Categorized | Browsers

Hardware and Software 3.13. Browsers

3.13.1. Internet Explorer

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/default.mspx

Internet Explorer, the most widely used browser in the world, is a free proprietary graphical web browser made by Microsoft and automatically installed with Windows Vista or Windows XP. It has been the most widely used web browser since 1999.

Internet Explorer has been designed to view a broad range of Web pages using the broadest possible codes; it is also intimately connected to the operating system. Many features of the Vista operating system operate through Internet Explorer.

On the Macintosh, Internet Explorer is highly unstable. In fact, Microsoft has ceased supporting the Macintosh version of its browser. Macintosh users typically do their Web surfing on Safari.

Because Explorer is not fully compliant with “Web standards” (a set of standards governing how layout and formatting should be governed with a combination of HTML and CSS, the two major coding languages for Web pages), not all standards-compliant sites work properly. Some sites specifically demand a fully compliant browser, such as Firefox, to work as intended.

3.13.2. Mozilla Firefox

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

Mozilla Firefox is a free, open source, cross-platform web browser developed by the Mozilla Corporation and a large community of volunteers. Its primary claim to fame is that it is fully “standards-compliant,” meaning it is designed to display pages that fully comply with coding standards. It means, of course, that non-compliant sites may not display correctly in Firefox even though they display correctly in other browsers.

Firefox includes a pop-up blocker, tabbed browsing, live bookmarks, and an extension mechanism for adding functionality. Firefox also allows the user to install many different kinds of plug-ins created by other users, thus adding significant capabilities to the core browser. The second most popular browser in the world (very distant second), Firefox is used by around 12% of Web surfers.

Firefox tends to be the browser of choice among Internet power users, developers, geeks, and hackers. These Firefox fans can, to this writer’s mind, be a bit overbearing, if not downright sociopathic, in their dedication to the browser, but users accustomed to IE or Netscape shouldn’t have any difficulty making the transition to Firefox.

3.13.3. Opera

http://www.opera.com/

Opera is a free Internet suite which handles common Internet-related tasks, including visiting web sites, sending and receiving e-mail messages, managing contacts, and online chat. It is designed for Windows, OSX, UNIX, and Linux systems and now includes versions for cell phones and PDAs.

Besides a Web browser, the Opera suite includes a full email application, Opera Mail. Opera Mail supports all email connections, includes an address book, and also features a newsreader, a news-feed reader, and a chat application.

The Opera browser is best suited for Internet power users who keep many pages open at once and perform frequent downloads. In fact, it is the most reliable browser for managing multiple, large downloads.

3.13.4. Flock

http://flock.com

Flock is the first Web browser to build social networking and Web 2.0 features right into the browser’s interface. Basically just a souped-up version of Firefox, Flock integrates social networking and social media services, such as Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube, right into the actual browser. So when a user signs on, the browser instantly alerts them to what friends are doing, recommending, or what new media has been uploaded. The entire browser is built around a user’s activities in these social and media networks and is becoming wildly popular among these users. For this reason alone, you should familiarize yourself with the browser. In particular, if social networking is part of your marketing or PR plan, then much of the audience you’re trying to reach will be on Flock.

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