America's Next Top Web Browser

Web Browser FaceoffSeeing a bunch of lean code jockeys building the next generation of web browsers is a reality TV show I'd watch. Since that's probably not happening any time soon, I'll take the next best thing: Read/WriteWeb's Web Browser Faceoff, by Alex Iskold. Iskold reviews six of the latest crop of web bowsers: Firefox 2, Internet Explorer 7, Safari, Opera 9, Flock, and Maxthon. I highly recommend reading his entire round-up, but in case your attention span ain't what it used to be, here's what he concludes about our trusty browsers:

  • IE7: "Solid release, which is going to help Microsoft maintain the market leadership in the near future"
  • Firefox: "We think that Firefox is going to continue narrowing IE's lead, but await with interest the next major version!"
  • Safari: "It's a clean and simple web 1.0 browser, but needs a major feature boost in order to be a contender even on the Mac."
  • Opera: "We can see why fans like this browser, but a bigger future depends on spicing it up and poring in the marketing dollars."
  • Flock: "Great productivity browser for web 2.0"
  • Maxthon: "Need to apply Occam's Razor (i.e. make it simpler), but definitely could be a contender because of solid service integration."
"Even though IE and Firefox are far ahead today," Iskold concludes, "we see that other browser like Flock and Maxthon are ramping up support for the latest web 2.0 services - making themselves stand out and attracting early adopters. ... Faceoff bottom line: This round of browser competition is going to be at least as interesting as the Netscape vs. IE ten years ago. And hopefully less one-sided!" Hear, hear!

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