Sunday, 12 July 2009

Web Browsers, continued...

Google Chrome

The Google Chrome Web Browser was September 2008 in beta version. Of the five main browsers in use it is fourth on the table of most popular browsers, Internet Explorer being first and Opera last. Its share of the market is just under 2% compared with Microsoft’s share of 65%. When I see Google Chrome using the Vista/Windows 7 Aero effect I wonder if Google deliberately designed it for this platform.

Of all five browsers it looks the most integrated with Windows 7, apart from one significant feature, there’s no thumbnail preview of individual Tabs; missing also in Firefox and Opera, but available in Safari’s ‘Open in Tabs’.

The Google Chrome interface is nothing short of spectacular, especially for someone like me who wants less of everything. Less of everything that gets in the way that is, I do prefer a ‘hands-on’ approach to advanced setting and options, which Google Chrome lacks.

The user interface has nothing more than back, forward, refresh and Favorites buttons, apparently you can add a homepage button too if you really need one. Combining the search box and address bar is unusual at first but, in my opinion, the way to go.

Google announced last week its intention to release the Google Chrome operating system for netbooks. Although they claim it will be an open source project they haven’t released the code yet. Plans are towards the end of 2009.

If Google Chrome were fully integrated with Windows 7 and had a few more advanced setting then I could stop using Internet Explorer altogether. Until now it hasn’t and I didn’t.

Internet Explorer 8

Regardless of who you are, where you are or what you do, everybody has used Internet Explorer. Since taking over from Netscape Navigator in the mid-90’s it established itself, even controversially, has The Browser with at least 95% usage during its version 5 and 6 days.

The security vulnerabilities that affect all browsers tend to affect Internet Explorer more for the simple fact that it is more widely used so makers of adware, spyware and viruses will have a larger target if they aim specifically at Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer 8 is slightly slower than other browsers, but we’re talking milliseconds and its integration with Windows 7 (Release Candidate) makes it a must for windows users. There are plans to release a version of Windows 7 (possibly called Windows 7 EU) with no browser?! This is due to the E.U.’s anti-trust regulations and continuing cases between Microsoft and the Opera makers.

It is my understanding that the manufacturers of new computers will be able to pre-install any browser they choose with Windows 7. If you live in Norway then the chances are your new pc will probably come with Opera pre-installed which originates from, let me think... Oh yes, Norway.

I have no way of accurately measuring my browser use in percentages, if I was to make a guess I’d say about 70-30 between Internet Explorer 8 and Google Chrome, though, that may vary due to odd facts like CNN’s live pop-up window is resizable in Google Chrome whilst not with Internet Explorer 8. I have to say that having discovered Safari’s nine news pages simultaneously, which made me laugh when I discovered it, its share could grow from a percentage close to zero to a ‘bit’.

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