The importance of the web browser in our everyday lives has become a focal point of conversation to many. But to throw an interesting slant on browsers, can the average user just get away with using one?
There have been times when I have waded into the browser-battle debate (most notably here). But now I think that the world has it wrong. It shouldn't matter which browser you use. For me and many of those I work with, it is not a case of "Internet Explorer or Firefox"; it is a case of "Internet Explorer and Firefox".
(Well, first and foremost, forget the Safari element because running that browser on Windows is like being voted the most attractive person in the burns unit. It sounds all good and well but if you put them into comparison, it really isn't as good as you would have hoped for. It just sounded like a good headline.)
I play FarmVille but my Firefox browser it gets slow and sluggish, and the Flash element automatically downgrades the quality to try and compensate for all of the things going on within that session. After a search around, I discovered that Google's Chrome browser was great for FarmVille. While at first Chrome was a "dedicated FarmVille browser", I have since expanded by browsing to Facebook then and other interconnecting sites.
I am pretty much forced into using Internet Explorer - which may I add, still suffers from frozen tab syndrome - when using Outlook Web Access on campus. But there are times when I will open up a few tabs in Internet Explorer and leave them as they are; my email, the staff directory (global address list) and a status window which is my welfare switchboard for the entire set of buildings under my umbrella.
The point is, is that now I not only use Internet Explorer for email, I also use Firefox primarily for the tab-saving element to bookmark items for later, and Chrome as well initially for gaming but now for broader use.
So in this day and age with multiple sites and online services requiring certain prerequisites or browsers to function, most of us cannot go through a single working or studying day without having to change browsers at some point.
Perhaps a more liberal attitude towards browsers should be considered by the consumer. Whether I would still call Firefox my primary browser, I don't know because in all honesty I use at least three because there is no browser which offers the full functionality that I need in all circumstances.