Monday, March 9, 2009

Browser Wars: Rating the features

I've decided to rate the five major browsers on the various features I think are important.  The links go to my analysis of the various browsers. 

I haven't updated Firefox or Opera.  All my points in the original reviews stand, and neither browser has added anything that makes the browser different.

But I have switched from Opera to Firefox as my favorite. I like Opera very much, but was ultimately defeated because too many things are designed for Firefox and MSIE, and thus don't work with Opera (Google Apps and the Google toolbar, for instance). In addition, Firefox offers add-ins that let you add some of Opera's best features, and the ability to use MSIE within Firefox.

10= highest
Google Chrome Firefox 3.0 MSIE8 Opera 9.5 Safari
Tabbed Browsing 8 10 9 8 3
Speed 7 6 10 5 10
Customization 2 10 7 8 1
Bookmark Management 2 9 10 6 3
Special features 6 8 8 9 1
Innovations 6 8 7 10 2
Security 9 9 6 9 10
Compatibility 9 9 10 5 9
Total 49 69 67 60 40


  • Tabbed Browsing.  How useful the tabbed browsing function works.  Ability to add additional features and manage tabs.
  • Speed.  How fast the browser renders web pages.
  • Customization.  The ability to customize the browser for your own web browsing habits.
  • Bookmark Management.  How easy it is to add, remove, and organize bookmarks. 
  • Special features.  The things that make one browser different from the rest. These are built-in features, not add-ins.
  • Innovations. What about the browser is new and different.
  • Security. How secure the browser is.  This isn't just lack of security holes -- Firefox had more bug last year than all other browsers combined -- but how quickly fixes are issued (very fast for Firefox) and how much a browser is a target (with MSIE as target #1).
  • Compatibility.  How web pages are rendered.  People design for MSIE, so that's a big advantage; they ignore Opera and that hurts.

For another analysis, see "If Browsers Were Women."