Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Browsers, Browsers, and more Browsers

One way to tell if someone is tech savvy is to see what browser they are using. If you look at their computer and it opens to Internet Explorer in default mode with no customizing then you can guess that this person does not know much. Hmmm. That sounds overly patronizing doesn't it. Like "I am superior because I know how to use a browser and you don't." Patronizing or not, I cannot tell you how many people I have found who use Internet Explorer because it came with their computer and they have no idea that any other browser exists. Perhaps you can measure how hyper tech you are by how many different browsers you have on your computer and actually use?

OK enough of fake superiority. There are some pretty dramatic changes going on in the browser world and the changes may be affecting your blog, your data files online or some other part of your online world. I started to think about this when I was notified by Mozilla's Firefox, that yet another upgrade was available, Version 9.0. If you don't know, you can check your browser's version by either going to the file menu on a Mac and looking at the About... link or going to the Help menu in Windows and looking at a similar About... link.

Here are the latest versions of the most common browsers, at least on my iMac:

Microsoft's Internet Explorer Version 9.0 with 10.0 in Beta release
Mozilla's Firefox Version 9.0
Google's Chrome Version 15.0.874.120 (Really that's what it says)
Apple's Safari Version 5.1.1 (7534.51.22) (That's also what it says)
Opera Version 11.52

There are a number of websites that are tracking the popularity of the different browsers. Both Safari and Opera, although on the list, have relatively small market use percentages. The market is really divided somewhat evenly between the three large browsers. However, Chrome is steadily gaining ground on the other two, both of whom have been losing ground over the past three years or so. The sites differ in their statistics, but all of them show Chrome above 30% market share.

I don't care for Internet Explorer and have been using Firefox for a long time, but I am using Chrome and after getting used to some of the differences can see why it is gaining market share. What we find as we are editing the FamilySearch Research Wiki, is that there are different formatting problems with each of the newer versions of the browsers. Google is slowly (or not so slowly) integrating its programs and that tactic may inevitably make Chrome the winner in the race for the most used browser.


  1. Good post. However, isn't Firefox 9 still early beta?

  2. I'm using Firefox & Chrome, latest versions ... almost never use IE any more although it's available if I truly want it. I like Chrome for it's integration of Google+ and GoogleReader [for blogs]- means I don't use bookmarks for them. Love the tab system of Firefox. But if I didn't have two adult kids dragging me into the techy world, I'd likely be still using IE and complaining about it. Interesting post.

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