I came across an advertisement for Google’s “Chrome” Web browser today that I found to be delightfully creative, well made, and worth sharing. From what I was able to gather, the spot was done by BBH in New York and it offers an interesting introduction to the browser for those who are unfamiliar with it.
In the past few weeks Chrome has become significantly more important to follow due to some new statistics released at the beginning of the month. According to Net Applications, Chrome surpassed Apple’s Safari browser in market share, which is surprising considering it’s only been available as a public stable release since December of 2008; Safari 1.0 was released in June of 2003. I’ve found that Chrome offers a quick and lightweight experience that’s great if you’re just browsing.
From a Web development perspective, Firefox still reigns king due to all of the fantastic extensions (add-ons) that are available to assist with the process. Most developers, including myself, loathe Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (version 6 in particular) because it fails to comply with several of the standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and it took Microsoft 5 years to release a new version. The companies behind most of the other popular browsers release nightly builds, which gives me, and many other developers, the impression that Microsoft is apathetic toward new Web technologies, languages, and standards; or at least they were for several years. Microsoft has shown improvement in its browser lately but that 5 year gap from version 6 to 7 is what is really frightening. As long as Microsoft continues to dominate the market, I can’t help but feel that we are being held back – support for HTML 5, CSS3, and WOFF is especially interesting but it will probably be at least 5 years before they are widely used because of old browser versions. What’s worse is that in many corporate environments, Internet Explorer version 6 is the only browser that employees are allowed to use due to outdated custom programs or simply the costs involved with rolling out a company-wide update.
Many people most likely don’t understand that not each browser renders code the same way. The biggest differences are seen between Internet Explorer and the others. Version 6 of Internet Explorer is so bad that extra time always needs to be reserved for special workarounds and hacks to fix issues specific to the browser, which can seem rather gratuitous considering that it’s now almost 9 years old. The Web evolves so quickly from one year to the next and dealing with such an old browser can seem frustrating. As alternative browsers like Chrome and Firefox continue to grow in popularity, Microsoft will need to prove it can adapt or should simply step aside completely.
If you’re interested in trying out alternative browsers, use the following links to lean more and to download them: