From the begining of my Internet experience I had tried many varieties of browsers. From good old Netscape to all the variants IE, NetCaptor (Original tabbed browser I guess), AvantBrowser to pre Opera 7 versions were installed in my machine from time to time while IE was alongside.
Later with growing concerns of computer security, lack of standards, viruses, spam, scams (even my credit card was exposed one time), popups, exploits, crashes and the sheer slowness of Internet Explorer made me to look for a permanent alternative. After trying everything else on earth I finally settled with Opera which was the only viable alternative I could find at that time.
I don’t know exactly when but probably it must have been in somewhere year 2001 I started using Opera, which was one of the pioneers to introduce the wonderful tabbed browsing experience to the masses.
Four years went by. Opera was a good browser. I was hooked with tabbed browsing. Its small single folder installation, fast page retrieval, popup blocking, not prone to browser hijacking were the features I liked. It was years ahead of IE which made me to use it and promote it to couple of other people too. But Opera wasn’t without glitches. The default installation was daunting for a newbie. It has rendering issues with secure sites. None of the banking sites I use works well with Opera. So occasionally I had to switch back and forth to IE. Anyway my computer was happier without malware so I was also happy until recently.
And then came all the wonderful gMail and blogger.com like Internet rich applications from Google Inc. which I got virtually addicted overnight. Then problem again, NONE worked well with Opera so back to square one finding a better browser for my everyday use. IE was out of the question.
Surprisingly at the same time Mozilla Foundation released there infant beta version of Firebird (Now called famous Firefox) So I decided to give it a try. It had almost all the features of Opera and probably a better page rendering style. Honestly I liked it except the Firefox tabs behavior. Anyway using gMail and blogger.com was a snap. All my banking sites work fine with Firefox. So from last November I was again switching back and forth to Firefox and Opera instead of IE.
Suddenly I realised I no longer need multiple browsers. Firefox works fine with all the pages I throws at it as yet while Opera does not. It has proved me it’s better than Opera in page rendering. So I was wondering why the hell I keep using the both which forces me to maintain two set of bookmarks.
May be I was sad to let go Opera. It is like letting go someone you closely knew. Anyway now if it’s the time, so be it. From now onward I am gonna stick with Firefox. See the screenshot. It can easily be skinned like Opera (Originally Safari) so I can pretent I am using Opera if I want.
The browser wars now back on track again. IE too will come armed with tabbed browsing in version 7 soon. Netscape V8 is also already out though it is out for good.
Whoa! It’s Wonderful Wild Web all over again!