Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Great BROWSER War..who will win !!

“Netscape 72 , Microsoft  18”.

This was the slogan that the employees of netscape wrote over there large dinosaur statue in there company’s garden in 1995 to show there market share(suprimacy)  but they hardly had the idea what Bill and his company was capable of doing to change this figure upside down.

Let me take you  back to history of the browser  war as it’s a big analogy in today’s scenario .
It all started in 1995 when there was an explosion  in the field of world wide web(WWW). Everyone  was going online. During that time the most popular browser was the NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR.
The arch rivals Microsoft went on to launch there own browser called the INTERNET EXPLORER and was shipped free with the copy of there popular desktop operating system Windows 95.
Since Microsoft had no worries of earning and marketing so they shipped there browser for free and made it available for free download in 1966 whereas Netscape charged for there browser.
Being the leader in desktop OS application and hudge funding available, Bill didn’t take much time to crush there rivals and capture the browser market. Netscape did sue Microsoft but all went in vain.
Looking at the todays scenario it seems that the history is repeating itself and this time the battle is even more fierce, sophisticated  and includes more bigger playes.
This time the war is between five  giants  namely Internet Explorer(8,9), Google Crome , Mozilla Firefox(3.5,4), Safari , Opera.
This time the battle is not only limited to desktops and laptops infact it now includes smart divices like os based phones and other mobile devices.
I have divided this article into two parts, the first part describes about the browser battle in the big screen scenario(desktops,laptops) and second in the small screen scenario(palmtops,smartphones).

The Big screen Scenario:

The various flavors of Internet Explorer (IE6, IE7, and IE8) together have 62.1 percent market share, down from 68.5 percent last March.  That is a 6.4 percent drop in about a year.  During the same period Chrome went from 1.6 percent share to 5.2 percent.  Firefox and Safari each gained about a percentage point each over the same period to 24.4 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.  (Although Firefox is a tiny bit down since November, when it peaked at 24.7 percent).  If you add up the gains from those three—Chrome, Firefox, and Safari—that is where most of IE’s share went.
But even that doesn’t tell the whole story because if you look at share of individual versions of the different browsers, you can see another dynamic in play.  Namely, a big part of the share shift can also be explained by the uneven rate at which people abandon older browsers like IE6 for newer ones like IE8 or Chrome.  Let’s look at the share shifts just among IE6, IE7, and IE8.  The pitchforks are out for IE6, people hate it and Websites (especially those run by Google) think the sooner it dies, the better. Even Microsoft wants people to move away from IE6.
IE6′s individual market share has dropped by about 11 points since March, 2009, from 31.4 percent to 20 percent.  Meanwhile, IE8 took almost twice as much share as IE6 lost, it’s up  almost 21 points from almost nothing to 22.4 percent share.  So why did IE show an overall drop?  You can blame poor old IE7, which lost exactly as much as IE8 gained, going from 35.2 percent to 14.5 percent share.
An analytics company called Net Applications has determined that Google’sChrome web browser is stealing market share from both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
In January, Chrome grew by 0.57% to 5.20% of the browser market. Meanwhile, Firefox shrunk by 0.20% to 24.41% and IE shrunk 0.51% to 62.18%. Safari and Opera both stayed put, more or less; Safari grew 0.05% to 4.51% and Opera shrunk 0.02% to 2.38%.

You might recall that Chrome passed Safari to grab third place in the browser market a month ago; it seems probable that the ground Chrome is gaining is at Microsoft and Mozilla’s expense, although no direct causation has been definitively established by Net Applications’ numbers.
Chrome has a number of advantages, not the least of which is the fact that it’s much faster than the competition. It’s been derided for its lack of certain valued features in the past, but Google has gradually been introducing them. For example, it just put extensions and bookmark sync into its live Windows build a week ago. Google has been running ad campaigns on sites like Hulu, and it seems like it’s been working.
 The game has much been "hide and seek" type where the best are fighting to be the best of the best.There has been ups and downs foe every player. No one has so far emerged as a clear winner.
The Browser Battle is heating up every day. all three browsers -- Firefox 4, Chrome 6 and Internet Explorer 9 -- featuring in the headlines across the Web. Yesterday saw two launches -- firstly Mozilla launched theFirefox 4 Beta 3 with multi-touch feature along with several new upgrades. Secondly, Google came out with Chrome 6 Beta 1, which featured some nifty upgrades to the features that make Chrome stand out from the crowd. And today we get to hear that Microsoft will be launching the completely revamped Internet Explorer 9 at an event in San Francisco on 15 September. 
The next few months are goin to be very cruicial for all of them as the playground is set to witness the biggest browser battle of all tyme. want to check out there intresting slogans--here we go-
Microsoft - "beautify the web"
Firefox - "with security,stability,speed and much more"
Crome - "get a faster web experience"
Safari - "world's most innovative browser"
Which Browser to use: 
For the readers who are intrested in finding the right browser for themselves , i researched out to find out the best ones for you according to your needs .
For secure transactions and business purpose:
The best security features are present in IE8, its by far the most secure browser. Both crome and firefox being open source do lack certain security issues . IE8 provides a strong "phishing filter" and also advance securities against "cross-site scripting".

For Developers: 

Firefox has always been the web developers top choice for two reasons-first its open source(crome too) secondly it has a series of plugins that are specially designed to help the developers like the greasemonkey,firebug etc.
It also works well with various open servers like apache,php,mysql.
Crome is more prone to crash when working as a localhost on such servers.

