lied extensively about why Chrome consumes so much memory, and how Google captures user information.
This was and is a massive issue that affects all Chrome users but of course more for the users who keep more tabs open. Google paid no consequence for either the memory consumption or the act of lying about the memory consumption. Responses from Google reps on this topic made it sound like a minor issue.
I am certain that a number of computer users are unhappy with their computer’s performance, but only because they are using one of the memory-hogging browsers. I have been amazed that Chrome’s memory hogging has not seemed to impact its browser market share. This would seem to indicate that most Chrome users do not realize the degree to which this browser is consuming their computer’s resources.
Notable Lies #2
Google continually lies about why its applications don’t work correctly with other browsers.
Google can do this as they are so powerful that the US government will never regulate them.
What is Chrome’s Market Share?
These are the current market shares of the browsers, according to StatGlobal.
Let us review this list one by one.
As has been covered, Chrome is a privacy and security disaster and is a surveillance machine designed to give your data to Google, which it sells. Furthermore, it is highly wasteful with memory. One can increase the performance of one’s computer by not only not using Chrome but by deleting Chrome from one’s computer — because even if Chrome is not open — it appears to be still doing things in the background.
Microsoft produces Edge, which should be enough to stay away from it. But Edge is another memory hog and should also not be used.
Firefox has good security and has a much more secure browser plug-in store than the Chrome Store. So unlike Google or Microsoft, Firefox or the Mozilla Foundation that produces Firefox is at least not corrupt and has some concern for users, which neither Google nor Microsoft does, however, I have an issue with how Firefox renders pages. However, many of the benefits of using Firefox are not well known to users.
A browser for holdovers who don’t know how to install a browser on their computer.
I use Safari as one of my browsers and would rate it well. It is not the browser I use the most and is a bit on the vanilla side. However, this is a good choice.
QQ and Sougou Explorer
I am not familiar with these browsers and think they are directed toward the Asia market.
I used Opera a few years ago and liked how it allowed for tabs to be on the side of the browser rather than the top. But I have never gone back to using it.
Yandex is directed toward the Russian market, and I have not tested it.
I tested this browser for a few days but did not find it compelling enough to use it daily.
I currently use three browsers. My current “browser stable” is the following.
Browser #1: Brave
I used Brave for all web reading/browsing and Google Docs/Sheets. I like how Brave renders pages, which is something I wanted about Chrome. Brave is far faster and consumes much less memory than Chrome. And as Chrome-based, it allows for all of the Chrome plug-ins — which the previous video illustrates one should be parsimonious with installing. I only use around five plug ins/extensions, and I was recently shocked to find how just a few plug ins/extensions slowed the WordPress Editor to a crawl leading me to test a number of browsers, but which ended up being resolved by simply disabling plug ins until I need them. I cover that topic in the article Using Marathon and Chrome Browsers With Disabled Plugins for the WordPress Editor.
*As a side note, Brave is not shown as being in the top 10 browsers in the list above. However, this is likely due to misidentification. When Brave is used, it communicates as Google Chrome to the server. Estimates of Brave I have heard range from .5 to 1% market share.
Browser #2: Vivaldi
I use Vivaldi for the WordPress Editor to manage the Brightwork R&A website, write articles, etc.. Vivaldi is also Chrome-based, and I like it for WordPress because it has a lot of UI customizability. It also shows some controls where I like them, like the zoom. Vivaldi is just enjoyable to use.
Browser #3: Safari/Firefox
I have been using Safari for just a few odd and ends web apps that I just keep separate. Safari has a minimal ability to be customized, and I don’t see why Apple does not invest more in the browser. I don’t like the way it renders pages as well as Brave. Also, where is the default zoom setting? In Brave and Vivaldi and Firefox and pretty much any browser now, you can set a default zoom to be whatever you like, but not with Safari. But it is an interesting browser to me, so I kept it around. But if I had to drop one browser, it would be Safari. Safari is very similar to the browser Marathon that I was testing when I ran into performance problems using the WordPress Editor. Both barebones browsers are good as more of a side browser than being one’s main browser.
After reading some more about Firefox and the Mozilla Foundation and what a good citizens they are, and then thinking about how even little things in Safari are a bit of a challenge to do, I decided to switch to Firefox from Safari and loaded the few tabs online applications I was using in Safari in Firefox.
The result is that of the top browsers in market share, I don’t use any of them but Safari and Firefox, neither of which have much market share. Furthermore, Safari has a lot of the market share that it does simply because it installs as the default browser on Macs, iPhones, and iPads. So I don’t know the degree to which it is “chosen,” as much as it is simply the default that is used by those who don’t know much about browsers and don’t care that much about what browser they use. Also, Firefox will likely have less market share in the future than they do now, as they are being squeezed out by Chrome and Chrome-based browsers.
What Percentage of the Computing Public is Using The Wrong Browser?
Of the top five browsers, only two, Firefox and Safari, should be used by anyone. And the “bad browsers” have close to 80% market share.
This means that 80% of computer users are using browsers that either surveil them or overconsume memory and thus run slowly and furthermore expose them to surveillance by third parties where Google has no idea how this data is being used.
How Things Have Not Changed That Much When It Comes to Web Browser Selection
Years ago, users were tricked into using Internet Explorer, an inferior browser, because it came with Windows computers. Now, the global user base has been tricked again, as they use Google Chrome, which I can’t think of any reason that it should be used. Chrome has a large brand name, and it has a good standard, but there are plenty of Chrome-based browsers to choose from that have a complete advantage over Chrome. The right market share for Chrome would be 0%.
All of this tells me that a large majority of computer users put very little thought into which browser they should use. This is true even though the choice of browser is one of the essential software decisions that a computer user will make, and increasingly the majority of time spent on a computer is spent within a browser. It is amazing how little interest the vast majority of computer users have in researching and testing something free to download and use.