Which Web browser do you use on your laptop computers? We each have our preference, and there is no shortage of choice because there have been few casualties in these so-called “Web browser wars.”
There have even been new additions when it seemed there was little room left. So what is it that sets each of these browsers apart and allows them to survive in a highly competitive arena ?
Chrome by Google takes a minimalist approach, but Chrome avoids the pitfalls to which similar ventures have succumbed. Despite being “minimal,” Chrome is feature-rich, and the design never feels barren. It’s also one of the best choices if you’re surfing the Web on an old laptop computer. Not only does it do a lot with a little, it maximizes screen real estate, which is incredibly helpful on small laptop PC monitors.
Firefox has always been the king of versatility, and the newest incarnation is no exception. The Firefox user has a vast library of extensions available that they can use to custom tailor their browsing experience. The Mozilla team makes Firefox accessible to the open community, and the community thrives because of it. In fact, no browser has a more loyal or productive community supporting it.
Internet Explorer (IE8)
Since Firefox burst onto the scene, IE has always seemed late to the party. That finally began to change with IE7, which added much-demanded features and conformed to standards. IE8 is a refinement of the success, and the result is perhaps the most secure and stable Web browser ever seen. It may also be the first time anyone has offered Safari any real competition on the Mac platform.
Opera does many of the things that make Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer so popular, but in most cases, just not as well. The exception to this is low-bandwidth environments. Opera boasts a “Turbo mode” that compresses pictures and employs other speed tricks to get the most out of your Internet connection. Most users on broadband connections won’t even notice, but those on slow connections will be glad that Opera still cares.
The biggest pro Safari has had going for it is that it has been the only practical Mac OS browser option for a very long time. That could have led to stagnation, but for a number of reasons, it never did. Safari has always pushed the envelope and offered a refined browsing experience that made it the top choice on Macs. Safari has never done well in the PC arena, so it’ll be interesting to see how Safari develops if IE8 continues to make headway with Mac users.