Browser Wars – and what makes it one…

Originally written for magIMNUops (College magazine) by yours truly.
This week, Google launched their browser and called it Chrome. This marks the official start of BROWSER WARS III (BW-III). Just to a take a sneak peak into the previous two wars, BW-I was the glorious Netscape Vs Internet Explorer (IE). Netscape had the first mover advantage and had around 80% market share in 1996. By 2003, Microsoft, with its muscle power (read financial muscle) had totally wiped off Netscape from the www map. Some ex-Netscape associates formed another company and made the most widely known open source application- Mozilla’s Firefox. It’s customizable features made it popular with the serious surfers (web surfers). This was the BW-II era. IE was the default browser, as it came free and pre-installed with Windows. Those who rarely used the net, or used only for dedicated single instances, did not care about the browser and did not make the choice of a browser. But majority of those who made the choice choose Firefox, as is evident from the red portion.
So did BW-II get over?? Well, yes and no. It got over because there was this select group of webusers who used it (Firefox), and there was this group who’ll never use it. There some other players too (Opera the most known one, Apple’s Safari and some others based on Linux…) but their presence was limited. And just when we thought that the BW was over, Google launched “Chrome”. Analysts, critics, techies, Googlers, professional surfers, bloggers, VJs, DJs, Politicians, Comedians…… everyone has his/her own opinion on why Google launched chrome and whether it’ll be a success or not. You may search (or “Google it” should I say) it to update your TQ (Tech Quotient… wow I almost invented a word). But what I can tell you for sure is that this is a sign of exciting times in the BW. Suddenly you have the best Firefox (Firefox 3.0 with a beta 3.1 coming up), an IE which has made many heads turn (IE 8beta), Opera (which always had the best of the features), Apple’s Safari (well it’s an Apple, what else to say) and a goggle browser (which is a combination of Safari, Firefox and Google’s new technology). This, my dear, is BW-III, and it can’t get better than this. And to add to the wars, Chrome is as much open source as Firefox is, and soon we can see the new features in Firefox too. This will force IE, Safari and Opera to innovate. And I hope that does more good than harm to users.
Read more about them, before you participate in the wars:
IE 8
Firefox 3
Chrome
Safari
Opera
(not pasting the links…. just wiki them out…..  😉 )

Confessions of an Electrifying Mind

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