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The following features particularly distinguish the various browsers, as they are already integrated by default. Attention: Many of the functions presented can also be implemented in all other browsers with the help of plugins and add-ons.
Google Chrome: SPDY
With its SPDY protocol, Google wants to cut loading times in half. So far, however, only Chrome supports SPDY and the range of compatible websites is manageable - most of the available offers are currently on Google's own servers.
Mozilla Firefox: Deep Extensions
Microsoft IE9: Greater energy efficiency
Microsoft claims that its new browser is the first of its kind to measure and positively influence power consumption. This can hardly be proven, if at all, as the power consumption of software cannot be determined using measuring devices. What counts, however, is the idea that promises mobile devices in particular a longer battery life without constant charging. Even if IE9 is not yet running on a smartphone, Microsoft's plans alone are sharpening awareness of the issue of energy efficiency in software.
Google Chrome: One process for each tab
In the past few years, the interest of developers in architectures that support several processes at the same time (multi-process architecture) has increased. Google has taken the lead in this market and divided the Chrome tabs into different processes. This should isolate crashes and make the browser more stable - if a website or plug-in goes for a swim, the other tabs are not affected. The principle is basically supported by all browsers (easy to find out via the task manager), but only Chrome manages to handle problems in a window completely separately from the rest of the browser.
Critics see this approach as a performance brake for both the browser and the entire operating system, because more memory is required than with other browsers. Chrome therefore often processes several pages of the same domain in a single process - but the multiprocess architecture in its current form is basically correct with a view to future web developments.
- For statisticians: Kirix Strata
Kirix Strata converts tables on websites into dynamic spreadsheets and ad hoc reports with a click of the mouse. It can also create graphics from back-end databases. A powerful sorting machine with a surf function, so to speak. Cons: The browser costs a little ($ 250) and is getting on in years.
- For web beginners: Dillo
In the early nineties, the rudimentary Dillo with its hostility to scripts and animation would still have been state of the art. Especially Internet beginners and people who are looking for pure information in text form are served here.
- For nerds: Lynx
Anyone who strictly avoids graphic operating systems and handles everything via the command line can still not get around the web. This is where Lynx comes in. The browser is kept purely in ASCII language and works entirely without graphic elements - apart from (colored) text. Lynx is supposed to help CMD nerds download files from the Internet while they go about their work on the servers.
- For creative Apple fanboys: Cruz
Three facts connect the following three browsers - Cruz, Fluid and Fake: All of them come from the pen of Celestial Teapot Software , all set on the same rendering engine and they all only work with Mac OS X. Cruz, for example, presents Google results lists in an iTunes look and shows Twitter feeds in a separate browser window - similar to Flock.
- For experienced Apple fanboys: Fluid
Fluid creates "page-specific stand-alone browsers" with which you can create your own web applications that are limited to a single website. At Opera, a similar feature is called "widget".
- For lazy Apple fanboys: Fake
Fake is the ideal solution for programmers and managers. The combination of Safari browser and AppleScript allows the browser behavior to be controlled. Different actions in workflows can be automated in order to test certain offers or to have web forms filled out without much personal intervention.
In contrast to the free Cruz and Fluid, the fake, which is more suitable for corporate use, costs 29 dollars.
- For three-dimensional: SpaceTime
SpaceTime is an attempt to bring us closer to the WWW in real 3D. Tabbed browsing, for example, is implemented in a three-axis view, search results also appear three-dimensional. To recognize in the picture: The result list of the Google image search for the term 'Baltimore'.
- For researchers: Gollum
Gollum can do Wikipedia - and only Wikipedia. This "browser" only opens a pop-up window with Wikipedia articles - in any other browser. It remains to be seen whether Gollum deserves the title "browser" for this reason alone. However, this extension is ideal for surfing the lexicon and other web pages at the same time.
- For musicians: Songbird
Songbird mixes surfing with listening to music - in a variety of ways. On the one hand you can manage your stationary music collection, on the other hand you can also buy music (see picture) and of course listen to music. There are numerous extensions for Songbird, including from Last.fm, 7digital and Amazon, whose interactive offers can be integrated directly into the browser.
- For social media fans: Flock (†)
Flock, whose development has since been discontinued, worked with split-screen: It displayed a web page in the main window and all of your RSS feeds and updates from the social media environment in the side window. The browser was originally based on Firefox, but later switched to Chrome. Rumor has it that Mozilla will take over some flocking functions for Firefox 5.
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