This post is in response to Giorgio's question about what makes Chrome a better choice for some people.
I have switched to Chrome full-time. However, I long to return to Firefox ultimately because I like Mozilla philosophy and the company. I post this in the hopes that others will read it (hopefully even Mozilla folks) and change Firefox for the better. Here are the reasons why I switched to Chrome at least for the time being.
1. Chrome is designed better from a UI perspective. Specifically:
-everything opens in a Tab, which makes for easy organization and recognition. A nice example is the Print command. Look at Print Preview in Chrome vs. Firefox. Chrome integrated Print Preview and Print in the same tab. And when you click PRINT the tab deletes and takes you back to the webpage. This is smart design and results in less things popping up on your screen and less clicks. Firefox opens a whole new window. And when you click print, you have then wait for the dialog to finish the job and then manually close the window. A burden.
-the FIND feature (Ctrl + F) in Chrome is AWESOME! Firefox's FIND function isn't even in the same league as Chrome's. It's painful to have to search a page with Firefox. There are dozens of small features to Chrome's Find function that I could single out that make it a delight to use.
-Chrome gives a nice Home page with a bookmarks bar. Users can show most frequented tabs or hide them at the bottom of the screen. Firefox just gives users a blank white page, nothing useful on it at all.
-Chrome integrates searching from the URL-bar by default. And typing Ctrl + K allows users to search a web address itself.
-I left Internet Explorer 7 for Firefox because I could customize Firefox to display less toolbars and claim more real estate. Chrome came out and claimed more real estate than Firefox by putting tabs over the titlebar (something Firefox still can't do on Linux).
-Chrome tabs blur the end of the Tab's Title instead of using an ellipsis (...). A nice feature.
2. Firefox has a horrendous problem with Memory Leaks. (This is ultimately what made me finally move to Chrome). Often time when I close Firefox, I can't reopen it again. When I click the Firefox icon I get a message saying firefox is already running. I need to Kill the process to be able to start it again. Chrome on the otherhand never has this problem and memory is given back to the system whenever I close a Tab.
3. Chrome has built-in Flash and PDF reader. everything the user needs for the web is present.
4. Chrome auto-updates itself and all its components, e.g., Flash, PDF, plugins, extensions. This improves security and lessens the burden on the user.
5. Chrome gives Linux more attention than Firefox. For example, Firefox gave Microsoft Windows users super-neat STRATA themed toolbar buttons, but Linux distros are stuck with crappy GTK buttons. Chrome gives Linux users a choice of GTK or the Microsoft Windows Themed buttons in the default install. How come Firefox didn't do the same for its Linux users?
6. Firefox users have been complaining for a long while that things can install plugins without user permission. Plus some plugins get installed without user permission and then they can't be easily uninstalled.
I'm sure there's more things that I'm forgetting at the moment. But these communicate the essence. There's no specific thing. Firefox grew non-responsive to users and began to lack innovation. Chrome raised the bar on UI, integration, the thoughtful way things function which aids ease of use. Things Firefox users have been asking for in bugzilla for years are showing up in Chrome.
Firefox is beginning to implement lots of these "Chrome positives." Firefox 8 is supposed to finally address plugins being installed without User's permissions. And due to Firefox's awesome customizability, some of these features can be hacked together (like searching from the URL-bar). But they are still way behind. Chrome caught Mozilla sleeping. The FIND function is a good example. There are bugzilla reports going back to like 2005 of people asking for mozilla to implement functions similar to what Chrome ended up implementing in its FIND function. Chrome has them implemented. Firefox still hasn't, yet this is a major tool that users use on a daily basis while surfing the web (at least I do).
Chrome isn't perfect. There are certainly things I like better on Firefox than on Chrome. For example, I like Firefox's tabs better. And I like how Firefox allows users to "scroll" the tabs when lots and lots of them are open. And I like the "Tab Groupings" that Firefox can do. I also like that Firefox has a Permanent Private Browsing mode that disables Cache. And I love Firefox's Awesome Bar and how users can tell it to display only Bookmarks. But when taken as an entire package, Chrome UI integration, lack of memory leak problems, minimalist design, and ease of use is what's winning a lot of people over.
I look forward to returning to Firefox. At least I hope too. But they need to address many issues where they've fallen behind. I think the rapid-release cycle is a smart move on Mozilla's part. I think Chrome woke Mozilla up. Thankfully