Friday, January 29, 2010

WINXP - WEB Browser Evaluations

What follows is my very personal evaluations of various WEB Browsers I've "played" with. My evaluations are not highly technical, which is why I used the term "played."

The evaluations were performed on 3 WinXP SP3 systems with IE8, 2 at work and my home.

One system at work is an IT Test Station (slow with low resources) with a vanilla WinXP SP3.

One system at work (my office desktop), and my home system, both run RoboForm and Star Downloader.

Browsers (my-rating):


While IE8 has been improved since it initial release, like everything Microsoft, it is still a resource hog. And from what I see, slower than the other browsers I've looked at.


To make IE8 fully safe, there are things you should set/enable.

  • Use Microsoft Update

  • If you are not using it now, just open Windows Update and look in the lower-right corner, you'll see the offer to upgrade to Microsoft Update. Use the link to open another window to install.

  • Open Internet Options, Advanced tab, and ensure Automatically check for Internet Explorer updates is checked.

Firefox 3.6:

I really like Firefox, especially since it automatically integrated RoboForm and can use Star Downloader.

It has the capability of installing Add-ons (Plug-ins & Extensions).

Plug-ins = additional code, usually a DLL file (like the ones for Star Downloader or Google Updater).

Extensions = Files that you can download/install from the Mozilla Firefox Add-ons WEB page. Example, ABC SpellBound spell checker.

There is one bug, at least with Firefox 3.5.x, the Print-to-Fit does not work properly. I used this Star War article as a test because in has tables. Firefox's Print-to-Fit chops off the right side of the tables.

Opera 10.10:

This is an offering from Norway, and is seen by many to be very good. From my testing is does look good, especially its in-built downloader and Password Manager (can be set to work like RoboForm with a Master Password).

The Print-to-Fit also works correctly and it has some nice configuration options.

The Bookmarks menu takes a bit to get use to, but if you add the Bookmarks Drop-Down button it becomes more familiar.

The one flaw I found is when I tried to use Blogger's editor (which I'm using now, in Firefox) it did not display correctly.

Safari 4 for Windows:

This is a MAC import of course. But, for Windows, it is NOT ready. Its configuration, even after 4hrs, was hard to understand. Like another evaluation article commented, it does not automatically have a Home button! Also, I found WEB page display problems with some sites.

This browser needs more work.