Microsoft recently released Internet Explorer 8, and while I find that it is a great piece of software, it had a few shortcomings which left Google Chrome untouched with respects to my default browser selection.
There is absolutely no doubt that IE8 is better than IE7, its predecessor. It is faster, more robust and certainly more stable. There are also some great new features; I am quite fond of IE8's Web Slices. I utilized a web slice for Digg's top stories and to observe some stock quotes and I found it seamless and quite enjoyable.
The private browsing feature is a given, and not because I am a 'sex-obsessed life-deprived banana stroker' but because there certainly are non-porn related situations where the feature is useful.
I also must applaud the integration of Internet Explorer with Windows Vista, from quick e-mail access to system-wide integrated RSS feeds; it certainly creates a seamless user experience.
With that said, however, I seem to be plagued with an issue when opening IE8 and opening tabs. Even with my new tab page set to "Blank Page", I encounter a delay of 3-4 seconds prior to the opening of said tab. I experience this delay in no other browser but IE8, and strangely enough only on my 64-Bit system (After following the instructions suggested here this issue is now resolved).
Google Chrome, on the other hand, lacks Web Slices and there is not as much integration as IE8 (though aesthetically, it's beautiful).
In terms of speed, Chrome opens quicker and I do not experience a 'tab delay' problem. With regard to actual browsing speed, both browsers seem to be roughly in the same area. Certainly there are websites which load quicker on Chrome, but the same is true for IE8 as well.
What is important here, is not that Google Chrome holds the default position on my computer, but that IE8 falls short for very few reasons. No longer do we associate IE8 with the issues that plagued its predecessors. Given the direction in which Microsoft seems to be moving, I think we can certainly remain optimistic about the future.
Until then, I'll dabble in Internet Explorer 8 occasionally while remaining faithful to my flavour of the week: Google Chrome.