From the archives: Browser Wars Are Here Again

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I had an itch and searched for web archives. I found archives of a Mac-site I used to run back in 2000-2001 called when I was based in London. It was once rated within the Top 30 of Mac sites in the world. Sadly, I grew busy and the longer I stopped writing, the harder it became to write and maintain the site. Shame really, as it had a pretty good following and my updates were on The post below was one of the first I wrote. Some links may be redundant as this was 9 years ago! Will be posting a couple more, just so I don’t lose my archives again!

Browser Wars are here again!
by Verne

Yup, you heard it. The browser wars are back, albeit with different participants. Remember the early days when Netscape – the Goliath, ruled the browser universe and Internet Explorer – the David, was just an infant taking its first teeny step? (towards mass monopoly that is). Well, things have changed mostly.Netscape, whilst still hanging on, is pretty much out of favour these days. The un-Mac Netscape 6 with all its promise of standards compliance and all that jazz didn’t help its market share. Some question Netscape’s relevance now although there are still loyal users around especially on other platforms like Linux.

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With the launch of Mac OS X, the wars begin again. Smaller developers (as opposed to monoliths like Microsoft) such as the Omni Development IncOperaand iCab, have suddenly rolled out potential giant-slaying products – OmniWeb 4 and the much-waited (or should I say – do I really care anymore?) iCab. Opera is currently in Public Beta and a Carbonized version is in the works as we speak,OmniWeb has been around since NextOS days, and the maturity of the OS X-native OmniWeb 4 shows. Tests have shown that it is 25% faster than IE. I cannot verify this as I find OmniWeb a little buggy at times and has, from time to time, problems with Javascripts.

I still have my trusty IE 5.1.1 loaded as my primary browser in OS X as it gives me less errors at the moment. Speedwise, it’s hard to tell. Perception supercedes the statistics really. Personally, I feel both are about the equal in speed. I have yet to try out iCab, although have played with the betas pre-OS X days. Can’t say much about it at the moment.

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I will leave the feature-by-feature comparisons to a later time.

It is undeniable that the browser wars are back, and the competition is healthy. All browsers concerned aren’t exactly bug-free but it is important to note that their respective developers are working their asses off to improve them.

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And for us users, this can only be a good thing.


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