On behalf of our members and all the right thinking people of the world if you are going to surf the web try to do it in the newest browser possible. This means, at time of writing, depending on your own tastes and the type of operating system (OS) you are running you should be using Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3, Opera 9.64, Safari 4 or Google Chrome. Clicking on any of those links will bring you to the latest version. There are also other browser types available but these are the most commonly used. Click here to find out more about Browser statistics.
Now, of course, I am aware that in some larger organisations the end user doesn’t control the software that is installed on their machine. However if your job involves you using a browser you should encourage the powers that be to let you do your job to the best of your ability by installing the latest technology.
Why do we give a hoot what browser version you are using? Here’s why:
- Developers and designers have their hearts broken trying to create brilliant websites that cover multiple browser types. They will generally be realistic and develop/design for the latest version minus one so if you’re using IE6 you’re currently a heartbreaker.
- IE6 in particular is considered a low point in browser history. Don’t just take my word for it. Read this, this, and this for starters.
- This leads to item no 3. Money saving: The Bring down IE6 campaign suggests that the 20% of web users using IE6 are “business users” “who “pressure designers to ’force’ sites to work in IE6, and designers, not wanting to lose business, comply, using hacks and workarounds. This wastes time and money.” That time and money (your time and money!) could be spent more cost-effectively surely?
- Security: the latest browser versions will generally protect you against the latest web-borne security threats. Generally. I’m not getting into a discussion about bugs in browsers and hacks but I’ll moderate one if you wish to leave a comment on this issue. I’m not a security expert but I’m hoping some of our readers might be able to expand on this in the comments below.
- Because browsers are free. It’s nice to get free stuff isn’t it?
- Just to be cool, like. One of the most fun events I attended last year was the Firefox 3 launch party 🙂
On the 1st September last Google launched Chrome, their take on the web browser. Their motivation according to their graphical (though somewhat previous) press release was that browsers today are simply a conduit for most people to get at the web applications they are using online like email, photo applications, colloboration applications, customer relationship management and tracking application to give some enterprise oriented examples. Therefore browsers should be stripped down and fast, fast, fast.
I had some initial difficulties installing Chrome on Vista (solved by saving then installing rather than running the install directly.) Although I found a number of queries from other users on Google Help Forums having the exact same issue, I couldn’t find a fix. I have it installed now and like many others I miss my add ons that I have installed in my IE and Firefox browsers most especially and surprisingly my Google toolbar!
I will collate some other more knowledgable reviews and post links here but I would love to read or link to your reaction to Chrome so please leave comments below. In terms of doing business on the web, while the figures still have to come in on the take up of Chrome, there is no harm in checking that your own site or sites for which you are responsible work in Chrome. I have no doubt that Google have a cunning plan to get us all on Chrome sooner rather than later!