Browser Wars

I've done what all self-obsessive types (read blogger) do and I've been checking my stats. The first thing I couldn't help but notice is the gradual drop off in visitors since my all time high of hosting the Eastcliff Richard news with link from his site. That's fine, I never expected to get as high a rating as him anyhows and at that time the whole blogger network was on fire. We've calmed down alot now (in some cases almost stopped) but the stats still reveal some other interesting figures. btw, if you do have your own blog, the guys I'm using are pretty neat for tracking your hit counts.

The thing that I found most interesting is the relatively high proportion of Firefox users who visit this blog. The internet average is approx 80% Internet Explorer, 15% Firefox, 5% other - probably made up mainly as a combination of Mac users or whichever browser the odd Linux user prefers e.g. Konquerer. On this blog the average daily rates see-saw 50-50 between IE and Firefox. I expect this is because bloggers are a little more tech savvy than the average web user.

As I've said before, firefox is uber cool, but it's not the only alternative browser out there. Another good one for PC users is Opera. I used this a bit before firefox came out, but the free version (what's the point in paying when you already have a free one with IE) always had built in banner ads. I really do hate banner ads. Opera has now removed these, probably funded by is expansion into the handheld markets. Your likely to be using an opera based browser if ever you use the net on your mobile (a good use of net on the mobile is Windows Live Hotmail, which means you can email through WAP, you could even email your blog post with the auto email publish tool on blogger).

So I've been trying out Opera for the PC. It has some very neat functions. Firstly, it's has a very clean and minimal interface which means a large viewing window. It has the tabbed browsing which we all love about Firefox, but it deals with it differently. It saves the history of tabs from when you last closed it, which is neat. Opera also has RSS built in. Infact, it is a very good browser, but it's not as easy to modify as Firefox. Another major problem is that man of the new ajax sites don't support it (see the webmail webmail webmail post) so alas, though I will say it's better than IE6, it's not as good as Firefox.

Here I am, banging on about Firefox, Firefox, Firefox. But you can't keep an old dog like IE down. Enter IE7 beta. The first thing I'll say is... "what a firefox rip off", even down to the re-styled logo. The boys at Microsoft have clearly seen that the are seriously lagging in the browser department. The new explorer is neat, they've included tabbed browsing (hurrah!) and they have also now included RSS feeds capability. The RSS has been approached differently though, rather than headlines with links that you get in FF, it's a separate page which loads the whole feed like in Opera (you can get a FF extension that does the same if you like). Also included is the little search-bar in the top right which is an invaluable tool on the fox which makes the return to IE6 all the more difficult. So IE7 is a huge leap for the explorer range but will not be shipped as standard till the release of Windows Vista, which will be next year for us home users. Though of course they will hold a degree of browser market share due to users lacking the technical knowledge to change and of course those who fear change, I think that more people are getting tech savvy.

Considering the gap of 5 years between version releases, I find it difficult to think that a monolith like Microsoft will be able to keep up with smaller browser developers like Mozilla's Firefox, as has been shown with Microsoft's ambivalence to browser improvements since beating Netscape in the original browser war and subsequently being caught with their trousers down. But Microsoft is resilient, though they don't have the advantage of being able to employ their bullying techniques, they have shown time after time that they are an irresistible force. We shall have to wait and see what the outcome of this new browser war is.

Some linkage:

Firefox download - http://mozilla.com/products/firefox

Internet Explorer7 beta download - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/default.mspx

Opera download - http://www.opera.com/

posted by SkinOfStars @ 5:23 pm,

5 Comments:

At June 01, 2006 3:45 pm, Blogger Snailspace said...

Hay, Your skins gone dude. What happened

 
At June 01, 2006 4:07 pm, Blogger SkinOfStars said...

erm, looks there to me, unless you mean my new pic. in which case your super quick on that as i only just changed it... i'm confused.

 
At June 01, 2006 5:27 pm, Blogger Snailspace said...

There's no stars and it just looks like a page or text.

 
At June 01, 2006 5:59 pm, Blogger SkinOfStars said...

so it does, ooh i feel naked! thats the last time i trust anyone else, even google, to look after my css file.

 
At June 01, 2006 10:06 pm, Blogger Artyblartfast said...

Good tip on the free site stats, thanks!

 

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