As more and more news on Google's new Chrome browser comes online I find myself wondering what the future of the "Browser" is going to be and which ones will remain after the dust settles. Google's Chrome promises to give Internet Explorer a run for it's money but there are so many large companies with overbearing and controlling IT departments who have yet to upgrade to IE7 from the dreadful IE6, I wonder how many will actually take the leap to browsers like Chrome of my favorite FireFox 3.1.
There's no doubt IE6 should be put out of it's (and our) misery. My concern is not that browsers are getting better, but that we as designers and developers now have more to code for than ever and an even stronger suite for web standards (and browsers that support all of them!).
Here's my take on the whole situation:
IE7 will more than likely remain at the top of the heap, though not one of my favorites it does support all or most of the most recent CSS rendering techniques.
Google Chrome will give IE a good challenger but will probably never have the market penetration that IE has. Currently there's no native Mac support but I have a feeling it's a short wait for this to happen. I've also heard through the grapevine that Chrome very soon will have the ability to use plug-ins and addons the same way Firefox does.
FireFox will more than likely remain my favorite browser for it's addon's alone, as well as it's open source community and it's action to kill IE. The browser runs like it should and renders all CSS properly. It's easy to develop for, especially with addons like Firebug and Developers Toolbar.
Safari, in my opinion, probably will remain one of the top Mac browsers but it's penetration into the PC market will remain relatively small especially with the introduction of Chrome and Firefox's ever growing popularity.
In the end it's all speculation, only time will tell who will go the way of Netscape Navigator and who's here to stay.