Fall 2009 Web Browser Outlook

The names are familiar: Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. These relatively new browsers have been shaking the foundations of Internet Explorers complete victory over Netscape. These new browser are implementing fresh ideas and breaking out of the crusty browsers of the early 21st century. With the second browser wars in full swing, lets see where things stand and what’s coming.

Mozilla Firefox 3.6

The Firefox team is focusing on startup performance, JavaScript performance, lightweight themes, and a few new features for developers. Firefox 3.6 is expected to arrive Nov 2009.

After that, Firefox 3.7 will boast a revamped user interface, a WebGL implementation and ongoing speed and responsiveness improvements.

Safari 5?

Safari 4 was just released, and we have not heard any official statement from Apple what features Safari 5 will include, but looking at WebKit we can see what core browser technologies are being developed. WebKit has added geolocation support, HTML 5 draggable, and HTML 5 forms patterns and required attributes. What directly user visible changes will Apple make? We will have to wait and see.

Internet Explorer 9?

The next version of IE is still quite a ways out (3 years if you look at the release time-frame of IE 7 and 8 ) but it’s expected to boast many new HTML 5 features including native video and audio playback. Internet Explorer 9 should be quite a feature packed release with HTML 5 goodness, better performance, and improved standards support.

Opera 10.10

Opera 10 was just released this month but the team is working on Opera 10.10 with Unite. So far we’re waiting to hear more from the Opera team about what they are working on.

Google Chrome 4

With Google Chrome 3 being released, the Chrome team and external developers are hard at work making the browser cross platform with support for OS X and Linux. User end features include bookmark synchronization, extensions and surly will include more JavaScript performance enhancements.

Metatunnel by FRequency - WebGL Demo

Metatunnel by FRequency - WebGL Demo

Overall the competition looks quite healthy and browsers are being enhanced to be the Operating System of the future.

  1. Igorette (igorette) 's status on Tuesday, 29-Sep-09 19:55:28 UTC - Identi.ca:

    [...] http://www.markdeepwell.com/2009/09/fall-2009-web-browser-outlook/ [...]

  2. Markus:

    What about Midori?

  3. Mark:

    Feel free to write a summary of what the Midori developers are doing.

  4. orlando:

    Microsot is not interested in the progress of HTML 5. Examples:

    . SVG not supported
    . ACID 3 terribly supported ( 15- compliance versus +95 the other browsers )
    . completely absent in WHATWG and WC3 HTML5 working groups ( until recently , with a lightly participation )
    . canvas not supported and no formal plans to support this and the other HTML5 main features
    . etc
    . etc

    I don’t like to say it, but it is game over for Internet Explorer, the web won ( silverlight, active x, propietary extensions, un-commoditazion of protocols are gone ).

  5. madnessjack:

    IE is the default for the majority of users. It doesn’t matter if we like it or not, it’s not going away.

    I would also like to point out that HTML5 is a draft so we shouldn’t expect it to be in browsers, to start using it now would be foolish because the spec could change.

  6. Dave:

    I’ll suggest Ti-Took (titook.net) as well. A sefe web browsing platform with a built-in web browser based on Google Chrome.

  7. Tanstaafl:

    I’m using Chrome as my primary. Fast and effortless. Firefox is just too stodgy–glad to hear they are focusing on startup performance. However, even if it was fast, I think I like the UI of chrome better now. It will be a tough sell to get me back to firefox.

    Orlando: Ascribing motivation is not helpful–focus on behavior. In other words, SVG is not supported currently. That’s a statement of behavior. “Not interested” is a hard claim to substantiate unless you are on Microsoft’s BOD.

  8. orlando:

    tanstaaf

    correcting my sentence:

    “Until now ( 09/30/2009 ), there are no public and positive facts that invalidate the following affirmation: Microsoft is not interested in the progress of HTML 5. But perhaps Steve Ballmer is thinking right now: ‘i would like to advance HTML5, yeah! i will talk with the IE team now!’

  9. Ben:

    Midori isn’t a major player.
    Internet Explorer IS going away.
    Balances are shifting – Chromium is superb, Opera 10 is excellent, and Firefox is a swiss army knife.

    Firefox can’t go away, but the others can fight it out between themselves.

    The only one that doesn’t enter the equation for me is Internet Explorer because it is the Microsoft tool for domination.