Up to this point, the browser wars have been defined by market share, standards support, privacy protocols, speed, add-ons, and various other features that make surfing the web a more pleasurable experience. Microsoft would be tickled pink if you'd also consider energy efficiency when deciding which browser to use, because if that's your primary criteria, look no further than Internet Explorer 10.
Conflicting data makes it difficult to gauge the browser landscape.
Depending on which data collection service you trust the most, Microsoft's Internet Explorer is either wiping the floor with Google's Chrome browser, or getting spanked by the relative newcomer. Starting with the former, NetMarketShare has IE way out in the lead with a 55.81 percent share of the desktop browser market, virtually unchanged from last month and up a little more than a percentage point from a year ago.
Mozilla is intentionally ignoring Apple’s mobile platform.
iOS users have a ton of alternate browser choices these days, but only if you don’t mind using a severely gimped and re-skinned version of Safari. Google for example has chosen to port over a version of its highly successful Chrome browser, however unlike the situation on the desktops, iOS Chrome is significantly slower than Safari. Apple currently forces competitors to make use of its much slower UIWebView rendering engine, while the built in version of Safari has access to the significantly faster Nitro engine. This policy ensures competitors are unable to match Safari in the speed department, and Mozilla claims this is the primary reason why they currently have no intention of developing for the platform.
Windows 8 may be struggling, but Internet Explorer is thriving.
For years Internet Explorer has been easy to pick on, but for once the Redmond based software giant is bucking the trend. Market share for Internet Explorer has reached an 18-month high, and it seems to have done so largely at the expense of Google Chrome. In February IE climbed 0.68 points to 55.82 percent. Chrome dropped 1.21 percent, and Firefox rocketed above 20 percent to settle at 16.27 and 20.12 percent respectively.
Don't look now, but 64-bit Firefox nightlies are set to return.
Mozilla in November made the decision to pull the plug on 64-bit Firefox for Windows, disabling 64-bit nightlies because of a lack of resources required to make it worthwhile. What Mozilla didn't anticipate was that there would be "significant negative feedback" from the online community, and because of that, the open source browser maker said it's willing to make a compromise.
In terms of market share, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have been trading blows, angling for the coveted second place title all year. Firefox has continued to decline, but loses on all sides are leveling out, and Chrome isn’t seeing the huge gains it once did. This has given Mozilla the confidence they need going into 2013. Vice President of Engineering Johnathan Nightingale shared his own opinion on what they got right, and which of the company's many new initiatives have been resonating well with the Firefox community.