Browser War II – The Desktop Front

The Internet, April 14 – During this lull in the flighting our brave corespondents, from battlefields around the world, take a moment to collect their notes on the conflict, its combatants, and its origins. In the first part of this series, we examine the battle for the Desktop Browser, a conflict that perhaps has seen more brutal fighting in this war and in wars of the past than any other in the history of the digital world. As journalists it is not our place to promote any particular side of this struggle over any other, although as patriots we surely do have such bias. We have attempted here to keep such feelings from expression.

Browser War II

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Current Version: 9
Its People:
Explorans (Explorlunders in their native language)
Best Known For:
History:
Although it claims in it’s internal documents to trace its origins back to Old Mozilla few scholars agree to this. Most trace its lineage more actually from the wild Mosiac tribes of the early digital age. The Explorans have a history of rapid expansion through armed conflict – most notably Browser War I.
Outlook:
At the moment, while not at their very peak thanks to recent invasions, the Explorans still have a huge territory of control. Their early gains were swift and ruthless and for a while their forces appeared almost unstoppable. But now the combined force of their enemies allied against them has broken that illusion. Perhaps they grew to complacent. The most telling sign that they are on the decline is the failure of their air power.
Internet Explorer’s big advantage has always been the fact that it is the default browser for Windows, thus providing it with a huge installation base. Most users never change their browser. In the past IE has been derided because of it’s lack of innovation and the fact that it was missing popular features from other browsers, such as tabs. More recently, it has been criticized for its slowness. With a broadband connection the time that it takes for a web page to appear may often be more a factor of the processing engine of the browser used than of the bandwidth speed. Only with version 9 has Internet Explorer attempted to address this issue.

Mozilla Firefox

Current Version: 4
Its People:
Foxiets
Best Known For:
History:
Truly an heir to Old Mozilla the Foxiets also have close links to the Nescapoman Empire: many important Foxiets emigrated from that land.
Outlook:
There are signs that the Foxiet expansion, although rapid in the past, has stalled. Even many of its allies against the Explorans are weary of the socialist model and prefer a more capitalist approach. They warn that should the Foxiet way prove victorious in this conflict, it will descend like a open-source curtain across the land.
Firefox is the second most popular browser, but it has not been gaining market share in recent years. While chalked full of features and available plug-ins thanks in large part to its extensible nature and the open-source community that supports it, this also appears to be its downside. Many users feel it is too cluttered and the add-ons and other features slow it down. Chrome in particular has been stealing much of its user base.

Apple Safari

Current Version: 5
Its People:
Safarish or Apple Empire
Best Known For:
History:
The Safarish people are still nominally ruled by the House of WebKit although many might argue that this association is becoming more and more symbolic rather than functional.
Outlook:
At one time the Apple Empire practically ruled the world, but its hold on its territories grew weak, through revolution, competitors copying their innovations, and poor leadership. Now the Apple Nation is on the rise although its leaders have chosen focus primarily to their strengths rather than attemtpting to reclaim lost ground.
While easily the most popular browser in the Mac ecosystem, Safari is just an also-ran with PC users. PC users that like the speed of a WebKit-based rendering engine generally prefer Chrome. However, many developers and Mac enthusiasts enjoy using Safari because of the Apple “flavor” it provides.

Google Chrome

Current Version: 10
Its People:
Chromians
Best Known For:
History:
Sharing the same core root as the Safarish people, Chromians are a relatively new people. They are the first major power to come from the new world.
Outlook:
The Chromians are the up-and-comers of the digital world. They have make huge strides in a relatively short amount of time to become a major player. However, while clearly committed to defeating the Explorans some critics claim that a longer, more critical struggle is just around the corner with the Foxiets.
Chrome has taken the browser world by storm often winning adherents through its lightning fast rendering engine, simplified UI, and small installation size.Chrome has torn into the user base of both IE and Firefox. Also, Google is working on a Chrome-based operating system that would allow an entire PC to be run right from the browser.

Opera

Current Version: 11
Its People:
Operiss (from Operland)
Best Known For:
History:
Celebrating a long, if not particularly influential, history the Operiss people are very proud of their lineage.
Outlook:
A small nation, Operland has mostly avoided involvement in the recent conflict, neither gaining nor loosing territory. Instead, they prefer to focus on areas that might not have been given enough attention by the other powers thanks to the war and they have profited from doing so.
At one time there was hope that Opera would become the big alternative browser to IE, but that never panned out. Despite decent performance and a microscopic installation size, Opera never caught on with main stream users, although it has its enthusiastic fans. Instead, Opera has focused on becoming a key niche player, producing browsers for game consoles, set-top appliances, and mobile devices.
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