Goodbye Chrome, Hello Opera

Opera BrowserIn my last post, I talked about how I was going to look at the tools I use and diversify them a bit as I have come to rely on one company, Google, for nearly everything I do.

And that’s not good.

So, since a large percentage of my time is spent online I figured the logical place to start is with my browser. I’ve been a Chrome user almost since the day it came out. I’ve enjoyed the tight integration with their other products and the speed at which is runs but it’s also the basket that holds all the other eggs so out it goes.

With Chrome off the table I looked at the other possible browsers out there. I crossed Internet Explorer off the list right away as I wanted to maintain a certain decoupling with my operating system and as I work in Windows most of the time I also decided to cross off Safari as well (that whole Apple vs. Microsoft thing).

Next on my list was Firefox. Before my days as a Chrome user I was a Firefox user and spent many hours toying with the different extentions and add-ons, constantly tweaking it. I’m also concerned with the way that Firefox has hogged memory in the past (like Chrome does now) as I typically have a lot open on my desktop. So while it stayed on my list for a while and is installed as my backup browser I decided to pass on it as my primary browser.

So, where did that leave me? With a list of off-shoot browsers and the one that I decided to go with – Opera.

If you read the above statement and don’t know anything about the Opera browser, don’t feel bad, according the stats over at Netmarket Share Opera has about a 2% market share – that’s right not a lot of folks are using it.

So why go with the #5 browser in the market? I think it goes back to this older post. In that post I mentioned that I needed to get back to what I enjoy, puzzling things out, solving problems and trying new things. I’ve used all of the browsers mentioned above and had never really tried Opera so I thought I would make a go of it on this switch.

To be honest, as I write this I’ve been on Opera for my personal browsing for over a month now (I still use Chrome at work) and other than a few minor inconveniences things are going well. I’ve had to adjust to not having instant access (via extensions) to some of the services I use but that also made me take a look at those services to determine if I really needed to have that access or use them at all.

Do I miss some of those things? I did at first, but as I use Opera more, adjust my work flows and change up my tools, the pain of those changes lessens.

I’m still learning my way around Opera and haven’t really dug into all it’s capable of yet but I’m peeling back the layers a bit at a time and so far I’m happy with my decision.

So, what browser do you use? Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, something else? Why not share about it in the comments below.