Web Browser Roundup

Find the best browser for you with this informative Web Browser Roundup

Introduction

Back in the days of the Browser Wars, it was a battle between two well established titans – Internet Explorer and Netscape.  IE dominated the Windows world largly because it was the default browser for Microsoft’s flagship OS; and it was causing issues for other organizations who were trying to make money via providing a competitive browser.

We all know what happened – Netscape eventually died and Microsoft was put on double-super-secret probation via global anti-trust actions. Today, they still have to present a browser choice screen allowing European users the option of downloading and installing a different desktop browser. Effects of that anti-trust decision have been long reaching.  The browser wars were effectively over more than 10 years ago.

However, IE innovation has been largely stagnant since IE7 was released. IE8 and IE9 provided evolutionary updates, but nothing really to write home about. My wife, upon using IE9 for the first time, wanted to know what else might be available to her, something that she’s never asked for or about…EVER.  Let’s take a quick look at a few different browsers and talk about the ups and downs of each in their own, separate reviews.

Opera for Windows

Its hard, sometimes to get past IE. There’s so much that its done wrong in the past.  Finding a replacement browser isn’t always easy.  This is one reason why I like Opera. It’s a web browsing alternative for Windows. Read more…

Mozilla Firefox for Windows

Directly from the folks who helped bring you Netscape, Firefox is perhaps one of the best 3rd party browsers available for Windows today. Read more…

Google Chrome

The number of people using Google’s Chrome browser has almost doubled in the past year, and most analysts expect it to take over from Firefox as the lead challenger to Internet Explorer sometime in 2012. Why the growth? Well, simply put it just works. Read more…

Safari

If you’re looking for an alternative for your Windows platform, or have made a switch to OS X, then you’re going to want to take a look at Apple’s Safari browser. It’s one of the best browsers around, and like most, it’s free. Read more…

IE 10

Browse the internet with ease with Microsoft’s premier browser for Windows and Windows RT. Read more…

 

Conclusion

While IE 10 isn’t bad, I have an issue with full screen browsing, and despite what you might think, IE really wants to function in a full screen, fully hiding the rest of the OS from the user, especially on a Windows RT tablet. This is a paradigm shift issue with me mostly; but I’m sorry…I just can’t help not liking full screen mode.  I don’t use full-screen mode on my Mac, either.  IE10 runs in full screen on Windows RT machines, and should run windowed on Windows 8 Pro tablets; but again, it wants to run full screen. I prefer a windowed look and the ability to tile app windows throughout.

While IE10 is much faster than previous versions, and there is a Windows 7 version available for download, Microsoft has always had performance issues with retro fitting current version browsers for previous version operating systems. IE10 was written for Windows 8. Expect to see the best performance for the browser on Windows 8.

Its difficult to pick between Opera and Firefox for Windows. They are in many ways, very similar. They’re both based on WebKit; and both perform well and offer what many would consider improvements over current and past versions of IE.

Honestly, it comes down to a matter of personal preference and choice. I use Firefox at work under Windows XP. It’s a great browser, and I am very satisfied with its performance. Its tabs are great, and I like its system of managing plugins and add-ons. Opera offers equivalent features, but it never seemed to catch on as well as Firefox has.  That shouldn’t keep you from downloading and giving the browser a chance, however. Its fast, easy to use, and offers the same value as Firefox, if with a different presentation. Its “O” button at the top left corner of its window is a great way to present all of its menu choices in one easily accessible place.

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Mozilla Firefox 8 cannot surpass Google’s Chrome

Lean, mean Mozilla update brings welcome improvements and enhancements.

Mozilla Firefox 8 is the latest major update to the popular web browser and includes a wealth of new improvements and features. Add-ons have long been a hallmark of the Firefox experience, allowing users to customise their browsing experience to their own preferences. The update has made a few improvements to the add-on system, including default disabling of add-ons installed by third-party programs, and a new system for managing installed add-ons. Twitter has been incorporated into the search bar in a particularly handy fashion. Tab organization has also been updated with a new preference allowing the loading of tabs on demand. This feature also helps to speed up start-up time.

Beneath the hood, the update has added in better support for HTML5, although Firefox still lags behind Chrome in this regard. Overall the update offers better performance and memory use than previously with increased graphics acceleration as well. On the downside Mozilla Firefox 8 features no built in PDF reader, flash or instant page view as can be found in Chrome, and the HTML5 support is behind Chrome. It is said that the startup speed has improved but it still lags behind that of IE9 and Chrome.

download Mozilla Firefox 8

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Internet Explorer drops below 50% of Web usage

Even by the most generous estimates, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is used by barely 50% of Internet users worldwide, meaning that we are approaching or even past the point where most people aren’t using the browser. It’s been a shocking decline from the mid-1990s when as many as 95% of people were on IE. But the big story now isn’t Microsoft’s losses, but rather that it’s Google picking up much of the slack.

It’s important to note that the methods used to create browser market share figures vary from source to source. Most involve using website traffic logs which record the browser used by each visitor to a site. Some of the leading market share figure reports come from web analysis companies who get data from hundreds of thousands of clients, making a reasonably representative sample of the entire web, but this can vary. Still, even while the figures vary (and most sources already have Microsoft below 50%), the pattern is consistent.

For the second half of last decade, it looked as if the company’s main challenge would come from Mozilla’s Firefox browser, but Firefox’s market share has largely flatlined for the past couple of years. Instead it’s Google’s Chrome that is on the ascendance, with its market share almost trebling in three years and the browser taking the number two spot in some measures.

