Browser Wars! Firefox Vs Safari


Firefox 3, "Ready for Prime-Time" Though Still Beta

Reuters reports that Mozilla has decided that the current Firefox 3 Beta 4 is suitable for all users to try. Originally, when Mozilla announced its availability last week, the Mozilla blog stated it was suitable "for testing purposes only." Here's what's new in Beta 4, according to the Mozilla blog :

    • Improvements to the user interface: better search support in the Download Manager, ability to zoom entire page or just the text, continuing look and feel improvements on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X and Linux.
    • Richer personalization through: location bar that uses an algorithm based on site visit recency and frequency (called “frecency”) to provide better matches against your history and bookmarks for URLs and page titles, as well as an adaptive learning algorithm which tunes itself to your browsing habits.
    • Improved platform features such as: support for HTML5’s window.postMessage and window.messageEvent, JavaScript 1.8 improvements, and offline data storage for web applications.
    • Performance improvements: changes to our JavaScript engine as well as profile guided optimization resulted in significant gains over previous releases in the popular SunSpider test from Apple, web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office run much faster, and continued improvements to memory usage drastically reduce the amount of memory consumed over long web browsing sessions.

The final release of Firefox 3, which will feature further tweaks to its visuals and stability improvements, is expected in June. Meanwhile, you can download Firefox 3 Beta 4 for Windows, MacOS, and Linux here .

Got iTunes? Get Safari!

If you use iTunes, seeing the familiar Apple Software Updater tool pop up to offer you a new iTunes version is a familiar site. But, if you though you saw an unfamiliar program name in the updater window this week, you're not seeing things.

cNet confirms (complete with screen shot) that Apple is now using its Apple Software Update tool to offer its new Safari 3.1 browser to iTunes users running Windows , making it very easy to try (and reminding lots of Windows users that Safari runs on Windows!).

Safari 3 Faces the Acid(3) Test

If you're already running Firefox as well as IE, is there room for one more? If you are concerned about browser standards compatibility, the answer is 'yes.' According to Steve Noonan's widely cited database of browser compatibility with the Acid3 web standards test, Safari 3.1 beats everyone with a score of 75% on both MacOS and Windows Vista.

If you're looking for the most standard-based browser, it looks as if Safari is the one to have (at least for now). But Firefox 3 is not far behind: its beta 4 gets a 68% score - and both blow any version of Internet Explorer, including the beta of the new standards-based IE8, out of the water.

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