Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Browser Wars

The browser wars are heating up. As some of you might know, the European Commission has mandated that PC users are given a choice over which web browser gets installed in their computers. Statistics from a trial currently underway has shown that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has lost between 1% to 2.5% share in various European countries. Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome are said to be the big winners in the ballot.

But I suspect Internet Explorer’s setback may just be temporary. Once IE9 becomes available, it may be able to attract back some users. Some early information being shared about IE9 reveals that the new browser will tap on hardware to accelerate its performance. This includes hardware accelerated rendering of graphics and text. Of course, we gotta see the numbers when the time comes, otherwise this is just marketing hype. They also claim to be working hard on web standards compliance although they still seem to fall far short at the moment.

My personal favourite is Safari, but it is getting a little old. Its once superb Javascript performance has since been overshadowed by Chrome. Safari still trumps Chrome in Javascript conformance though, at least according to Google’s own Javascript conformance test.

One of the most important things about web browsers to me is web standards compliance. Safari was the first to achieve a perfect 100% score and until recently held the title exclusively. It seems that Chrome has now also joined the party. Yes it sounds like lesser reasons to stick with Safari.

Personally, I think Firefox is going to loose. IE is backed by the Microsoft heavyweight. Safari has the support of its Mac fans. Chrome will appeal to the open source crowd. Where does that leave Firefox? Yes, open source folks will like it too, but I think the open source battleground is in Chrome’s favour.

What is your choice of web browser?

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