Why We're Fighting Over Browsers Again

All of the three major browsers are given away free to anyone that will take them. But that doesn't make the the competition among them any less ferocious; just the opposite, really. Microsoft's Internet Explorer enjoys about a 75 percent share of users, Mozilla's Firefox 18 percent, and Apple's Safari has 5 percent. Mozilla and Microsoft are battling one another by offering newer versions of their browsers, out in beta now, and Apple is trying to gain market share by surreptitiously bundling Safari with automatic updates for its iTunes music player. Why fight over free stuff? Because many feel the browser will become everything to the user in the future, supplanting the importance of even the Operating System.

With tasks like e-mail and word processing now migrating from the PC to the Internet, analysts and industry players think the browser will soon become even more valuable and strategically important.

“People in the industry foresee a time in which for many people, the only thing they’ll need on a computer is a browser,” said Mitch Kapor, the software pioneer who now sits on the board of the Mozilla Foundation and has created a start-up, FoxMarks, that is developing a tool to synchronize bookmarks between computers. “The browser is just extraordinarily strategic.”

That notion has helped to rekindle the browser wars and has resulted in the latest wave of innovation. Firefox 3.0, for example, runs more than twice as fast as the previous version while using less memory, Mozilla says.

Google essentially bankrolls Mozilla by paying for the traffic Firefox shunts to Google by making it the default search engine on the browser --$65 million in 2006 alone. But they're just being cute. They're beating Microsoft over the head with Firefox like Moe smacks Curley, while the third, less prominent Stooge -- Larry Apple -- stands around waiting for his turn to get slapped. The big players think it's very important which browser is pre-eminent if the browser eventually becomes king. Apple can always sell pricey hardware, and Google can keep on reaping paid click revenue and paying Mozilla. But now you know why Microsoft wants Yahoo! and the Internet presence it represents.  If they can't sell operating systems, they'd be out of business, essentially. Could be worse. I think a free browser that made an OS superfluous would make Linux into Shemp. No one wants to be Shemp.
Tags:  browsers, Browser, ting, AG, WS, AI
amdcrankitup 6 years ago
Ok Im curious and probably setting my self up for the kill! How many people here use other browsers than IE!! How many use thein conjunction with IE,and How many people here dont use IE at all!!I dont have any problem with checking out another browser just havent got around to it! Last time I actually looked at another browser and this is SICK was Netscape!And I really hated saying that!LOL
squid267 6 years ago
Wow 75% ges to IE, Thats startling..considering how IE is the worst browser.
amdcrankitup 6 years ago
Thats the response I was expecting! LOL The thing is Im a software NUT seems like I always got to have the best of what I want and even things I dont actually use that often. Just never got around to changing my browser even though I know IE is sh_t can be a pain in the as_!
squid267 6 years ago
Yea i used to be like you, I didn't think I'd get any benefit over IE. But is just remarkably better in every aspect.
peti1212 6 years ago

[quote user="SqUiD267"]Wow 75% ges to IE, Thats startling..considering how IE is the worst browser.[/quote]

 Hey, I have been using IE all my life and to be honest with you I don't really like any other browser. I just have to use Firefox right now becuse a stupid virus corrupted my IE and it is doing crap. Firefox is ok, but IE is the best.

Drago 6 years ago
amdcrankitup, most of the power users on this forum dont use IE at all, but we do mainly use firefox, at least it was this way a year or so ago when we were all super active. Heck we even have a thread of how to make firefox run faster, threads for extensions and addons to firefox that improve the browsing experience, and like the best one was IE Tab, allowing you to run a tab that was compatible with IE so pages that needed ActiveX and what not to run could in firefox.

I personally do not use IE, only firefox. The only time i use IE is to get windows updates.
amdcrankitup 6 years ago
I guess Im a victem of my own reputition!Course RE: power users LOL look at my current Rigs specs: No power user there!LOL But seriously I,ve been meaning to change up, soon as I get my new Rig built I,ll give Fire Fox a try!

squid267 6 years ago
What IE do you run?
amdcrankitup 6 years ago
I,ve got 6 and 7 currently running 6.0!IE 7 seems to be some what of a resouce hog along with a few other thing on my PC. Basically my current PC cant Hang!
SqUiD267 6 years ago

 Yea IE7 uses a ton of resources. I dislike any  web broswer, if they dont have tabs.

JeffB 6 years ago

IE7 has tabs 

SqUiD267 6 years ago

[quote user="JeffB"]

IE7 has tabs 


I know I was tryign to refer to IE 6 which doesnt have tabs.

