Thursday, March 26, 2009

IE8 vs Chrome vs Firefox3 vs Safari4

The web browser battle is going fiercer. The recent updation to all the popular browsers has taken the battle to next frontier. From Microsoft IE to Mozilla Firefox to Google Chrome to Apple Safari, all have upped the ante adding a variety of new elements, security updates and a host of next-gen navigational features. 

So here's a compare meter that evaluates the latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari on various parameters. Read on...


IE8: Microsoft claims that the new browser is faster in almost every respect. It loads faster, switches pages faster, and renders complex graphics and videos faster than previous versions. The company released a report, titled Measuring Browser Performance: Understanding issues in benchmarking and performance analysis, which shows IE 8 faster than Firefox 3.05 and Google's Chrome browser. Microsoft spelled out how it tests browsers in-house, and stressed that it doesn't buy the idea that benchmarks -- such as those that score JavaScript performance -- accurately compare the players. 

Firefox 3: Firefox claims that improvements to the JavaScript engine as well as profile guided optimisation have enhanced the performance of Firefox 3.0. Firefox 3.0 enables web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office to run twice as fast compared to Firefox 2. 

Safari 4: Apple claims Safari 4 to be the world's fastest Web browser. According to the company, Safari 4’s Nitro JavaScript engine makes it up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3, and Google Chrome. 

Chrome: Google recently released the first major update to its Chrome browser aimed at the general public since Google entered the browser business six months ago. According to Google, the new Chrome beta loads certain types of Web pages 25 per cent to 35 per cent faster than the current version of the browser.

IE8: IE8 beefs up protection against malware and known phishing scam sites. It comes with built-in technology to protect against another kind of threat, "cross-site scripting," in which hackers insert code into legitimate Web pages that compromise peoples' computers without them knowing it. IE 8 disables the bad scripts but in most cases allows others needed for a Web page to run as usual. IE 8 also prevents another kind of attack called "clickjacking," where a Web surfer might think he is clicking on a legitimate button when in fact he is activating an invisible, malicious action. 

Firefox 3: This too adds several new security features. An important addition is One-click site info where the users can click the site favicon in the location bar to see who owns the site and to check if their connection is protected from eavesdropping. The identity verification is prominently displayed in the new version. The new version also has enhanced malware protection which warns users when they enter a site which can install viruses, spyware, trojans or other malware. 

Safari 4: There are no new security features in Safari 4 beta. However, the browser has all the security features from the previous version, these include phishing and malware protection, anti-virus integration, cookie blocking, parental controls and option to customize offline database storage size. 

Chrome: For safe browsing experience, Chrome regularly keeps on downloading a list of harmful sites. This is the Internet search giant's attempt to fight malware and phishing attacks. Google also promises that whatever will run in a tab will be filtered so that it doesn't affect user’s machine.


IE8: Microsoft browser introduces Tab Groups, which makes tabbed browsing easier. When one tab is opened from another, the new tab is placed next to the originating tab and colour coded, so that users can quickly see which tabs have related content. Also, the new Address Bar of IE8 automatically recalls sites users visited based on their entry. 

Firefox 3: The new version promises more organised and clutter-free experience. An information bar replaces the old password dialogue so that users can now save passwords after a successful login. The revised Download Manager makes it easier to locate downloaded files, and users can search the name of the website where the file came from. The new version makes it possible to install extensions from third-party sites in fewer clicks. Another feature that adds volume to the new version is Full page zoom. 

Safari 4: The browser features a new preview for favorite websites and new tabs. Called Top Sites, the new feature lets users preview a listing of favorite websites without navigating to a new screen. It also presents 24 thumbnails on a single page for better viewing. The feature supports grid-style snap-and-place which is fully customisable. Safari 4 also offers enhanced keyboard navigation options.

