The IE9 RC dropped a week or two ago for public consumption and since then I’ve spent a decent amount of time with it. During this time though, I felt myself consistently thinking about all the things I miss from Chrome. While IE9 is certainly an attractive offering with great performance, nice integration with Windows, and a very crisp UI, I can’t help but feel like there are quite a few little things missing that make browser use more enjoyable for me as an individual. I acknowledge that not all browsers are created equally and there are certainly pros and cons to all of them, but Chrome to me simply “feels” solid, well thought out, and fits me like a glove. IE9 on the other hand seems to deliver a message of “Look at all the big things we did and fixed!” but simply doesn’t have the finesse Chrome has or the personality as it were. I had some pretty high hopes for this new version and want it to be a great success because I really think MS needs a win on the browser front. It’s not there though. If I had to select those five things for me personally that put Chrome in another category, they’d be the following:
- Native Spell Checking / TextArea re-sizing
- I put these together because day in and day out, I use these features quite a bit inside our own software for editing rules and making changes to our systems. These two little features have become part of my life in a simple way. MS Word has had a spell-checker since I started walking on my own, if it simply had this I might even be able to look past TextArea re-sizing.
- CSS Toys
- Sure, IE9 came a looong way in terms of standards compliance and support for new HTML5/CSS3 goodies but the actual two things I wanted support for in IE9 it didn’t implement. Text-shadow’s are used a bit in our tools and make them look great….guess what….our stuff still look flat in IE9 and lights up in Chrome. Same thing w/ CSS based gradients. Granted, other browsers support these toys with CSS extensions like -mox or -webkit but would it’ve been so tough to add support for these in the same light with a -ms?
- Dev Tools
- These got quite a bit cooler in IE9 but Chrome still spanks ’em in both the style and function deptarment. I hate having to click that cursor icon and then clicking on the element I’m interested in with the IE Dev Tools.
- Bookmark Management
- Just try both. I needn’t say more I think.
- One of my absolute favorite things about Chrome is that it sync’s my bookmarks, add-ons, settings, and form data between all of my PC’s. This is such a luxorious offering that everytime I think about it I feel like I’m wrapping myself in a warm blanket. I know with Live Mesh, IE can have it’s favorite’s sync’ed, but why not just go for the bloody killshot and do it all up nice and tight.
There are actually quite a few more reasons but I’ll end there for now. I think what really irk’s me the most is that I get the impression that the philosophy for IE9 is “Lets just try to get as close as we can to the best and that’ll keep us in the game”. I think the time for that being acceptable passed some time ago. MS produces some really great and original offerings but this isn’t one of them. Your browser is super fast? Big whoop, other browsers will be faster soon enough and supply updates considerably more frequently so that it doesn’t really matter.
I’m also sure there are ways to make IE do the above things I described but you know what I like about Chrome, they’re just simpler. It’s a bummer to that IE9 is in RC mode. I’m assuming this means it’s effectively done and going out soon so there isn’t a lot of opportunity to change that much about it. So in short, I’m uninstalling it. I’ll take comfort in my morning ritual where I go to About in Chrome to see if there’s a new update; as there so frequently is. Who doesn’t love tasty updates?