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3 Interesting Trends in Web Browsers

November 26th, 2009

1. Opera is on the rise, especially in Europe

Recently I am reading more and more articles about the Opera browser. This browser is well known in the mobile space and is pretty much under the radar in the desktop space. However, recently I have been noticing a change upwards, especially in Europe. Opera has hired the graphic designer who worked on FireFox, has improved significantly its set of features and design, and keep introducing new innovative features such as the Opera Unite. As a web developer, I would keep an eye and make sure new site do not break in Opera, especially global sites with European audience.

2. FireFox’s (Mozilla) revenue is tapering off

According to a post “State of Mozilla” by Mitchell Baker, Mozilla has increased overall revenue in 2008 but at a slower paste. This along with large dependence on revenues coming from the main competitor, Google, brought a slew of articles and questions from Analysts and Enthusiasts. The main question from a web developer’s perspective is the long term validity of the FireFox project. At the moment, it does not seem to be in jeopardy at all and according to the article, perhaps even in a better state due to increased innovation and development as a result of fierce competition. In most cases, competition is a good thing. The dependence on Google revenue is a problem, and if I was running the show – working on decreasing this dependence will be my main priority.

3. IE9 – Performance is one of the main improvements

According to the IE team, the new IE9 which is currently being developed will be much faster then its predecessors. This is great news as speed is now the main advantage of using its competitors. Now that Microsoft is in favor with the public again due to Windows 7 and since it is continuing to push new features to IE, I think the rate of market share decline will decrease if not reverse itself and we will see a rise in market share. As a web developer this means no change: still utmost respect to IE, make sure that all websites (new or old) work on IE. Soon, we will need to test for IE6, IE7, IE8, and IE9 and notice that none of them pass the acid test. The good news is that we will drop support for the painful IE6 browser soon (will depend on the rate of adoption of Windows 7 in corporate).

Happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. | #1

    One interesting fact that I recently read was that the least safest browser was firefox. Not because the browser itself was not secure, but rather the plug ins people install. There are so many plug ins that firefox could not possibly account for all of their security holes.

  2. | #2

    Either way you look at it FireFox and IE are the two best browsers that are out there and not many can compete with them not even Chrome.

  3. | #3

    I wonder if Chrome has had any impact on Firefox. @Jasin, where did you see that at? I hadn’t heard that IE pass FF as being the most hackable.

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