A few years ago, everyone thought that the browser war was over – Microsoft had won the war. It was easy to make such an assumption because, back then, Internet Explorer had a 90% market share. The other popular browser in those days was Netscape, and it had a measly 10% market share. This is mostly due to Microsoft distributing its browser with its operating systems, Microsoft Windows, which made it hard for other browsers to come into the same space and compete.
But being the market leader with little competition is not an ideal situation, even for Microsoft. Over time, in the hope of keeping its technology propriety, the giant company has failed to respond to user feedback promptly. That threw the game wide open, and Firefox soon came into the picture. What is the difference between Firefox and Internet Explorer then?
The key difference between the two browsers is that Firefox allows developers to develop third party plugins. For example, if you are an internet marketer, you can develop plugins for Firefox that you know other marketers will use. For the end user, this means that you can install any plugin that you find useful. If you need an RSS reader, you can install a plugin for that. If you need a dictionary, you can download a plugin for that as well. This is an open platform concept that the end users surely welcome. Today, there are literally hundreds of plugins available for download all over the Internet. So which browser do you think users will choose this time round?
You are right, more and more people are choosing Firefox over Internet Explorer. They can’t seem to live without the extensions! In just a few short years, Firefox has narrowed the gap. Many webmasters are reporting that they see as much as 40% of their visitors using the Firefox browser. Internet Explorer is still the market leader, but it is losing ground very quickly.
As if the race wasn’t exciting enough, Google, the world’s number one search engine, has decided to join in the race! Its Chrome web browser was first released to the public in September 2008. Since its release, the browser has only managed to capture about 2% of market share, but this doesn’t seem to bother the giant search company. That’s because they have major plans for their browser.
Google Chrome is a lightweight browser. The engineers who developed this browser said that this is deliberate. They have adopted the very same concept that Firefox has used to catch up with Internet Explorer. Therefore, end users can expect third party extensions to be developed for Google Chrome as well. As this is a very new browser, there will be limited extensions available at first, but Google looks set to be providing more and more support for developers to start working on extensions based on the Google Chrome platform.