Why the trend? Well, in Microsoft’s case the fact that it’s the default option has finally come back to bite it. Simply put, while more and more people are experimenting with alternative browsers, few people switch to Internet Explorer. Meanwhile Microsoft’s in-built advantage of being the default option on most computers (which was the subject of a European Commission investigation that’s led to users being actively offered a choice of browser while installing Windows) is becoming less significant as more and more people use smartphones and tablet devices.

As for Chrome picking up the slack, that’s largely because of two main advantages from a “sandbox” system that means each open tab is treated as if it were a separate application. That means that if there’s a problem with one tab, the others continue to work without slowdowns or crashes; meanwhile any infected webpages are ring-fenced so that they can’t damage the rest of the computer.

Perhaps even more amazingly, there are even predictions Chrome will take the number one slot by June 2012. That’s based on the simple logic of taking the growth or decline of each browser across the first half of 2011 and working on the basis that market shares will continue to grow at the same rate.

Whether that’s really going to happen on such a timescale is a little more debatable. Many of the people who’ve switched to Chrome are “early adopters” who are more prepared to try out new things, while those remaining on Internet Explorer may be much more wary of changing. That’s likely to mean Chrome’s growth rate inevitable slows down.

That said, the pattern is clearly there and not only does it seem conceivable Internet Explorer will one day lose its crowd, but Chrome seems by far the most likely successor to the top spot.

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Google Chrome is coming to Android

Back in September 2008, Google released two important products that shortly become widely used and very popular worldwide: the Android platform which owns most of the smartphone market this days and Chrome, one of the most popular web browser on the planet, actually, the third most widely used, just behind the second place Firefox browser.

As expected by many, Chrome will be launched for Android too and it might happen in October 11. The information comes from Chromium Code website where we also found out that the Android version of Chrome will include most desktop functions and support for 2D Skia – a complete 2D graphic library for drawing Text, Geometries, and Images that Google has been hard at work on.

Skia features include:

  • 3×3 matrices w/ perspective
  • antialiasing, transparency, filters
  • shaders, xfermodes, maskfilters, patheffects

Back to October 11, Google has an event partner with Samsung with the debut of Nexus Prime and Ice Cream Sandwich and maybe, Chrome for Android makes an appearance. I believe that the Android version Chrome will be available through Android Market and it will also come as an option to the stock Android browser right out of the box for the latest version of Android, but this is just a hunch.

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Browse secure with Comodo Dragon

Comodo Dragon is a free browser based on the Chromium technology that offers all the basic Google’s Chrome features plus an additional level of security and privacy. For instance if you visit a site that has a domain certificate, Comodo browser can make the difference between a superior and an inferior SSL certificate and notifies the user about this. From the privacy point of view, the Comodo browser will not connect to remote servers to report errors from your computer. Instead it returns error messages found on your computer so that it prevents the download tracking.

Besides its additional security and privacy modules, Comodo Dragon looks good using some fresh new browsing icons that improves not only the look of it but also increases simplicity. Without any extensions support or live bookmark sync, Comodo has a reduced memory footprint compared to the standard version of Chrome. But if you decide to choose simplicity and usability against complexity, the lack of these Chromium features is excusable.

If you are not sure if this browser is worth enough to try it out you should take in consideration two other important things. When installing the application you have the option to choose for a portable version of the program. You can also import your history, password, cookies and other settings from your current browser into Comodo. So there is nothing to make you not want it.

download Comodo Dragon 14.0

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How to get rid of Google Translation Bar in Chrome

I have to admit that I’m quite late when it comes at using Google Chrome as a main browser. Well, I’ve tried it it in the past, but now I’m using it full-time and I’m satisfied, except one thing: the Translation Bar. It shows up offering translated version of every webpage that I visit. Now, considering that I generally browse web-pages only written in English, I had to get rid of it. Let me show you how, it’s really simple… First thing first, click on the Chrome Settings icon and when the drop-down menu appears, select Options. Go to the “Under the hood” tab, look at “Translate” and un-check “Offer to translate pages that aren’t in a language I read”. That’s it, you just got rid of Chrome’s Auto Translation Bar.

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How to import Bookmarks and Settings from Firefox or IE to Chrome

If you are an Internet Explorer or Firefox user willing to switch over to Google Chrome, you must bring your Bookmarks, History and saved Passwords first. Thankfully, Chrome has a great feature which makes it really easy to important your IE or Firefox Favorites (Bookmarks, History and so on). Lets see how we do this.

First of all, close your browser (IE/Firefox) if is currently running and then open Google Chrome. Next, Click on the Chrome Settings icon and when the drop-down menu appears, select Bookmarks and then Import Bookmarks and Settings.

After that, the Import Bookmarks and Settings dialog should now be displayed. First, select from each browser you would like to import your Favorites and then select which items to import. When done, just hit the Import button.

Once done, your IE/Firefox Favorites should be added to the Bookmarks section of Chrome. To view your Bookmarks, you must first click on the Other bookmarks button, located on right hand side of Chrome’s Bookmarks Bar. If you can’t see at all Chrome’s Bookmarks Bar, just press Ctrl+Shift+B (at once) on your keyboard and the Bar will appear.

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Mozilla Firefox 5 is now officially available for download

Surprisingly, Firefox 5 comes just a little over three months of it previous version Firefox 4. This due to the new Mozilla model rapid release development cycle, which means smaller incremental changes and more often releases, bringing new features, performance enhancements, security updates and stability improvements in a more rapid pace.

As you can see, Firefox 5 looks exactly like Firefox 4 but under the hood, there are several improvements such as better support for web standards, tons of bug fixes and other modification in the code.

Actually, Mozilla said that Firefox 5 comes with over 1,000 improvements and performance enchantments that makes much easier for users to interact with the web browser.

Read Firefox 4 Review | Download Firefox 5 for Windows | Download Firefox 5 for Mac | Download Firefox 5 for Linux

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