The Browser War

 

IE, Firefox and Chrome      Isn’t the internet a great place to be in. Being able to connect with anyone from anywhere has been such a wonderful lifestyle for most of us in this present age. Of course, there the web browsers, applications that aid in the viewing of web content and transferring of data over the air. And like most other applications, some applications do it better than others. I thought that this could be a hot topic to tackle.

       Ever since the emergence of the internet came the first browser wars. When I was still little, I was a  frequent user of the Netscape browser, a once dominant browser that is now dead. It was intriguing, user-friendly, and was one of the first browsers to use tabs. It was actually quite enjoyable to use back in the day.

   Those were the Netscape days until the emergence of Internet Explorer from Microsoft. When Microsoft released IE as an integrated application of Windows, many users no longer bothered with finding any other browser to use besides the one already bundled. So if you ever wondered why the majority of PC users are still using the barebones Internet Explorer, you can blame the laziness of users for not bothering to find another browser that is actually better.

     Moving on, the death of Netscape really saddened me. However, the end of an era led to the beginning of another. After Netscape died, the source codes were used in the formation of a web company that would strike fear into the heart of Microsoft. That company is no other than Mozilla, the makers of the highly-acclaimed browser Firefox. When I first used Firefox, I instantly fell in love with it. It was fast, used tabs like Netscape and had a thriving community that uploaded awesome themes to use.

     Then came the day I lay my eyes on the Mac, which had its own version of a bundled browser, Safari. Just like Firefox, it was fast, simplified and elegant. By the time I switched to a Mac, Safari has been my default browser ever since, while Firefox remained as my default browser when using Windows.

      Though Firefox and Safari were enjoyable, there came a new Windows browser whose speed is only matched by Safari. Most of us know this browser as Chrome, a blazing-fast browser from the guys at Google. Chrome was literally more simplified than Safari or Firefox. In terms of speed, it delivered. In interface, it was beautiful. I now use Chrome every time I’m on Windows, but I still keep Firefox around since Chrome is still relatively new.

Safari 4 Outruns Every Other Browser

     I even planned on getting Chrome for Mac when it came out. However, that plan changed when Apple showed off Safari 4, by far the only browser that can beat Chrome’s incredible speed. There’s a chance I might even get Safari 4 for Windows, but that time is still far off.

       So where’s Internet Explorer in all of this? I say it’s not even worth keeping around. Ever since the Firefox days, Internet Explorer has been beaten by nearly every single browser out there. The interface is bulky, the speed is unsatisfying, and support is awful. It’s a shame that the slowest browser out there is also the most-widely used browser as well, with almost 70% of the entire browsing population.

       So where is the direction of the browser war now? In my opinion the browser war is divided into three categories: speed, community, and usage. The speed war is currently a cut-throat competition between Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome. The community war is still held by undisputed champion Mozilla Firefox with a vibrant, thriving community compared to the rest. The usage war is being fought between the dominant Internet Explorer and the underdog Firefox. Unfortunately for Mozilla, the dominance IE currently holds may remain for as long as people remain not looking for a better browser to use.

      So what do I have to say in all this? Just one thing: there are lot of cool browsers to choose from. I personally prefer Safari, but I know how awesome Firefox can be to most of us. As for IE, I don’t think I would put that as a recommendation, particularly version 7. I will review IE 8 as a part of the Windows 7 Journal. IE does look good and seems to work well, but I strongly discourage IE if you are after performance or seamless interface. I apologize if I am kinda against IE since I used to be a Netscape loyalist. But if you were to ask me which would generally be the best browsers to use, for now those browsers would be Firefox for Windows and Safari for Mac, but I do have faith that Chrome will go far in the long run. It’s just a matter of time on where this war will go.

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~ by Ian on March 1, 2009.

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