Top 5 Most Popular Desktop Browsers in 2018

Browsers rule over internet like gods. It’s amazing how a few line of code lets you explore the virtual world with such finesse. I made a bet with my colleague so as to which browser will win the popularity contest in the office. Needless to say, I had my chips on Chrome.

I won, but it was really close. With the intent of exploring more and expanding my data set, I turned to internet.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Important Stats

  • Browsershare as per W3Schools : 66.17%
  • Browsershare as per Stats Counter: 77.9 %
  • Latest Browser Versions: 66.0.3359
  • Most Popular Browser Version: 63

Over the past few years, a lot of browsers tried to dethrone chrome but failed. Many have fallen in love with chrome and more will fall. Chrome is high performance google browser that is best simply because it is as fast as it is stable. Having backed by Google, the chrome ecosystem is vast. Be it powerful tools, extensions the compatibility and integrity of chrome is simply seamless.

On visiting multiple sources to find out the percentage share of browsers, it was clear that chrome is the king. With 65% (approx.) browser market, chrome seems to be miles ahead.
The leading browser statistics like W3school and Statcounter all agree that google chrome is the undisputed crown prince. Google has been very careful while designing chrome. You can simply surf on the internet reading, shopping while having no technological background and on the other hand it is highly customizable with variety of DevTools library for your tech knack.

Chrome is infamous for being too resource hungry. If you have resources available readily on your machine then chrome is best.

Google has always strived for perfection and in order to accomplish that they have started working on new and innovative features.
>Generating a password can be hectic, as certain websites puts too much restriction. To help the modern user in making a strong password, chrome provides you with suggestions.
>Another brilliant feature in chrome is the multi tab multimedia control, listen to your favorite music while putting all of the other multimedia at rest.
>Chrome also supports advanced Virtual Reality tech, and using chrome you can view the VR content without any other specialized softwares.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox

Important Stats

  • Browsershare as per W3Schools : 11.78%
  • Browsershare as per Stats Counter: 11.8 %
  • Latest Browser Versions: 59.0.3
  • Most Popular Browser Version: 58

Up until last year there seemed no browser that could challenge chrome, that was until the latest version of firefox was released last year. Newly developed UI is very impressive and the fact that its performance is almost equal to Chrome, brings Firefox again closer to the browser race. Right now it is the best alternative to chrome. In fact the new versions of Firefox are more customizable. Quantum, the new web engine empowers the browser by using multiple processor cores and uses a new CSS engine to reduce memory and power utilization and tweak performance.

There is a general trend that with ubuntu and linux versions of OS, Firefox works very efficiently. Talking about community and ecosystem, it is no less than chrome in any field. MDN (Mozilla Developers Network) in the last few months has seen great support from the community, more and more people are supporting this powerful yet effective browser.

Contrary to chrome, the resource utilization of Firefox is also minimal. It is a light powerful browser that goes easy on your RAM.

> To improve the performance and optimize resource use, Firefox uses several techniques. If the new tab you opened is within the navigation of a certain website, then instead of loading the whole page it duplicates most of the data resulting in faster navigation.
>Firefox Multi-Account Containers lets you keep parts of your online life separated into color-coded tabs that preserve your privacy. Cookies are separated by container, allowing you to use the web with multiple identities or accounts simultaneously.

Edge
Internet Explorer

Edge and Explorer

Important Stats

  • Browsershare as per W3Schools : 11.43%
  • Browsershare as per Stats Counter: 8.1 %
  • Latest Browser Versions: 41.16299.15.0 & 11.0.56 resp.
  • Most Popular Browser Version: 16 & 11 resp

Internet explorer is widely criticised all around the world for crashing badly and Edge for lacking backward compatibility. Microsoft offers this pair to satisfy the browsing needs. Microsoft follows this approach as Edge is a more user friendly on the other hand Explorer scales better for enterprise.

The biggest pro of Edge seems to be its integration with windows 10 and also in tablets edge seems to perform well. The integration with Cortana also seems to be going well as far as Microsoft is concerned. Grudges aside Edge seems to be a pleasant experience, it is apparent that Microsoft learnt from the mistakes that led to explorer’s downfall.

