It has been fifteen years since Microsoft first released its Internet Explorer web browser bundled free with its operating system. Today users have much more choices in choosing their own web-browser – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc to name the most prominent ones.
This week’s Digital Oman takes an overview of the market share and salient of these various browser clients. As the world moves more and more online leadership in the web-browser market is quite important for the tech giants. Event the search engine leaders try to take a slice of this prominence by having their own toolbars that fit well into any browser client.
While several surveys gives slightly different results about the browser markets share, on an average IE in various versions has about 45-50%, Mozilla Firefox with a 30%, Chrome with about 10% and the rest shared by Safari, Opera and the lesser known web clients.
Observing the trends, since the launch of Chrome in 2008, its market continues to rise steady from a mere 3% to almost 10% now. Interestingly, this is about the same amount of market share lost by Internet Explorer while Firefox and the other browsers have managed to hold-base until now.
Microsoft released its first Internet Explorer in 1995, which also came bundled along with their windows operating system. Till date 8 versions have been released, gradually increasing the performance, improving security and adding new extension to the basic browser software. Microsoft is upbeat on its new browser version, IE 9.0 that is to be launched soon. With the IE9 Platform Preview has been downloaded over two million times, users anticipations are high.
Firefox is an open-source browser client from Mozilla Corporation, released in 2004 was earlier called Phoenix. Currently it is the 2nd most popular browser and its novel tabbed view feature and powerful-extension are very much the highlights. It’s sandbox security systems has been quite powerful in eliminating security weaknesses. Firefox also ranks quite high in the web-browser standards-compliance test called the Acid tests (version 3 is available now) which test how well the client follows standards in rendering different web components.
Since its launch in 2008, Google’s Chrome browser is gaining ground, and the company’s attitude to involve its users in trouble shooting its security problems has proving to be a successful direction to improve Chrome. The company went to the extent of paying handsome cash rewards to customers who report security holes in software and works towards fixing such bugs. Now Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux and Windows are available for free download. Acid3 test of Chrome is the highest at 100% perfect rendering.
Indian technology users have taken yet another leap in this browser market by releasing their own ‘Epic’ web browser in July 2010. Touting as the world’s only sidebar apps browser includes an antivirus scanner, word processor, and over 1500 apps. The apps include most of the modern web2.0 components, mail, news and multimedia and social media web clients. What really makes this browser Indian is that it works in 12 different local languages, increasing its suitability for native users who are spread around the world.
For a free download of this EPIC browser, visit http://www.epicbrowser.com/. Built upon the latest Mozilla Firefox, it provides a high level of security and privacy by providing for several features such as Private data deletion, Private browsing, Built-In flash cookie deletion, Antivirus scanner, Anti-phishing protections Warning system for malicious websites and much more.
The author is a technology evangelist working as consultant at the Information Technology Authority of Oman and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://digitaloman.blogspot.com or http://twitter.com/sangitasri