Monday, May 7, 2007

Battle of the Browsers..

ComputerWorld today reported that the growth in the % users using Microsoft IE7 browser has stagnated. To quote these folks,
Within weeks of its October 2006 launch, IE7 accounted for nearly 10% of all browsers used on the Web, reported Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Net Applications in its latest look at browser use. Over the next three months, IE7 posted month-to-month gains that ranged from 4% to almost 10%, so that by the end of February, it owned 29.1% of the market. Since then, however, it's taken two months to grow another point and a half.

Well, although it is expected that graph inclination becomes stable with time, but to get to the stabilit point so soon was not really expected. Interestingly, IE6 still holds the top spot for the largest number of users, with the figures hovering around the 47% mark (ComputerWorld)!
Microsoft's monopoly and rise in the browser market started when they etched out Netscape in the mid-90s to emerge as the winners of the browser war. But from there on, with Mozilla has managed to draw significant attention and with it a steadily increasing bunch of users. Today, they account for an impressive 16% of all users.
Well, time for a new player to enter the market..and who else other than the Google folks. There has been a lot of debate of them coming out with their own browser. They even managed to stage their April Fool prank out of the same. But on a serious note, I think they might just be making an entry into this field as well. If one does look at the applications that Google provides, it does make up for a perfect recipe for the 'browser-o-dish'. The Google Toolbar is actually a kind of mini browser which most of us have integrated in our existing browsers. With a plethora of options provided from this mini-toolbar, it does provide a strong 'googlish' them on the underlying browser. Launching Google news, Gmail or for that matter any of their websites - its just a matter of a single click. This 1.1 Mb of a small download has a powerhouse of an impact.
So I was wondering that if Google does come out with their browser, what would it be like -
- I use Opera 9 for now, which I somehow find very good. It does cache in a lot of data, and hence does score some brownie points on this front, but then it happens at the cost of memory leaks as well. So I'd like to have caching + no/less memory issues.
- All google portals available at single click of mouse. (likes of picassa, orkut, blogger included)
- Google's own web history (accessible from client across any location)
- Integration of Google desktop search with it as well
- Minimal or no ads
- Kill the irrelevant popups
- Antispyware integrated

Well, I just googled about the 'Google Browser' and people had posted about it way back, as early as the early part of this decade. The discussion has now died down and so have most of the links! How about a Browser Wars 3: Clash of the Titans?


Venu said...

as you might know google does endorse firefox and few of the top firefox developers now work for google.

coming to browsers IE still has a upper hand, my web site analytics has 51% for IE, 43% for Firefox and 2% for your favorite Opera :)

Paranoid.. said...

yup, you are absolutely spot on with Google endorsing Firefox, which even gave rise to speculations as to Google acquiring Firefox. But with that not happening till now, the scene's getting a bit restless!
As for the stats, I do have a slightly different figure -
According to Net Applications, Firefox now holds 15.4% of the browser market, while Internet Explorer has 78%. Apple Inc.'s Safari also posted an increase in April and now stands at 4.6%; Opera Software ASA's Opera browser slipped slightly and remains under 1%.