Would Microsoft be smart to try to head off Google's Chrome before it can gain a foothold by rolling out a smaller, faster, lighter version of Internet Explorer?
I've been dabbling with both Internet Explorer (IE) 8 Beta 2 and the Google Chrome beta over the past couple of weeks. I've fallen into the following usage pattern: IE 8 is my go-to browser for everyday use. But when I need to get to check a Web site quickly, I use Chrome.
I realize there's been a lot of back-and-forth over whether Chrome is really substantially faster than IE 8. I've seen folks weigh in on all sides. But on my old trusty ThinkPad X60 running XP SP2, Chrome is noticeably faster -- in both loading and taking me to sites.
The IE 8 team is marching toward a November release-to-Web date, based on the latest info I have. I wondered whether the surprise introduction of Chrome by Google might have derailed the schedule. At the very least, I thought Chrome's speed, size and simpler/faster installation experience might have given the IE 8 team pause.
So I asked the IE folks whether Chrome had them thinking about making changes, if not some kind of "IE Lite." The answer, delivered back to me by a Microsoft spokeswoman, was a definite no. Here's the word:
"Microsoft will continue to gather feedback from both developers and customers throughout Beta 2. Additional releases will be based on the feedback received during the process."
What do you think of Microsoft's claim that its customers prefer "right" to "light"? Do the two really have to be mutually exclusive?