Internet browsers

Monday 15 April admin

Internet browsers have come a long way since the early days of the internet. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has always had an advantage over the others because of it being bundled with the windows operating system, ditto Safari and the Apple Mac operating system. Even so, the leading browser at the moment is still Google Chrome, but for how long? Internet explorer was lagging behind after being the number one for many years and until recently was the 4th but in recent months, since the release of IE10, it has managed to overtake Mozilla Firefox (no mean feat)…

We all use the internet and regardless of what physical platform we use, we all have to use a browser to explore the internet, read our e mails, shop, watch videos, blog and so on. Which browser we actually use can make quite a difference to the quality of our internet experience. If you use a PC, then you will have definitely used Internet Explorer, probably version 8, 9 or 10 if you have a very modern installation. Each subsequent version of IE will have improvements over it’s predecessor and so it is unfair to compare the various browsers if say, you are comparing the latest version of Google Chrome to a very much older version of IE.

Having said that, it seems the fairest comparison would be if we compare browsers of the same time frame on an identical PC running the same operating systems. For this review I tested the Windows compatible browsers on a modern PC running windows 7 and the Mac running OSX10.6 – not the most modern of machines but probably representative of the mean average across the board and so as to make the reader feel good about what they are running! The hardware on the PC was Intel core i7 2.6, 16gb ram and the Mac is an iMac Intel dual core 2.6 with 16gb ram also.

So first up, lets look at the most popular browsers in use these days – Microsoft Internet Explorer version 9, Google Chrome 19, Firefox 13, Opera 12 and Apple’s Safari 5.1…

The first test was to see how long each browser took to start up (that’s with no extra add-ons or toolbars installed) I was glad to see Internet Explorer 9 finally beat its competitors on something and it did- less than 2 seconds from click to home page! Impressive, next trailing by a full 2 seconds, was Opera and Firefox which were both identical in startup time, finally at a startup speed of 4 seconds were Chrome and Safari.

The next comparison I went for was running Java script and the fastest was definitely Chrome, followed by Firefox Opera, Safari and last of all Internet Explorer. Pretty much as I expected although I am expecting great things from IE 10 I have yet to actually test it…From all the reports I have heard on the internet it is supposed to be faster than Safari and Opera and possibly even faster than Firefox.. but I used the versions that were available at the time and no doubt the others will all have go faster stripes on them too when their updates come out…

For general internet browsing, video and text cacheing I found Chrome to be the fastest still, with Opera not far behind in 2nd place, followed by Chrome, Safari and IE respectively. Overall none of them were performing badly at all, just Chrome consistently outperforming the others consistently and Opera just a little slower. Hardly any noticeable difference between the 3 runners up.

For HTML5, the latest web standard, again, Chrome was fastest with Opera only a tiny bit slower overall, closely followed by Firefox and Safari, but IE was noticeably slower than any of them even Safari – very disappointing indeed. The other 4 all performed extremely well on the HTML5 test but IE was overdue for it’s upgrade so I feel when I start using IE10 the performance will be much improved.


smartphones vs desktop/laptop/tablets

Monday 25 March admin

With the current world wide explosion of smart phones, its no surprise to learn that smartphone internet access is growing extremely rapidly. In fact although in europe and the us web developers assume that most of their sites are going to be accessed from the usual desktop and laptop PCs, then secondly tablets and smart phones, in the very near future this may not be the case. The sales of smart phones in developing countries has been so great that these platforms account for 12% in Africa and 18% in India of internet users, and this may become the wave of the future everywhere.

Sure, people will nearly always opt for the largest screen and keyboard with touch screen, mouse and or remote for accessing the internet when they are at home, but when they are on the move, at work or school, college or out socialising, the mobile smartphone is becoming the number one choice for accessing the web these days. more and more web developers need to be aware of this trend and ensure that their web sites are optimised for this extremely popular platform or they will lose out to their competitors.

Nowadays, internet companies like Miltec Internet Ltd have to build sites for a wide variety of platforms, ranging from massive TV screens to tiny smart phone displays. Clients will be expecting their custom built web sites to display intelligently, be readable on all platforms… Youtube videos that are getting the most views have the option of 720p and 1080p display mainly aimed at the large screen users, with lower resolutions available for the smaller screens, ie smart phones and older PCs. The sales of laptop and desktop PCs are declining rapidly as the sales of tablets hit an all-time high at christmas last year of 1 per second in the UK.

