A few years back, the Internet was left shaken by the Browser Wars, or the competitions for the top spot in usage share between web browsers.
It all started when Microsoft Internet Explorer took Netscape Navigator’s spot as the top browser during the late 1990s. It continued when IE lost its dominance over the emerging browsers Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. That followed a lot of debates on which browser is really the best among the rest.
They say that the browser wars are now over and peace has been achieved in the browserdom. Some people will ask, “Who won?”
Well, I, for one, don’t care who won. I am not really that interested. I personally think that the browser wars started because of one thing: marketing.
All browsers have claimed that they are the best, thus, confusing the regular users on which really is the best. Because of this, developers have joined in with the argument which led to a series of interesting debates and cool illustrations.
With the end of what has been a long and seemingly endless debate, an interesting question now arises, “Why can’t there be just one browser? Hence, this article.
The Difference between Browsers
Before answering the question, let’s review some of the browsers which really are fighting for the top spot:
- Chrome is known for its speed and minimalist design
- On a developer’s point of view, Chrome becomes one of the best browsers because of HTML5 support
- Chrome also comes with hardware acceleration which gives it a blitzing speed
Initial Startup Time: 4s
Average Startup Time: 4.3s
- Updates often
- There is pretty much of a surprise on full updates released by Firefox
- Offering graphics hardware acceleration
- Has HTML5 support
- Has panorama tab organizer that users and developers love
Initial Startup Time: 6.3s
Average Startup Time: 6.3s
- Microsoft boasts that the new IE browser will be faster, trimmer and more compliant with HTML5
- Has enhanced touch support
Initial Startup Time: 4.3s
Average Startup Time: 4.3s
- Has compliance with HTML5
- Has a great interface
- Opera targets slow connections through caching
Initial Startup Time: 5.1s
Average Startup Time: 4.4s
- Safari is a browser developed and released by Apple, Inc.
- Built on WebKit, a leading brand in web standards
- Safari makes it easier for a developer to do his job because of the great tools the browser possesses
Initial Startup Time: 4.2s
Average Startup Time: 3.7s
The Now Defunct Browsers
Business enterprises own web browsers. That means, even if they can be downloaded for free, these browsers should also get some revenue.
Popular browsers nowadays have a default search engine set. Most of the time, it is Google. The reason behind this is that Google pays the particular browser so it becomes its default search engine.
Business-wise, the main reason why a browser can be downloaded for free is market penetration. Penetrating the market is a means of gauging the number of sales of a product or service against the hypothetical market of that particular product or service.
In this case, when a person uses a certain browser, there is a particular market for a different product that will be offered to the user. This becomes the focus of action as they want to offer products that can be integrated with that said browser, say Google Chrome.
This is where Google-powered applications such Gmail, Google Plus and some other services come to play. Yes, some of these services are free but others need to upgrade into premium to acquire the full features indicated.
Is it possible to have just one web browser to rule them all?
Different browsers exist because users have different choices. Some prefer one browser over the other. This is what makes other browsers exist. If we dream of unifying all browsers in one, then, programmers should work really hard to satisfy every client’s needs.That is virtually impossible. The main reason why there can’t be one single browser to rule them all is that you can never please everybody, just as a browser can’t.
Web browsers have been a concern for web designers and developers. Cross-browser compatibility has always been stressed and its importance has never lessened. This, of course, consumes time. Maybe that is the reason why some designers wish that there were only one browser that could trump over the others. So that these compatibility issues shall be addressed without effort. However, we cannot dictate for that to happen. The regular Internet users have their preferences and people choosing just one browser out of the choices available, is just impossible.