I’ve been often asked the question, what browser do I recommend? although the main alternatives I’m given are Microsoft’s Internet Explorer against Mozilla’s Firefox, there are in fact about three more main internet web browsers. Namely, Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, and Opera’s… well, Opera. Although all of them have nice features and pros, the main question in terms of usage, when it comes to Windows based computers remains Internet Explorer vs. Firefox. As a note though before I get into that, Opera’s mobile browser is very well respected and it’s in fact my current choice for my smartphone (currently using Opera 10 beta), even though I must say that the mobile version of Internet Explorer that came with Windows mobile 6.5 in my phone is a noticeable upgrade from the last one.
But I’m digressing. Back to the subject. IE versus Firefox in a windows based computer. I’ll jump right to the end for those who want the executive summary and want to skip the details and say my choice is Firefox.
Why? For those who want more data, Firefox differs from Internet Explorer in the layout engine (software that allows content such as found in websites to be displayed). Firefox uses Gecko, while Internet Explorer uses Trident. Apparently the implementation of the respective layout engines and the way they have developed makes Firefox less vulnerable to attacks, more add-on friendly, and aims at being able to render more content than Internet Explorer. All these features account for the increase in popularity of Firefox from its inception to recent times. It is also worthwhile mentioning that Firefox version 3.6 has just been released, and it’s supposed to have interesting new features such as less memory usage and faster warm start times.
So while my choice between IE and Firefox is clearly Firefox, I would not discard the other competitors as new versions are released. Try them for yourself if you have the time and decide which one works best for you.
If you need help upgrading, changing or updating your web browser, let me know.