Super Dave 6 years ago

[quote user="amdcrankitup"]I,ve got 6 and 7 currently running 6.0![/quote] 

IE7 is a lot more secure than IE6, AMD! But I still use Firefox exclusively.

n0nsense 6 years ago
hmm ...
you representing ungrown insult to intelligence :)
75% for some thing that come with 92% of computers surfing the web ...
It's clear that it's not the best. But of course if you housewife or a grandma that can't make a choice, you choose IE.
amdcrankitup 6 years ago

[quote user="n0nsense"]But of course if you housewife or a grandma that can't make a choice, you choose IE.[/quote]


Well I divorced Wife nu:4 and my Grandama is dead,So I dont have a good excuse! Kinda like having an old stray dog its just THERE!

But when I build my new rig I,ll play with Firefox see how it works out.Cause yall having to much fun with this! LOL

Course it is Funny!Geeked

Crisis Causer 6 years ago

Firefox all the way.  It's better, has more options, and used to be the exclusive tab provider of the internet (although IE has tabs now).  Thanks for the article, because I remember being confused many times before about why Apple would push Safari onto iTunes users.  It's a free browser, how does it help them?  But if they believe browsers are only going to become more important, it makes sense.

And leave Shemp alone.  He did his best day in and day out. =P 

amdcrankitup 6 years ago

[quote user="Crisis Causer"]And leave Shemp alone.  He did his best day in and day out[/quote]


That funny Chris!    ShempCrankitup!

barone 6 years ago


Agree completely. I love firefox... i love all my extensions. IE does not compare in any way.

Having a great browser adds a great image to your company so microsoft has to care a lot.

ice_73 6 years ago

 well we all know the internet is a series of tubes :-p so i dont see how compatibility would be a problem? everything uses the normal standars? or am i missing something? 

sjdurfey 6 years ago
I believe what happened was that when IE was introduced it didnt render web pages properly. And because IE became so popular so quickly because of its bundling with Windows, developers started creating their pages to work on IE, even though it wasnt the true standard. This helped cement its strong position in the browser market. It wasnt until IE8 that Microsoft finally decided to implement the TRUE standards in their browser by default. But these are the reasons why IE has such a large market share even though FireFox is far superior. I only use IE if a website i need to use requires it. The functionality of Fire Fox cannot be beat. Opera tries nicely, but even that cannot compare.
ice_73 6 years ago
now i actually understand why people make free browesers.... i wouldnt of minded paying 5 bucks for firefox because it rocks but now i see why its free! go mozzila os!
Crisis Causer 6 years ago

I will kill all who oppose the mighty Mozilla OS.  All hail the new king of linux!  Even if the kingdom is only the size of Rhode Island. 

amdcrankitup 6 years ago

Hey Shemp checking in,see how yall doing me telling me to ditch IE, and now yall arguing over which one. Firefox,Mozilla opera.Hey this thread could go on forever so now tell me: Which one!! This ought to be fun!!

Dev 6 years ago

Those stats refer to the engine the browser uses. Many people particularly Asians seem to like Maxthon which uses IE7 like AOL's browser. To put it in perspective Firefox has 300+ million downloads while Maxthon has around 150 million. I use Camino but it's a Firefox engine (Gecko). Likewise with Flock, SeaMonkey, K-Meleon and the current Netscape. The coming years will show a divergence of browsers in much greater varieties.

I reckon the majority here on the HH forums use either Opera or Firefox (or some derivative) on their home computers. Perhaps an admin could leak some relevant stats. 


amdcrankitup 6 years ago

Well when I get my Rig built I,ll keep my old clunker and test them out on it 1st starting with FireFox!

rapid1 6 years ago

Rofl you guys are funny I use IE7 with IEpro on it and Firefox I don't really like safari and have used most other browsers that are at least recognized like OPERA NETSCAPE etc. I don't have a fave I am just waiting for firefox 3.0 to get addin compatabilty like two and will prolly us that exclusively for 3-6 months. Screw faves I use everything whatever fits the purpose and timeline best.

miscpenguin 6 years ago
Firefox! I've got friends begging me to switch to Opera... was surprised to see it wasn't even on this list.
Dave_HH 6 years ago
Maybe it's me but I've always found Opera to have the most number of site rendering/compatibility issues.
SqUiD267 6 years ago

 I have never tried Opera either, I think I should ive it a try...

Safari was bundled with iTunes, that I quickly disallowed. I wonder how Safari is doing.

Laggerzero 6 years ago

I say we all go back to text browsers.


If you are looking for a supped up version of IE I would try maxthon. it is basically IE on steroids but I think it is kind of bloated. I personally use the nightly builds of firefox (which has now branched out beyond firefox 3).

Marco C 6 years ago
Opera reports itself as IE unless configured otherwise, so it is difficult to know exacly how many poeple are using it. I have found Opera to be the fastest of the four, between IE, FF, Safari and Opera, but it definitely has more compatibility issues.
SqUiD267 6 years ago

Firetune does wonders for firefox.

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