Chrome: Instead of traditional tabs like those seen in Firefox or Internet Explorer, Chrome puts the tab buttons on the upper side of the window, not below the address bar. Web programmes can be launched in their own dedicated windows. The browser has an address bar `omnibox' with auto-completion features. It offers search suggestions, top pages that a user visited and pages he didn’t visit but are popular.

Key feature additions

IE8: IE8 packs a new feature called Accelerators which allows users to highlight text on a website and choose from a variety of functions, including search engines, language translation or map displays. Another time-saving feature of IE 8 is called Web Slices, which is designed to allow you to subscribe to frequently-updated portions, or "slices," of certain websites. 

Firefox 3: The new version promises secured data protection. User's bookmarks, history, cookies, and preferences will now be stored in a secure database format which will prevent data loss even if their system crashes. 

Safari 4: Apple Safari 4 debuts a new feature called "Cover Flow" which provides easy reviewing of site history and bookmarked websites. Similar to Top Sites, it presents previews on what the pages looked like when a user visited them. The Web browser is using advanced caching to display the websites exactly the way they were shown during visits. Apple has also added a new "Full History Search" for Top Sites and Cover Flow in Safari 4. 

Chrome: As a default homepage, the browser offers a Seed Dial feature. This gives users a view of their most visited Web pages in 9 screenshot thumbnails. Also, the browser supports multi-tasking. Just like in a typical operating system each application is given its own memory and its own copy of global data structures. Applications will launch in their own windows so that if one should hang or crash it won’t affect the others. This will also prevent the whole browser from crashing.


IE8: IE now offers a better place to keep track of top favorites. Users can save Favorites, RSS Feeds, and Web Slices to the Favorites bar that appears across the top of the browser, quickly navigating to the sites and content they want. 

Firefox 3.0: Users can add bookmarks from the location bar with a single click. A dropdown box lets users name it, choose a folder to put it in as well as add a tag to categorise it. There is also a Smart Bookmarks Folder from where users can access recently-bookmarked and tagged pages, as well as most-frequently visited pages. Another feature called Places Organiser will help users view, organise and search through all bookmarks, tags, and browsing history with multiple views and smart folders to store frequent searches. 

Safari 4: Safari has Auto-Click bookmarks feature that lets users automatically open the bookmarks inside a bookmark folder, each in a separate tab. It also provides an iTunes-style interface where users can view, create, and organise their bookmarks. 

Chrome: To add a bookmark in Chrome just click the star icon at the left edge of the address bar and its done. Google Chrome also has a bookmark manager (Ctrl+Shift+B) to better organise bookmarks and folders. To create a Bookmark folder: In the folder list on the left, right-click the location where you want the new folder to reside and select Add folder. Use the search box at the top to locate a bookmark within the manager.

Private browsing

IE8: Microsoft has added some new privacy features, including a mode for Web browsing that doesn't remember what sites were visited nor stores small data files called cookies. 

Chrome: Google's Chrome calls this Incognito mode. This mode lets users create an "incognito" window where "nothing that occurs in that window is ever logged onto your computer." This is a read-only feature with access to one's bookmarks or favorite sites. 

Firefox 3: In Firefox, you can achieve something close to Incognito mode by choosing to clear private date from the Edit - Preferences - Privacy dialogue box. 

Safari 4: The browser too offers Private Browsing mode. So, when you surf the web on a shared or public PC, Safari can protect your personal information. Safari doesn’t save or cache any personal information you enter or pages you visit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

5 problems in Internet Explorer 8 !!!!!!

The latest version of Microsoft browser Internet Explorer 8 has received mixed response from users and analysts. The browser which is getting high marks for a host of navigational and security features, is also being criticised for not being fast enough. 

As of last Friday, web reports stated that IE8 only accounted for about one and a half per cent of all internet traffic. Here's are some of the gripes users have with the new Microsoft browser.

Compatibility issues

Internet Explorer 8 suffers from compatibility problems with Web standards such as CSS, HTML4 and XHTML, according to the results of The Web Standards Project's Acid Test 3. 