Explorer, once used to be the undisputed king lags behind its two competitors. Internet Explorer 11 has all the good qualities of a good browser. Clean, fast, highly compatible and in addition uses a lot less RAM than Chrome and Firefox. The only problem is the lack of add-ons and extensions that its competitors seems to have.

To better suit the modern user Microsoft too has involved certain features.
>You can scribble over web pages for future reference and even share with other people, the feature seems simple but it can ease a lot of tasks.
>Cortana is efficiently integrated with the framework of Edge making it a brilliant positive point for Edge.

Safari

Safari

Important Stats

  • Browsershare as per W3Schools : 5.48%
  • Browsershare as per Stats Counter: 3.3 %
  • Latest Browser Versions: 11
  • Most Popular Browser Version: Safari iphone

The reason of Safari’s success is that it is the browser for Apple devices specifically. But last few years marked owners deserting the company browser and started switching to chrome. A recent fall in safari users indicate that chrome seems to be infiltrating the Apple computers.
Powered by WebKit engine Safari has everything a modern browser needs. Nitro JavaScript engine is indeed fast. With features like speculative loading, which loads documents, scripts and style information ahead of time.Safari tools integration too favors the Mac needs, Safari-reader for distraction free reading. In addition to the tools there are a lot of extensions which you can use. For Apple devices Safari seems to be the fastest.

Safari too has evolved into a brilliant browser with a few ace features up its sleeve.
>Safari offers native support for Netflix and plays HTML5 video everywhere it’s available.
>Safari runs web pages in separate processes, any harmful code you come across in one page is confined to a single browser tab, so it can’t crash the whole browser or access your data. The process is called Sandboxing.

Opera

Opera

Important Stats

  • Browsershare as per W3Schools : 2.33%
  • Browsershare as per Stats Counter: 1.5 %
  • Latest Browser Versions: 52.0.2871.99
  • Most Popular Browser Version: Opera mini 32

Opera shares a lot of similarities with chrome, having evolved from chromium engine it is very light. Opera is really fast browser with a wonderful and neat UI. It can do everything that its competitors can do.

The most unique feature of Opera is its Turbo mode that serves your browsing needs very efficiently even when the connection is poor. Turbo mode compresses your web traffic and by routing it through opera’s servers it provides you with seamless browsing. The routing algorithms of opera are really great, while visiting secure sites it lets you go free with the traffic. Privacy and security is given due attention while you browse on opera.

Opera also comes with an inbuilt ad-blocker, which can be turned off though and also a battery saving mode for longer battery life. You also get an inbuilt VPN to tackle any ISP restrictions. You can use some of the chrome extensions on opera. The only problem with opers is the support and ecosystem being still too young, I am sure that more people will opt opera because it is indeed amazing.

>Opera lets you pin icons to toolbars and its homepage to get you to your favorite websites fast.
>While most browsers feel like “Chrome alternatives,” Opera very much has its own identity.
>Facebook and Whatsapp are just a click away with Opera.

Mobile Browsers

When it comes to mobile browsers, chrome leads worldwide with more than 50% of the market share. While once Android browsers held the crown the improved version of chrome seems to have shook the mobile market. Chrome Beta 67 (67.0.3396.29) is the latest version . While in U.S. Safari managed to be holding half percentage of market. The competition seems tough as UC web, Firefox and newcomers like Dolphin browser have entered the mobile browser market.

Ecosia Browser is a new browser which has all the browsing features and in addition to that it donates 80% of its profits to plant trees, and it is free too.

Conclusion

The more the competition, better will the browsers. The battle between these browsers has pushed their creators further into the uncharted domains of latest web technologies. While new innovations seem to roll out every now and then, the current scenario seems to favor the Chrome. Firefox is runner up, however this open source browser has potential to displace the leaders as with Quantum they are growing at an unprecedented rate. If Microsoft combines the two separate products IE and Edge they can too hope of getting the market share, as the integrability with windows 10 shows a lot of promise. Safari and Opera both seems to be working well and targeted a specific audience, both have shown promise in mobile browsing. Overall the situation seems to be benefiting us users.

Take care and happy browsing!

References:


Originally published at lambdatest.com



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