When it comes to internet browsers, it seems everyone has a favorite. Not only that, depending on the cell phone you use, the computer brand you are on, and personal preferences, will also influence which is your favorite. For instance, if you are a Google user, you would prefer Chrome, Mozilla users are fond of Firefox, Microsoft end users prefer Edge and Internet Explorer, and Apple aficionados want to stick with Safari. Here’s the thing, they are all similar in that you can browse the internet, but where they are all different is when it comes to running your platforms and business applications. Each has the good, the bad, the ugly, and the why won’t this work on that browser. Today I am going to go over each one in a close to unbiased way as possible.
What is a Browser?
To start at the very beginning, a browser is the Graphical User Interface, or GUI (pronounced GOOEY), that interprets HTML, which is the markup language used on all these websites. After it interprets the HTML, the browser creates a presentation of code for the end user (you), which is also referred to as rendering a web page.
HTML has been evolving over the last decade, and there are many different ways to code an application, but the actual presentation layer, or what we see on our screen when we land on a page on the internet is based on HTML. But, it’s not HTML alone that places those graphics just where we want them, we also throw in some style sheets with CSS, so our pages look pretty and pleasing to the eye and then we sprinkle that with HTML5 so the page is flexible and will have the same look and feel on every device, whether you are on mobile, a tablet, a desktop, or a laptop.
All Internet Browsers Are Not Created Equal
Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Browser Market Share
It’s a fact that all internet browsers are not created equal. The way that I look at it is from a generational and market share viewpoint. Now, bear with me as I go through this and explain.
Google Chrome – Google Chrome is the most used and probably has been the most user-friendly internet browser for most business applications and platforms. I don’t know about you, but I have found that many of the marketing platforms I use, like GoToMeeting or Zoom, only run well on Chrome. Not only that, Chrome owns the largest browser market share and most of those users are under 40.
Chrome come onto the market as an alternative to Internet Explorer. Chrome delivered what IE couldn’t. Speed. This appealed to the Gen X users as it not only renders the pages quicker, it is better for gaming and media presentations. Today, this still might be true, but Firefox is a close second to the speed game.
Firefox – Although there is a wide gap between the percentage of market share that Chrome owns and what Firefox owns, Firefox is the second most used and preferred internet browser. StratusVue has tested all the browsers, and we have found that Firefox does a nice job on the speed front and when you are using our business applications they don’t error out and work as expected.
What I like about Firefox is that it has the flexibility to cater to both Microsoft and Google and it is the only browser that is engineered to utilize multi-core processors. Neither Chrome nor IE do that yet, and I think this plays heavily into which internet browser will continue to outperform when it comes to speed and agility.
Internet Explorer – Internet Explorer, or IE, is Microsoft’s embedded browser. Although I consider it to be more function rich, it is a slower user experience, especially on robust sites when you want the page to load quickly. What I have found is that with the larger database applications, IE has a better success rate than the other internet browsers. The reason is because most business applications are written in .Net or Oracle.
IE is third in the internet browser market share, and I feel that is because there are more configuration capabilities because it is a Microsoft product. I believe that IE will gain more market share because it demands less of your RAM and CPU than equivalent pages would on Chrome or Firefox even though it doesn’t handle add-ons and extensions nearly as well.
Edge – Edge has the least amount of market share, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t on their way to gaining more. I feel they are going to be the next Internet Explorer. Today it doesn’t support enough extensions and it isn’t fully customizable, but it is very quick in rendering speed and it is fully integrated with Cortana AI within Windows. Although Edge is an up and comer, when it comes to business platforms I don’t recommend Edge for any of our products, which don’t render well on this internet browser.
The Future of Internet Browsers
If I were a betting man, I would predict that Chrome and Edge will battle it out for the top spot with Firefox staying neutral and steady as a safe bet for your business platforms and personal browsing needs. For our applications, we prefer Firefox, but they run well on Chrome and IE. We pride ourselves on being able to satisfy whichever browser you choose to use, because we do know that it’s a personal preference.
We also suggest that if you have heavy internal applications that run through a browser to consider Firefox because it is neck and neck milliseconds to Google Chrome for rendering times, but it is more consistent when serving up database applications. Bottom line? Keep an eye on all of the internet browsers, as they are all changing very quickly right now and are constantly being updated. As they are being softened to look more professional and include more and more web app support and integrations, it is likely that your favorite and mine might just change. Tell me what your favorite internet browser is and why in the comments.