When Tim Berners-Lee presented his employer CERN with the first browser, WorldWideWeb, to facilitate information flow between the different departments in the European nuclear research centre in Geneva, he little suspected that it would cause a revolution in the information age. Today, the browser is probably the most widely used computer application.
Web 2.0 applications and sites place the focus firmly on browser performance. Anyone who still believes that the speed of your DSL connection is the only potential bottleneck is gravely mistaken. Key parts of Ajax applications run locally, which means that — all other things being equal — the speed of the browser will be crucial in determining the user experience. For Ajax-based business applications, the browser becomes even more important because data will be accessed from within-firewall servers rather than the internet. Companies deploying such solutions will be able to improve employee productivity by paying attention to browser performance.