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Posts Tagged ‘browsers’

3 Interesting Trends in Web Browsers

November 26th, 2009

1. Opera is on the rise, especially in Europe

Recently I am reading more and more articles about the Opera browser. This browser is well known in the mobile space and is pretty much under the radar in the desktop space. However, recently I have been noticing a change upwards, especially in Europe. Opera has hired the graphic designer who worked on FireFox, has improved significantly its set of features and design, and keep introducing new innovative features such as the Opera Unite. As a web developer, I would keep an eye and make sure new site do not break in Opera, especially global sites with European audience.

2. FireFox’s (Mozilla) revenue is tapering off

According to a post “State of Mozilla” by Mitchell Baker, Mozilla has increased overall revenue in 2008 but at a slower paste. This along with large dependence on revenues coming from the main competitor, Google, brought a slew of articles and questions from Analysts and Enthusiasts. The main question from a web developer’s perspective is the long term validity of the FireFox project. At the moment, it does not seem to be in jeopardy at all and according to the article, perhaps even in a better state due to increased innovation and development as a result of fierce competition. In most cases, competition is a good thing. The dependence on Google revenue is a problem, and if I was running the show – working on decreasing this dependence will be my main priority.

3. IE9 – Performance is one of the main improvements

According to the IE team, the new IE9 which is currently being developed will be much faster then its predecessors. This is great news as speed is now the main advantage of using its competitors. Now that Microsoft is in favor with the public again due to Windows 7 and since it is continuing to push new features to IE, I think the rate of market share decline will decrease if not reverse itself and we will see a rise in market share. As a web developer this means no change: still utmost respect to IE, make sure that all websites (new or old) work on IE. Soon, we will need to test for IE6, IE7, IE8, and IE9 and notice that none of them pass the acid test. The good news is that we will drop support for the painful IE6 browser soon (will depend on the rate of adoption of Windows 7 in corporate).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Web Development , , ,

Browser Wars: IE Share Dropping while User Base Still Growing

May 5th, 2009
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What am I talking about? First you need to look at this graph of browser usage over time since 1996 by Asa Dotzler. Please note that the sources for this graph are not clearly identified but still this makes a strong point of paying attention to the entire picture, not only market share.

Basically, while Internet Explorer’s market share continues to drop drastically and FireFox’s market share continues to increase the rate of new internet users is so vast that the total number of IE users is still increasing. In addition, it is obvious that Microsoft is paying a lot of attention to its browser and packs it with features. Furthermore, it will be the default browser in the highly anticipated Windows 7 new operating system, which is expected to gain significant higher adoption rate than Vista. In short, it is wise not to write IE off and keep the Virtual Machines with the various IE versions handy.

Another observation is the market share that FireFox has commanded and the short amount of time it did so. Remember that users who download FireFox and use it do so because they truley believe it is a superior browser. Unlike other browsers that come bundled with the OS (IE, Safari), or have a deep-pockets corporation behind it (Chrome).

Web Development , ,

First Google Chrome Screenshots

September 3rd, 2008

Google Chrome is new (still in beta) and I went a head and installed it on one of our VMs. It seems like a lot of the functionality from the popular Firefox extension ‘FireBug’ is built in. Here are the screen shots:

Google Chrome Screenshot 1: Main Page

Google Chrome Screenshot 1: Main Page

Google Chrome Screenshot 2: Search right from the address bar

Google Chrome Screenshot 2: Search right from the address bar

Google Chrome Screenshot 3: Browsing History

Google Chrome Screenshot 3: Browsing History

Google Chrome Screenshot 4: Incognito Browsing

Google Chrome Screenshot 4: Incognito Browsing

Google Chrome Screenshot 5: Right Clicking a Link Uses Google Gears

Google Chrome Screenshot 5: Right Clicking a Link Uses Google Gears

Google Chrome Screenshot 6: Inspecting Page Elements a-la Firebug

Google Chrome Screenshot 6: Inspecting Page Elements a-la Firebug

Google Chrome Screenshot 7: View Source

Google Chrome Screenshot 7: View Source

Web Development, Web-based User Interfaces , ,

FireFox 3 and Internet Explorer 8 Beta

July 3rd, 2008
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Yes, they are here! FireFox version 3 is now available to download and in a month or two every FireFox installation out there will show a dialog to upgrade to 3. Similarly, Microsoft is planning on releasing their Internet Explorer 8 which is now in Beta 1 mode. Regardless, it definitely seems like FireFox is getting a lot of attention lately and the buzz does come on Internet Explorer’s expense:

Google Trends: FireFox vs Internet Explorer

For us, web developers, it is a mixed blessing. On one hand, we get a better, faster, more reliable browsers. On the other hand, browsers don’t just come into the market and replace old ones instantly, therefore we will now need to test for Internet Explorer (IE) 6, IE7, IE8, FireFox (FF) 2, and FF3. Not mentioning the fact that some browsers like to behave differently on different operating systems which we have to account for as well.

My first impression of FireFox 3 is a positive one. The awesome bar is indeed awesome. Performance wise it does seem to be a bit faster when it comes to AJAX, however I am not sure I notice any difference in general performance. All my necessary plugins released versions that work with FireFox 3 – so I am a happy camper. In our web development work, we did see some sections of sites that work in FF2 and break in FF3 – so be aware that there are some HTML rendering differences.

Now, the question is when will IE8 be ready for us? and what will it bring to the table? Let’s just wait and see…

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