Major web browsers compared!

Written by on Thursday, July 3, 2008 20:53 - 0 Comments

Web Browsers: Internet explorer 7, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Netscape

Netscape Navigator was was discontinued in March of 2008 by its parent company, AOL.  This ended the browsers production and development, and marked a sad day for long-time fans.  The worldwide web that we all know and love today owes much of it’s beauty and power to Netscape Communications Corp., not the least of which are inline images and sound.  Colored text, frames, tables, and passing information to a new window or tab are all directly traced to the development efforts of Netscape. And, most important of all, cookies, SSL, and authentication certificates, without which we wouldn’t be able to do the kind f secure shopping online that millions of people have grown to accept as part of their daily lives.

Originally Netscape’s only serious competitor, Internet Explorer gained acceptance through the late 90’s, largely due to being integrated into Windows products.  After Netscape was absorbed into AOL (America Online), it’s popularity began to drop off, and by 2000, IE had moved into the forefront as the most widely used browser.  Today, IE7 is faced with stiff competition in the form of Firefox, but still holds a majority of the browser market share.  It’s integration with Windows and other Microsoft products makes it widely available with no searching or downloading, and its feature base continues to grow as web 2.0 develops and the Internet grows in new directions.

Opera, the fourth-ranked web browser, found it’s niche in the mobile technologies, offering browsing and email capabilities for cell-phones, PDA’s, and other mobile devices.  Opera, like most web browsing software, is free for personal users.  For commercial applications, though, a usage license must be purchased, which is a decided drawback for gaining market share in corporate settings.  While not as powerful as IE7 or Firefox, Opera offers such conveniences as tabbed browsing and spyware / malware protection.

Firefox, the up and coming hot contender for most popular browser, just released a version 3, which builds on the tremendous success of earlier versions and adds many new features.  In addition, Firefox downloads, on the first day of its version 3 release, reached an unprecedented 8 million.  No software ever released for download on the internet has been accessed so many times in a 24 hour period, giving Firefox 3 an estimated 4% browser market share in a single day.  Firefox, in addition to its ease of use, and being backed by Mozilla, one of the oldest browser development companies in the world, boasts the capability of add-on functions in a variety that no other browser can come anywhere close to matching.


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