Infopackets' Guide to the Web's Top Browsers

Dennis Faas's picture

The world's most popular Internet browser, its nearest challenger, and the 'new kid on the block' have all launched recently, or are in the process of launching new editions. Here's our guide to the latest offerings from Microsoft, Mozilla, and Google.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8

  • Internet Explorer 8, the latest edition of Microsoft's browser, is currently in its second test edition, with the final version expected later this year. New features include improved security scanning, smarter search suggestions and a built-in function for viewing pages designed for earlier browsers that aren't displaying properly. (Source:
  • There's also a feature for browsing without leaving any trace on your machine, which Microsoft suggests could be used for buying gifts online without spoiling the surprise. (That certainly makes for a more PR-friendly explanation than kids wanting to look at nudies undetected.)
  • Verdict: Internet Explorer is likely always going to be the market leader simply because of Microsoft's dominance. Some of the new features in version 8 sound intriguing but only time will tell if they turn out to be effective, or useful, in day-to-day surfing. It's also worth bearing in mind that Internet Explorer's dominance will always make it a target for hackers, so you may need to be extra-conscious about security.

Mozilla Firefox Version 3

  • Mozilla's Firefox version 3 came out earlier this year, and 3.1 is expected before the end of 2008. It doesn't look like there will be any major new features, but the updates are expected to fix some bugs from version 3; there are also rumours the browser will be faster. (Source:
  • Verdict: While there are some bugs (such as the browser appearing to 'forget' some stored passwords and user names), many users find Firefox 3 much more intuitive than other browsers. If you're thinking of giving it a try, it's probably not worth waiting until version 3.1's official release; also bear in mind that the test versions available for download now are only designed for software developers.

Google Chrome

  • Google has entered the browser market with Chrome. While it's got some neat user features, the main difference is very basic. Each tab or window runs as if it were a separate program, meaning that if one freezes or crashes, the others still work. This could be very useful for people who frequently work with multiple pages. (Source:
  • The downsides are that some security bugs have already been discovered, along with compatibility issues for some websites, and some people have already raised privacy concerns.
  • Verdict: It's tough to predict whether Google's strong reputation for simple and effective products will be enough to make Chrome a success. It's worth checking out, but double-check your security measures first as hackers will no doubt be keen to earn a major scalp by attacking a giant like Google.
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