Friday, October 20, 2006

Web-Browser Usability Personal Ratings

Numerous web-browsers exist today each with their own ups and downs and their own set of users and fans. Personally, I am currently a Firefox user and find that browser to be the most usable browser in the market. Since Firefox has been released Microsoft lost some points for its browser known as "Internet Explorer" in the browsers market, and since has been working hard to re-establish its grounds. The three most widely used browsers under windows are: Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera. Here I will give a rating for each of them in two conditions. The first condition is out of the box, which is the default installation that has not been customized or extended using any addons. The other condition is the optimized setup, with settings fixed and addons installed.

BrowserOut of the boxOptimized
* IE + Windows Live Toolbar
Opera 978
Firefox 2.069.7
Firefox 1.559.5
IE 757
IE 6sp234*
IE 6sp114*

As it can be noted, Opera provides the best out of the box experience. Yet, neither Opera nor Internet Explorer are customizable enough - not even using third party extensions. Microsoft earlier this year released MSN Toolbar that significantly enhances old versions of Internet Explorer for the modern requirements of a web browser. Firefox on the other hand provides a bare minimum of what a person expects in a modern web browser while giving the user a large collection of addons which enables the user to tweak it to their specific needs, hence I rate it as the best browser after optimization.

Microsoft should be applauded that its newest browser Internet Explorer 7 qualifies the minimum expectations for a modern web browser, and in fact competes with the out of the box experience of Firefox 1.5. It is advised that all windows users upgrade their Internet Explorer to version 7 - even if they use an alternative browser. As a final advise for Firefox users who are concerned about security, it is advised to install the noscript addon.

PS: Figures provided are based on my subjective experience with the products

Update: Firefox 2.0 final has been released

1 comment:

Ghaith said...

Thanks for the review man! At last somebody is speaking with an objective sense! :)