Thursday, April 30, 2009

Browser war Continues, Now Between IE 8 and Firefox 3.5

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The browser was has been continuing for last many years actively between IE and firefox, the other players in the browser field such as opera, chrome and safari are miles behind in the run with IE and firefox. And recently microsoft and mozilla launched its fully armed versions; IE 8 and Firefox 3.5, there are a lot of similarities in these two new versions, let us have a close look at the two.
Mozilla Firefox 3.5 Beta
This latest beta packs a lot of new features and performance improvements from the previous beta. Some major upgrades include:
Support for HTML 5

What Firefix 3.5 promises
Firefox 3.5 beta 4 touts increased performance and stability with the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine (where Firefox needs to outdo Chrome and Safari), support for native JSON and Web worker threads, and new Web technologies like HTML5 video and audio features, all of which have developers' mouths watering. I'm confident Firefox will be a solid contender to continue challenging Internet Explorer in the browser wars.

What makes a browser "enterprise-ready"?
One important feature for enterprises is multiple language availability. Firefox currently boasts 70 languages. IE8 currently supports 43, with 20 more coming in the near future.

Another key attribute is controllability by administrators: IE8 uses Microsoft's well-entrenched group policies, a plus. However, for Firefox, there are other ways (some of them free, like FrontMotion's Firefox Community Edition) to enforce settings across your organization through ActiveDirectory using administrative templates -- similar to locking down settings with mozilla.cfg on one computer. You might also consider FirefoxADM from or PolicyPak for Firefox and other Group Policy configuration tools.

Microsoft categorizes browsers as having either Level 1 or Level 2 support for its SharePoint server. Microsoft recommended Level 1 browsers, which were only its own browsers (IE6 and IE7). Level 2 support permitted only basic functionality and encompassed competing browsers such as Firefox 1.5 and Safari 2.0. But that's changing. SP2 for the Microsoft Office 2007 System, which shipped yesterday, provides official support for both IE8 and Firefox 3.0 browsers. With SharePoint becoming a larger staple in intranets of late, this broader support is a plus for those holding back on Firefox deployments due to SharePoint. (Similarly, Exchange 2010 Outlook Web Access also offers broader browser support for the full OWA experience, as opposed to the OWA Lite that Firefox users encountered in the past.)

In life, it may come down to what you know and like. But in the business world, it might come down to what is easiest. With IE8 being a part of Windows 7, it may simply be the de facto enterprise browser because it is what people know and what administrators can count on being included and controllable without any further effort on their part. Then again, Firefox is not all that difficult to deploy and manage these days, and it is well liked.

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