Web Browsers: The Best of ‘08
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The act of browsing the web has changed a lot since it came into existence twelve years ago. As browser technology continues to improve, it enriches our experience and helps us enjoy information, entertainment, and more in ways that weren't possible before. This article rounds up and reviews some of the best web browsers for 2008.
Coming in above all other website browsers in 2008, according to Consumer Search, is Firefox, developed by Mozilla. Firefox first hit the scene in 2004, but since then has taken control of a large portion of the browser market share: currently just under 20%, with that figure reliably growing every month. However, usage of Firefox is significantly greater with such users as website developers and other various website professionals. According to W3Schools, nearly 40% of visitors to their website are using Mozilla Firefox.
Users of Firefox are most satisfied by the marked customizability of the browser. The Firefox community has developed a virtually limitless supply of add-ons and plug-ins which add features of all varieties to the browsing experience. Though Firefox does fall behind on some features offered by other top browsers (most notably, Opera), add-ons more than make up for the lack.
Firefox is also praised for its cross-operating system compatibility. Specifically, users can expect virtually the exact same experience whether they are browsing with Firefox on Windows or on a Mac operating system. Additionally, Linux users can use Firefox and receive much the same experience.
One weakness of Firefox is a reported memory leak, which gradually slows performance the longer the user has the browser open. Eventually, it is possible that the browser will slow to a virtual crawl, making the browsing experience nearly impossible. However, the issue has apparently been addressed in the beta version of the latest version of Firefox: 3.0. Even with the leak fix, Firefox still falls slightly behind in speed when compared with Opera, though it does out-perform Internet Explorer.
Firefox does fall behind Internet Explorer in one regard: security. Upon its release, Firefox was hailed for its improved security measures over Internet Explorer 6, most specifically, the exploits which ActiveX opened for Internet Explorer users. However, since the release of Internet Explorer 7, Firefox has taken second place in regard to security.
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