The browser wars have been going on for years. Practically since the advent of the Internet the browser wars have kept us entertained and annoyed in turn. In the beginning the two who were duking it out were Netscape and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
The two, Mozilla (which developed open source versions of Netscape) and Microsoft, had a seemingly ceaseless debate about who was better, who was more secure and who offered the best look at the new and brilliantly colored online world. Internet Explorer was an easy winner but Netscape followers were never quite convinced that the proprietary MS way was the way to go.
In a way, that same war is still playing out with a few new contenders entering the fray. As of October of this year, the market share, and it’s a lion’s share, is going to Firefox by a literal, or should we say, virtual, landslide. As you can see by the table below, Internet Explorer, for all that it is still the hands down winner in Operating Systems, is no longer the top of the heap for browser experiences.
What took out the big winner and why is Firefox the browser to beat when it comes to flexibility, to security and to attractive add-ons?
Firefox began as an open source and many believe that’s the real secret of the success of this strong leader when it comes to browsers. For those of you who do not know, open source is quite literally what it says that it is. The source code used to create the browser and many of the add-ons that are packaged with and available for Firefox are open to the public. You have the permission of the Firefox team, even the encouragement, to take that code and to build on it and improve on it and then add your name to the long list of amazing creative workers who have turned Firefox into the number one browser that it is today.
Firefox boasts better security, a more fully integrated set of plugins and add-ons that can be used to give you amazing functionality. It’s supported by literally millions of the best programmers and coders that the Internet and software world has to offer.
Open source has a decided edge over the more proprietary Microsoft browsers because the open source community permits everyone to add to the software and to provide support and assistance to other users. The open source community tends to stand behind their software. They provide free support, free upgrades and even free online FAQs. The more proprietary communities tend to offer less by means of support and assistance and to charge more for the software support that does take place.
In addition, the software that is offered is typically noticeably better and supported by an entire online communitywilling to give you the assistance that you need. In the case of Firefox, the combination of better security, better online browsing experience and a browser that is typically faster out of the gate than the major competitor is the reason why Firefox has grown to be in the lead and for all intents and purposes looks like it’s going to stay there for a while.