For Web surfers(social networking, blogging, surfing):
Since the very first day of its launch, crome has been the winner in terms of speed surfing. It has topped the Sunspider javascript Benchmark speed test ever since. Also it requires less RAM processing and caching memory compared to IE , firefox or safari so it doesnt overload the processor too much even if you open upto 20 tabs in a single browser window.

From the looks of thing, which one do you think will be the "last browser standing" after the Browser Battle is over?
 Small screen scenario: 
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 is on the horizon, but how well with the WP7 IE browser stack up against the likes of the iPhone 4 Safari browser and the Nexus One Android 2.2 browser, well you are about to find out.
Since the browsers that are used by the various devices are designed to work specially on there own platform so there is very little margin to decide which is faster.
Also there are compatibility issues and we do not have much cross platform browsers availabe for the mobile devices.
Check out the following comparisons--

iOS 4 Mobile Safari VS Windows Phone 7 Internet Explorer Mobile 7 VS Android 2.2 froyo:


Microsoft is set to release Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system later this year, in an attempt to compete with Apple’s iOS and the iPhone. While Windows Phone 7 is in beta, the video below shows that a lot of work still needs to be done from Microsoft on the performance level. The video compares the speed of iOS 4 Mobile Safari running on an iPhone 3GS with the speed of Windows Phone 7 Internet Explorer Mobile 7 running on a Samsung. It is clear that Internet Explorer Mobile 7 takes a lot more time to complete loading the pages. One issue that might cause this is because Microsoft decided to use existing technology found on the desktop browsers instead of using the Webkit platform. Internet Explorer Mobile 7, is based on the IE7 rendering engine with improvements borrowed from IE8 engine, for Windows Phone 7. It remains to be seen if Microsoft improves the performance of the browser when Windows Phone 7 officially becomes available.

 Ars Technica performed some tests with mobile browsers found in iPhone 4 using iOS and Nexus One using Android 2.2 (Froyo). They found that in one test Android 2.2 was two times faster than iOS 4 and in a second test Android 2.2 was three times faster. Specifically, Android 2.2 scored 5,795.2 on SunSpider while iOS scored 10,902.1 (lower is better). Android 2.2 scored  287 on V8 and iOS 4 scored 67 (higher is better). “In our recent review of Android 2.2, we conducted some tests on the Nexus One to measure the extent of the JavaScript performance improvements. SunSpider and V8 benchmarks show that JavaScript execution in Froyo’s Web browser is almost three times faster than in the previous version of the platform. We compared these findings with that of our tests of Apple’s mobile Safari browser on the iPhone 4. The results show that the Android device delivers significantly faster JavaScript execution than the iPhone, scoring over three times better on V8 and almost twice as fast on SunSpider. Apple has some work to do it if wants mobile Safari to retake the crown as the fastest mobile browser,” the report said.



The Real Browser Winner for mobile devices --> OPERA MINI

Yes, opera mini is by far the best browser when it comes to mobile devices.

Various reports have suggested that it is best in terms of speed , reliability and performance when it comes to a cross platform browser in mobile divices.It compresses the data to more than 90percent before it sends for DNS query ehich helps it to greatly increase the web performane of the users.


Opera has supposedly taken the "leadership" of the mobile browser space away from Mobile Safari, according to a recent press release from Web tracking firm StatCounter. While all mobile devices running Opera have collectively surpassed Mobile Safari running on the iPhone alone, according to StatCounter's own data it hasn't yet bested Mobile Safari altogether.
The unusual aspect of this comparison is that it pits Opera—a browser that runs on multiple devices—against the iPhone—a single device. "Opera began the year in the number one slot but iPhone overtook it in February," Aodhan Cullen, CEO and founder of StatCounter, said in a statement. "It will be fascinating to watch how this battle plays out over the year." That same flawed comparison was echoed by Reuters and others.

India joins the browser war with EPIC:

This article will be incomplete if i don't mention about the new browser that is representing India's fight in the browser market.
A Bangalore based startup called Hidden Reflex has made available a browser called as the "Epic Browser". Epic Browser is a Internet web browser which is based on Mozilla Firefox, which taps into several services to serve content which is useful and relevant to Indian users.
For example you can get cricket match score updates, share market updates, video streams and more. Epic Browser also has a built in Antivirus solution to keep the bad malware and Trojans out of of PC. Currently Epic browser has over 1500 applications and also supports . Read our earlier review of Epic Browser here or download Epic Browser from here.
Its a long race for epic , the market is heated up and the giants are fiercely taking on there rivals.
The survival of the fittest remarks. Though its too early  to comment on the success or failure of the epic but considering the indian growing population of internet users i came to a very important rather intresting fact --
"The current reports suggest that india has nearly 60 million internet users in 2010 and the figure is expected to cross 200 million by 2015 so if every indian internet user uses Epic as there browser then by 2015 epic will also join the elite group of best browsers and can become one of  the top used browser."


  1. epic is mind blowing .....use it

  2. @deepak : epic still lacks certain security features.

  3. Epic won me over in 30 seconds - so fast, so light on system resources, but full featured with a beautiful, slim interface and with all the crap mozilla forgot in firefox - To do list, timer, ability to take notes...

    the app thing is what puts the icing on the cake though. Hopefully it'll be able to use any mobile app file eventually, but for right now the 1500 available app selection is impressive.

    Oh and gotta agree, still no mobile browser i've found tops opera mini. I stumbled on it one day and didn't even realise how much safari mobile sucked until I was on google in 3 seconds as opposed to 8.

  4. @ SugarC : yes yor are right..epic definetly has lot of good front features but one thing to keep in mind is that it still has certain security features where the developers have to work out.