Internet Browser Wars

Most of us have an opinion on which technology is the best and why everyone should use it. Whether it’s Mac or PC, Droid or iPhone, our passion for our gadgets can get pretty intense. You see this passion a lot when discussing which browsers are the best for surfing the web.

If you have been using the same browser since first surfing of the Internet, there are other options you can explore. To help you understand what’s available here is some information on some of the more popular browsers.

Internet Explorer (IE)

The reigning champion, mostly due to the fact that it’s the default for most PCs manufactured, and actually mandated in some workplaces. Based on its number of users, either a lot of people aren’t aware of alternatives or can’t be bothered to switch to something new and different.

Since IE is the standard, most web sites support this browser. But some radical website designers are now refusing to support IE on the basis that it can be buggy, unstable, and has too many security vulnerabilities. Some say this move is done by “Designer Elitists”; however most designers with this claim state they are only looking out for the user’s best interests. It is true though, IE has a history of security issues and has been known to crash frequently. If you’ve been using IE because “it came with your PC”…please keep reading.

Firefox

Firefox was all the rage in the several years ago and its use grew very quickly, mainly for its level of security, customization, and themes. Cool features, such as extensions, give your application new functionality. These range from customized news readers to SEO toolbars. These extensions also provide the ability to tailor your browser's look and feel in several different formats.

Firefox is pretty efficient memory-wise, considering all the bells and whistles it has. It has excellent standards support and is quite stable. It also has a truly staggering number of Add-ons and Extensions available for easy download and quick integration.

Many users wish Firefox had built-in Flash, pdf reader, and an instant page view (like Chrome). It’s also not so hot in HTML5 support, which is becoming a bigger drawback as this technology is used more. However, if you have set up Firefox exactly how you like it, with your favorite skins and extensions, it’s tough to switch to Chrome just because it’s a little cleaner and arguably faster.

Chrome

If you oppose the “Googlification” of the world, stay away from Chrome. Otherwise, there are very few drawbacks. It’s a little heavy on memory (not the browser itself, but the extensions) and the menus are hidden under a little spanner button, which is not inherently intuitive, but it’s really the only thing that’s not patently obvious. Although the extension library is nowhere near as extensive as that of Firefox, there are some pretty cool extensions you can download based on your browsing needs.

Chrome’s pros are unmatched: the omnibox, the translation application, and incognito mode are just a few.

Safari

Safari is a minimalist’s web browser, and apparently, that’s a pretty big demographic. The interface is very clean and simple. There’s very little customization available, but it does make bookmarking and adding RSS feeds extremely easy.

It’s not just for Macs, but the experience is more seamless with a Mac than a PC. One of the unique features is the ability to save tabs for later. Another popular feature is the Reader function. When you arrive on a page that Safari identifies as an article, a grey Reader button appears. Upon clicking the button, a window appears over the top of the webpage, showing the article on a single page and stripping it of all the ads and extraneous layout details. The page behind it is darkened to avoid distractions.

For Insights and Browser Market Share visit: http://insights.chitika.com/2012/web-browser-market-share-jun-2012-update-2/

 

What’s your favorite browser and why? Tell us in the comments!

[image: ThinkStockPhotos]

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