For many years and for many users the browser of choice has been Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), as evidenced by the fact that it currently has 62.1% share of the browser market. Its popularity can be partly attributed to the fact that IE is packaged with Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
In the last year, various issues relating to IE have become public, centred around various security flaws in the program, although most of the problems relate to older versions of IE still running on many older Windows-based computers. The extent and scale of these issues has even led some European governments to warn against using the browser.
These highly publicised problems have resulted in Microsoft losing over 6% of their market share in the last year, with Google’s Chrome browser gaining a 5% foothold in the same time period.
Although the browser market is changing, the alternatives to Microsoft’s IE are still little known so I thought I would give a quick rundown on what’s out there.
Firefox is now in its 3rd generation and was one of the first browsers to offer tabbed web browsing. Firefox is popular among web developers and search marketers as its highly customisable, but the widgets and add-ons which make it so popular are not just limited to web designers and marketers.
For example, there are many social media widgets such as Echofon’s Twitter add-on that allows you to manage multiple Twitter feeds at one time.
Download Firefox if you want a personalised and customisable experience.
As mentioned earlier, Google Chrome has gained market share in the last year but not without good reason. Chrome attempts to do the same for internet browsers what Google.com did for search engines in that it offers users a stripped-down and simplified experience.
Chrome is in essence Internet Explorer with unnecessary features stripped out to create a minimalist interface. For example, the address bar is combined with the search box in order to provide a cleaner look.
If you looking for back-to-basics internet browsing, then Google Chrome could be the right browser for you.
Loved by many a Mac user, Apple’s Safari is similar to Google Chrome in many ways and in some ways offers a ‘slicker’ feel than many other browsers. Safari is not wholly restricted to the Mac though and is available to download for Microsoft Windows users.
Other Browser Options
There are of course other options such as Opera and if you’re still not looking for an alternative to Internet Explorer I suggest version 8 which is the most secure.