With Microsoft recently announcing that Windows 7 will have a “Choice of Browers” instead of being stuck with IE 8 (at least till you download a browser of your choice). I thought of giving you a low-down of ALL the Popular Browsers available out there.
Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Netscape & Safari (There are other iterations/flavors, but I chose these for their popularity & availability with dedicated support)
The browser war has definitely heated up. What with IE, Opera, Firefox, & now Google’s very own Chrome (Shiny name for a browser isn’t it!). But, given all the players vying for your Desktop space & fighting to become the “Ultimate Fighter Champion” who do you choose?
Are we really spoilt for Choice or is there only a single browser worthy of giving enough attention to master its tricks & get the best of Internet Delivered to your Screen via the most efficient & highly productive Browser.
No one’s Perfect. You have to use the best & “work” with the rest to get what you want. Head over after the break to the Juice.
We all remember the old days where there were only two choices for browsing the net: Internet Explorer (IE) & Netscape. Not many people remember Netscape. During the incubation of Internet, Netscape was set to be huge. It had EVERYTHING. Browser, Mail client (able to handle all Mail protocols). POP was extremely popular. Whereas you needed an additional MS Outlook /Outlook Express if you wanted Mails on your Desktop.
But then, Netscape failed in India. Reason: India had Dial-up back then & Netscape tried to access Internet, the moment it was started, the dial-up window showed just once. Plainly it was just too much for the newly discovering Indians, who preferred the simple IE. But, more so, IE muscled out Netscape. AOL formally stopped development of Netscape Navigator on 28 December 2007
All the while Firefox was working quietly. It was generally believed that Firefox was a browser for the Geeks only. Not meant for “Normal” people. They were about to be proved wrong. On November 29, 2005, Firefox 1.0 was released. It was not immediately adopted. People were shy/wary or plain lethargic to try something new.
Meanwhile Opera was trying to rear its head. But could not gain popularity simply because it was “Buy To Use” Software & was add-hogged otherwise. Why would anybody prefer it was doubtful. But it always held promise, no matter what. Finally on September 20, 2005 Opera realized it’s mistakes & launched Version 8.5 completely Add-Free as a Freeware. Instantly, it’s popularity started to increase. By this time people were starting to experiment with new browsers anyways.
Opera has not looked back since & am certain will never regret the release of add-free version. The latest V 9.6 is still one-of-the-best.
Broadband was slowly penetrating in India & surfing was gaining importance. People were slowly getting hooked onto the net for reasons as varied as: Data mining, videos, news, shopping, banking, unmentionables, E-mail, etc.
Switch to Current Scenario:
IE 8: It has failed the high expectations people had from it. It is Slow, sluggish & doesn’t play nice with Plugins. Opera, released it dubious 9.51 which caused havoc with Gmail. It immediately released v9.52, but it was a bit late. Fence-sitters, immediately switched to Firefox & it’s fans rejoiced the surge in FifreFox Fanbase.
Google’s Chrome: It really looks (but does not behave!!) like a Minimalistic browser, the improvements are ALL “Under-The-Hood”. So far we have not seen easy & useful plugins for it. Its constantly morphing engine has driven programmers nuts AND it doesn’t get along-with JAVA.
My advice: Till chrome is very stable (Maybe v3.5 / v4) use it sparingly. However, people who use net infrequently or, are heavily dependent on Google products (Docs/Maps….) might find it VERY user-friendly.
Safari for Windows: Ahh here’s a browser that takes Firefox’s might & Chrome’s simplicity with Apple’s performance to the core.
This is second contender for the Ultimate browser.
Firefox: Now this is a browser that’s tries to make everyone happy. Its Open source structure means anyone can make good plugins for it. However, a word of caution, beyond a certain limit (@ 5-8) , the Plugins tend to weigh down heavily on System Resources.
My advice: Install it & use the plugins I advise to get the best of performance & eye-candy of the Internet.
The browser war seems to have come to the cold-war stage wherein the winner will be decided on the basis of who has the highest number of useful & practical plugins which can extract the last bit of Internet Juice & make surfing, not only efficient but fun & productivity.
DOWNLOAD Links to all browsers is given below:
Internet Explorer (You have to be owner of a legitimate copy Windows OS (to even download!!)