The Acid 3 test for compatibility ensures that the browser works well with technologies such as CSS, HTML4 and XHTML. However, the test reveals that IE8 falls far short of scores delivered by other new browser software from Google and Mozilla. 

This failure could especially be a huge stumbling block for developers as they rely on these standards to make sure their work can run across many different browsers and on different OSes. 

Microsoft had earlier warned that IE8's default support for some new Internet standards may cause problems with their sites. Explorer 8 includes a tool called Compatibility View that lets users view sites built for previous editions of the browser.

Still slow !!! :(
Microsoft Corp is boasting about the performance speed of the IE8, but the new browser remains the slowest of the top five on the market. 

According to JavaScript rendering tests run by Computerworld, the final version of IE8 is only slightly faster than the browser's Release Candidate 1, which Microsoft released in January. 

According to the test findings (which appeared in Computerworld) Google Inc's Chrome led all browsers in the SunSpider tests, making it more than four times faster than IE8. Second was Mozilla Corp's Firefox 3.0.7, followed by Apple Inc's Safari 3.2.2 for Windows and Opera Software's Opera 9.63. 

Firefox proved to be 59 per cent faster than IE8, while Safari was 47 per cent faster. Opera, the slowest non-Microsoft production browser, was still 38 per cent faster than IE8. 

Walt Mossberg, the personal-technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal, criticised IE 8's performance in an All Things Digital post, "Microsoft claims IE 8 is very fast, but in my tests, speed and performance were its worst attributes. Using two computers, one running Windows XP and one running Windows Vista, I timed the loading of a half-dozen popular Web sites, plus two folders containing numerous news and sports sites. I repeated the test in IE 8, and in Firefox, Safari 4, and Chrome. In every case, IE 8 loaded the pages and folders more slowly than most of the other browsers, and in most cases, it came in dead last." 

Incidentally, Microsoft said that its own speed tests prove Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) to be faster than both Firefox and Chrome.

Hacked! uuuh !
IE8 beefs up protection against malware and known phishing scam sites. However, the new browser suffered its first hack just days after its official launch (along with Safari and Firefox browsers). 

At a security conference last week in Canada, a hacker exploited a security hole in Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 8 in under two hours, taking control of a Sony laptop running an internal build of Windows 7. 

The 25-year-old German researcher won $5,000 and a Sony laptop in the annual contest PWN2OWN that invites hackers to worm their way into popular browsers and operating systems for prize money. 

Later, Microsoft confirmed for TippingPoint's Digital Vaccine Laboratories that the IE8 vulnerability was genuine. It is still unknown whether the vulnerability exists only on Windows 7.

No final support for Windows 7 !! so bad :(

Microsoft is currently not offering the final version of Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7. For those using Windows 7 Beta will have to stick with IE8 Release Candidate 1 for now. 

Microsoft has not confirmed when the final version of IE8 will be available for Windows 7, but it is expected in the next public release for Windows 7. 

Also, IE8 can only be downloaded from or Microsoft's Download Center. Microsoft has not specified when it will push IE8 through the Windows Update service.

Clickjacking good, but not enough!

According to Microsoft, IE 8 helps web designers prevent "clickjacking," where a Web surfer might think they're clicking on a legitimate button when in fact they're activating an invisible, malicious action. 

However, many experts believe that Microsoft's latest technology to protect Internet Explorer users from clickjacking will not fix the problem. According to them, it won't be a panacea cure-all, but it may help. Researches believe that the problem is so vast that Microsoft's approach, which works only when developers add special tags to their pages that prevent their own Web buttons from being misused, may end up giving IE users a false sense of security. 

Microsoft released the technology as part of an early test version of its Internet Explorer 8 browser, saying that the company had developed "consumer-ready" protection for an attack. 

Clickjacking enables an attacker to force a user click on an invisible link, obviously without his knowledge or consent. Once a user clicks the link unknowingly, the hacker takes over the control.