Browser Wars

My first experience with a "browser" was Mosaic around 1994 in the Washington State University computer labs. I viewed it as a novel and somewhat intriguing toy but I wasn't overly impressed.

Within a year I was sitting in a physics lab on the WSU campus browsing early web sites with Netscape and my head was fairly spinning with the implications of what I was finding openly available to anyone with a connection. Little did I know reality would soon far exceed my wildest imaginations.
By 1997 I was attending graduate school at Oregon State University and the web was starting to become what it is today. I used the WWW every day and Netscape was the browser of choice for myself and almost everyone I knew. At that time Microsoft was in all kinds of trouble over Internet Explorer's OS integration and I thought of them as something just short Satan incarnate. Despite that stance I was using IE exclusively within a year. Over that year the feature gap between IE and Netscape closed drastically and it finally reached the point for me that it wasn't worth fighting Microsoft and IE. From then until last month I've used IE exclusively as my internet browser.
Last month I switched to Chrome. More than anything I switched because I'm a neophile. I like "new" and every so often I just have to change things up. I honestly didn't feel there was any practical purpose for making the switch I just wanted to play with something new. I was pleasantly surprised  to find I was wrong. Chrome is, in almost every way, superior to IE. It's faster, it offers much better customization and it feels more modern. Granted, none of the differences are earth shattering but as a whole Chrome is clearly superior to IE.

Everything looked good with Chrome. I was about ready to say goodbye (forever?) to IE and then I tried to debug a Silverlight project. I'd set Chrome as my default browser so, of course, Visual Studio used Chrome to start up my project. I went to debug one of my Silverlight projects and found my debug breakpoints were giving me the "no symbols loaded" warning. I was baffled, for about five minutes, until I realized I hadn't tried debugging a Silverlight application with Chrome before. A quick search verified this can indeed be a problem.

It was an easy thing to switch the default browser for my project to use IE instead of my system default browser Chrome but I find it amusing that after all this time I've finally entered the Browser Wars.