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.