It is hard for me to think of a software war that sees more action than the browser wars. Today the browser is probably the single most important program on one’s computer. We live in a world where not having a computer connected to the Internet is unthinkable (kinda makes me wonder how I survived my first 5 years with a computer, huh mom and dad?) Yes, the browser is that indispensable window to the world that makes up most of our lives. Name one other program in your arsenal that sends as much time running as the browser.
At anytime I have about 3 browsers on my computer, and I’m constantly cycling through them as my tastes change. If I find a deficiency in one, I move to another for a time until something else arises. However, on the whole I juggle my time between Safari 5 and Chrome 10 (mostly because Safari is needed for launching my school’s VPN). RockMelt is used from time to time, though my love of the browser has waned overtime. Firefox has long been absent from my arsenal because version 3.6 is pretty slow.
So today, with the release of the much-awaited Firefox 4 that vastly improves Mozilla’s offering, I’ve decided to compile a guide to browsers. Hopefully you can all make some better-educated decisions about which programs you’ll allow on your computer. Each has their pluses and minuses that I hope to weigh in on, from UI design and utility, performance and stability, and real world convenience of design. As well, I will be running a few benchmarks to give you some quantifiable differences. Pretty graphs and everything! But don’t just look at the data, make sure to browse on and see my opinions on the real feel with each browser.