The web browsers war is far from finished and the competitors are gathering their strength to capture users’ vote. The most important thing is that now, there are several competitors compared to the early days of the web, when Netscape and Internet Explorer were the only true players. And everyone wants the Internet browser crown. Actually I will not be surprise to see Facebook developing their own browser. It’s that dynamic the Internet browsers competition. But, until Facebook does that, I will present today’s competitors.
This article is the first in a series of posts dedicated to the features and performances of web browsers. So, before we start analyzing and benchmarking we must meet our competitors.
Internet Explorer 8
At this time, Internet Explorer from Microsoft is in its 8th generation in the beta 2 stage. Soon, maybe in the first quarter of 2009 we will see the official version available for download. But, until then we will enjoy the new features that are embedded in this beta release. Speaking of features, since this is the descriptive part, I will showcase the main features:
Internet Explorer Main Features
- Accelerators provide instant access to information like maps, Web search, translation, email, blogging, and more.
- The new Search Box takes results to a whole new level by adding graphics and images, helping you find exactly what you want
- Internet Explorer 8 automatically delivers updated information directly to a Web Slice in your Favorites Bar, all without leaving the page you’re on
- Smart Address Bar offers useful suggestions from your browsing history, favorites, and feeds
- Web site crashes are now isolated to individual tabs rather than entire browser windows
Mozilla Firefox 3
Firefox is the alternative to old versions of Internet Explorer or … was. It is clearly the most embraced browser by the developers community. With tons of addons and custom themes, Firefox is one of the most “crowdsourced” browser. I will share some of the features but keep in mind that you can boost its functionality by adding various plugins. For this test we will use Firefox 3.1 beta 2 version.
Firefox Main Features
- Manage your bookmarks a lot or a little. One click on the star icon at the end of the location bar bookmarks a site
- Addons Manager: you can now find and install add-ons directly in your browser
- Firefox 3 location bar learns as you use it—it’s so highly evolved that it is called the “Awesome Bar”
- Firefox 3 protects you from viruses, worms, trojan horses and spyware
- Access your favorite search engines quickly from the integrated search bar
Apple Safari 3.2
Entitled as the “World’s Best Browser” by Apple, which is not exactly something nice, Safari is in its 3rd generation. Used mainly on Mac machines, the browser was released this year also for Windows operating system. For our tests we will use and analyze Safari’s 3.2 features.
Safari 3.2 Main Features
- Safari’s clean look lets you focus on the web — not your browser
- Resize text fields on any website: Just grab the corner and drag
- Instantly snap back to search results or the top level of a website
- Apple engineers designed Safari to be secure from day one
- Let Safari complete online forms for you, automatically and securely
Opera 10 Alpha
Opera is one of the oldest and at the same time with constant improvements browser on the web. It is in its 10th generation and this one has many features available for the users. Opera 10 Alpha is the testing version for our upcoming analysis and it has plenty to show.
Opera 10 Main Features
- Use full HTML formatting or just plain text in your e-mails
- With the Opera Presto 2.2 engine, you can use Web Fonts -including SVG font files- on your Web pages
- Opera Dragonfly is now even better for debugging Web sites, allowing you to edit the DOM and inspect HTTP headers
- Opera 10 alpha makes it easier than ever to stay up to date with the latest version
- In Opera Presto 2.2 it is easier to make page elements transparent, with the addition of an alpha transparency argument to the RGB and HSL color models
Google Chrome is the youngest browser in this test and it is the proof that web browsers war is something very important. So important, that Google has its own soldier – Google Chrome. Since most of these browsers are still in development stages, it looks like only Safari and Chrome have mature versions.
Google Chrome Main Features
- Every time you open a new tab, you’ll see a list of your most visited sites
- You can drag tabs out of the browser to create new windows
- Google Chrome warns you if you’re about to visit a suspected phishing, malware or otherwise unsafe website
- Every tab you’re using is run independently in the browser, so if one app crashes it won’t take anything else down
- One unified box serves all your browsing needs
So here are the browsers that will be tested in the upcoming benchmarking tasks. Hopefully after all the tests are done, you will have a proper idea about the pros and cons of each browser.
PS: You can download these wonderful icons from the following address: http://morcha.blogbus.com/logs/30886671.html