Over at Three Word Chant they have uncovered a Newsweek article from 1995 by Clifford Stoll, entitled “The Internet? Bah!” telling us why the internet would ultimately fail to fulfil all the predictions made about it.
Clifford was not some nay-saying crackpot, he knew his stuff, he was just wrong. Funny thing is, back then I probably would have agreed with him and I’m going to be a little bit controversial here – I think Microsoft played a big part in his predictions not coming true.
Now, I’m not one to force (or even encourage) people to change their web browser. It’s a matter of familiarity and personal choice. I’ve always liked Firefox and used it in preference to Internet Explorer. But when I worked at a certain big pharma corporate, it was IE or nothing.
This could be because I had always used Netscape (well, Mosaic briefly when t’interweb was first invented) and watched it wither and die under the onslaught of IE. Sob.
However, today I saw first hand a good reason to change. I was trying to sort out a customer’s PC that was running very slowly when accessing his email. He uses Sky as his provider and accesses email via their website. Rather than just blame Sky, I asked him to try accessing his email on his partner’s laptop. No problems there, her laptop was a lot faster.
Both running Internet Explorer, both accessing the same mailbox, one significantly faster. I suggested uninstalling IE8 on his machine, in case it was that (IE8 has been going out as a high-priority update on Microsoft update – tut tut). But he didn’t have IE8 installed. So I suggested he install it.
Not clutching at straws at all, then.
Still no luck. Then a flash of inspiration. Sky email is actually provided by Google, so why not try that flash new browser, Google Chrome?
Now, bearing in mind I was doing all this in a remote support session, which makes things slow, I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the difference.
Accessing Sky Email with Google Chrome was fantastic, so if you have the first I recommend the second. I just don’t recommend the first…
However, I will be sticking with Firefox a little longer, for reasons I will explain another time.