There used to be a rule about polite conversation ... something about never discussing religion or politics. It might be time, however, to add a third taboo subject to the list: Internet browsers. Stick to the weather and avoid asking someone what Internet browser they are using. If your friends are tech savvy, they will most likely have strong opinions about which browser is the best. If they are less computer-centric, they will feel ostracized and belittled. You just can’t win.
But just in case you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of an Internet browser firefight, here is some information that might help you decide, defend, or simply play devil’s advocate (for fun).
The recent emergence of competitors in the once Microsoft-monopolized world of Web browsers has brought significant change. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is still in the driver’s seat with over 60 percent of the market share, but its direction is now influenced by the new guys that are “closer than they may appear” in the rear view mirror. Let’s take a look at three browsers that dominate the conversation.
Internet Explorer (Microsoft)
Internet Explorer is the granddaddy of Web browsers, but not the kind of granddaddy that cruises around town in a ’78 Oldsmobile. New releases of IE have helped to keep it current and relevant. Some of the best features of Explorer are its widespread use (most Web sites will run just fine in Explorer), its compatibility with popular add-ons, and its exceptional parental controls.
Firefox is the second most widely used Web browser on the market (currently getting about 25 percent of the market share). Firefox has been dogged as a “slow” browser for quite some time, but has recently made outstanding improvements to keep up with the competition. Firefox fans love its easy customization, top-notch security features, and open audio and video formats. They also love the fact that it wasn’t created by Microsoft, for what its worth.
Google has stormed onto the Web browser scene with Chrome. You didn’t think they would let the other guys have all the fun, did you? With almost 5 percent of the market share already, Chrome has proven that it is a major player. Chrome is a highly compatible, fast browser that simplifies complex applications into usable features. It has great toolbars, easy navigation, and a clean look. Chrome is adding more and more to its arsenal each day.
No matter which Web browser you choose, be sure to use all of the available security/safety features. Each of the browsers listed has adequate protection if used correctly. Please call Computer Problem Specialists at (928) 468-0000 for a free checkup of your browser security.
The next time you find yourself at a boring get-together, spice things up with a question about the health care debate or Web browsers. Either one is sure to provoke some exciting debate.
Daniel Taft is the senior network administrator and member/owner of Computer Problem Specialists, LLC with a degree in applied computer science. His career spans more than 20 years.