Back in the old days things were very simple. We had only a couple of browsers to choose from.
The battle was mainly between Internet Explorer and Netscape. Did you know that MicroSoft was thinking about charging extra for Explorer? Well, they were untill AOL's Netscape was introduced for free and that put the kabosh on that idea. Today, Netscape is dead but a bazillion other browsers have taken it's place.
Most people don't give a hoot which browser they use as long as it brings up FaceBook and G-Mail. With the advent of Windows 10 we have yet another browser called Edge and Microsoft (Bill and Melinda) really wants you to use it as Explorer 11 is not proudly displayed on the desktop for all to see. You have to find it in the program files. As a matter of fact, IE11 has been placed on the back burner with little or no updates as most of the attention has been given to Edge. Even though you are more familiar with IE Edge seems to be improving on all the benchmark fronts. As a webmaster, I had only two major browers to appease in the olden days. In other words, different browsers will sometimes read html code a little differently so you have to make the code satisfy all of them. Things are a little different now.
The number of browsers out there is mind boggling but it seems that Google Chrome is at the top of the pile as far as users are concerned. Not sure why - maybe because it tends to creep into your system when you're not looking or because it just performs well. When you download certain software and do not notice the checkbox that says you want to also download Chrome and install it as your defaut browser you now have a new browser. Perhaps the reason is, as I suspected, apathy. I don't think Mozilla Firefox operates like that but I can't say for sure with any authority.
Just how many browsers are out there on the World Wide Web. Don't think anyone knows for sure but there's a butt-load. Here are a few: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Edge, Opera, Yandex, UC, QQ, Sogou Explorer, 360 Secure Browser, Chromium, Maxthon, Phantom, Vivaldi, Pale Moon, Amigo, SeaMonkey, TheWorld, Swing, Slimjet and the hits just keep on coming. Some of these you've never heard of and that might be a good thing as some of them are not good performers and are a little glitchy with few features. You can always Google them to find out more and if they are a fit for you.
The one browser we like the best is one you've probably never heard of. It's called Vivaldi which looks a little like Opera. But that's just us. We tested it against Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Slimjet. From a cold start it out performed each one.
Vivaldi is a cross-platform web browser developed by Vivaldi Technologies, a company founded by Opera Software. The browser was officially launched on April 12, 2016. It is lightweight, customizable and has a clean modern look and feel.
This browser is aimed at heavy Internet users, and previous Opera web browser users and has 1 million users as of January 2017. Although it ranks low on the "number of users" list it's popularity is growing.
Vivaldi uses the Blink rendering engine, as Google Chrome and Opera do. This gives Vivaldi users the ability to install extensions developed for Google Chrome directly from the Chrome Web Store as if using Google Chrome. Even though some extensions might not work exactly as in Google Chrome most extensions should work as expected.
In conclusion Internet Explorer is trailing smoke but still not too bad. Firefox is a little clunky and slower but still not a bad choice given its features and stability. Google Chrome is, of course, the most popular, has a very aggressive update mechanism which could cause problems with some software if not compatible. Good luck finding an older version to revert back to (Google policy).
Ulimately this decision is yours. It's always good to have at least two browsers handy as some things may work in one and not the other without some tech savy.
Below are a couple of links so you can explore further. And in a few months we'll write another boring article about another boring subject.
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