Following Up On Firefox 3.5, Safari 4 and Chrome 2
Yesterday's review of three Web browsers--Mozilla Firefox 3.5, Apple's Safari 4 and Google's Chrome 2--didn't mark a huge departure from my recent history of browser reviews. I still like Firefox best overall, I still think Safari is a good fit on a Mac but not elsewhere, and I still think Chrome is missing some features I use too often to give up.
But I had a little more trouble choosing between newest versions of these browsers. I can see there are smart people at work behind all three--and they all seem to have their priorities straight, to judge from the emphasis on performance in each program. Things look promising for Firefox 4, Safari 5 and Chrome 3, in other words.
Here, a few more details about the review:
* For memory-use testing, I relied on the figures reported by Vista's Task Manager and OS X's Activity Monitor. One sample result: With a single window open to washingtonpost.com's home page in Vista, Safari needed about 98 megabytes of memory, Firefox took 55.7 MB and Chrome used 41 MB. In OS X, Firefox needed 78 MB and Safari required just 71 MB.
* For the reader who commented that Opera was "left off the list": If Opera 10 hadn't just emerged in a beta-test form that includes a few somewhat experimental features, it would have been an easier program to include.
* So what's so bad about Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8? (Wrote one reader: "I use IE8 every single day, and visit many, many, web sites, and have never had any compatibility problems. In addition, I have never had any IE8 problems with other software in Windows.") I'd point you to my review of IE 8 from this March--and the summary of readers' reports of IE 8-related problems that I had to write in May. But IE 8 deserves credit for one slight advantage: When I tested a batch of known phishing-site addresses that had been flagged on the PhishTank clearinghouse, IE 8 caught one well-crafted attack that put a correct ebay.com domain in the address bars of Firefox, Safari and Chrome--but an hour later, those browsers had caught up to that scam as well.
Have any other questions about these browsers, or suggestions about features I should try in them or in competing programs? The comments are yours...
July 6, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
Categories: The Web
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