In the big growth countries like China, India, Russia and Brazil it would seem likely that smart phones are going to quickly replace traditional internet platforms and this is the opposite direction a lot of Europe and US retailers may have been expecting as they were getting increasingly geared up to selling large screen internet platforms such as web TVs and massive screen computer systems. Web developers have some serious work ahead of them as it is a tall order to expect web sites to be able to easily adjust to display well on all platforms. Still, it means lots of work, which is always better than no work!


Most Visited Web Sites

Monday 18 March admin

I thought it would be fun to find out exactly which web sites are the world’s most popular (as of march 18 2013) and write a little about each one….

1 - Google.com
The web’s biggest go-to, the search engine daddy, the big boy on the block. It now boasts 22 extra features above the normal search engine ones - such as weather forecasts, maps, stock quotes, sports scores, time zones, synonyms, movie show times… the list seems endless, temperature and currency conversions, image searches…The google search engine addresses over a hundred million search queries a day and is basically the yardstick all search engine rankings are based upon. Related sites include Google trends, Google maps, google adwords, google mail, google books, google earth, they even own the most popular internet browser, google chrome, they own youtube and they have their own social networking site google+.
Apart from all that there is the Google android operating system which is reported to be enjoying over A MILLION activations a day, picasa photo site, Google energy division that is developing and investing in renewable energy resources and the google car, an automated car that uses AI and google street view to drive itself.

2 - Yahoo!
The most popular Internet portal on the web, it is also a service provider with chat rooms, free e-mail, also customisable content, search, pager and clubs. Another long established internet giant, not as a search engine (they use google now) but more as a portal, the USA’s favourite email service, as well as being highly popular all over the world with over 700 million visits to their various sites per month. Yahoo has many sites covering every aspect of the web and is basically Google’s closest competitor, their sites include :Flickr, autos, finance, dating, games, horoscopes, answers, movies, OMG!, shopping, travel, music, messenger and many, many others in over 30 languages and countries. Visited by a staggering 45% of internet users daily.

3 - Facebook
The world’s favourite social media web site - it allows you to keep in touch and network with people, post entries, share links, photos, videos and is integrated into almost every web site via the facebook “like” link that you now see just about everywhere. Visited by an average of 40% of all internet users at least once daily.

4 - Youtube
Youtube is the most popular and fastest growing video site on the web. Thousands of new videos added every hour, it is an internet phenomenon. With more and more people choosing video as their preferred way of getting information combined with youtube videos ranking highly in google search results, it’s hardly surprising. Now they have made their advertising partnership open to everyone it offers every user the chance to earn income from their videos through google adsense. Visited by an average of 33% of all internet users daily.

5 - Baidu.com
The world’s most visited Chinese language internet search engine, which includes a highly sophisticated yet simple interface search facility (that looks a lot like google), picture search, movies, shopping, music, news, maps, weather, all the usual advanced search/portal features - Visited by over 12% of internet users daily.

6 - Wikipedia.org
The world’s most popular free encyclopedia, referenced on millions of articles and blogs world wide, widely used for research by schools and colleges, students and business people. Visited by an average of 12% of internet user daily.

7 - MSN live
The microsoft network- another popular web portal sporting the Bing search engine, incorporating the usual host of services and media including windows live, hotmail, MSN chat, bing video,news, weather, msnbc ….
Microsoft windows operating system comes bundled with internet explorer, which defaults to MSN.com as its home page, which no doubt will have done a lot to increase its popularity. Losing popularity in Europe and USA but a strong user base in Spanish speaking countries, is visited by an average of 9% of internet users daily.

8 - Amazon.com
The world’s favourite online shop - totally committed to outstanding customer service, customisable, packed with millions of products, cheap or free shipping, reviews, buyer protection, one-click buying, lowest possible prices, no wonder it’s number one! Visited daily by an average of 7% of internet users.

9 - Twitter
Mostly used via mobile devices and restricted to only a few characters per tweet, Twitter has taken almost everybody by surprise by becoming incredibly popular as a worldwide communication, social media, news and gossip sharing phenomenon. Twitter is visited daily by an average of 6% of internet users, and, like facebook, is now a standard sharing link on millions of web sites, articles and blogs.

10 - QQ.com
China’s most widely used internet portal, incorporating many sites and representing China’s biggest internet community. It is the largest shopping portal for Chinese speaking people and is visited by 12% of internet users daily.


Welcome

Thursday 20 September admin General

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