According to the latest Net Applications numbers, Internet Explorer stills hold 60 percent of the browser market, while Firefox is stuck at about 23 percent and Chrome has doubled its share over the past year to reach 7.5 percent. Yet the two open source contenders have a disproportionately large mindshare among smart business users -- and are taking distinctly different approaches to win hearts and minds.
For Google, the main selling point of Chrome is speed. Mozilla, on the other hand, is banking on Firefox's flexibility and functionality.
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Google Chrome: Focused on speed
One look at the Google Chrome download, and the message is clear: Chrome is all about speed. "Fast start-up," "Fast loading," and "Fast search" are among the marketing taglines seeking to entice users to test out Chrome. Not surprisingly, Google's engineering-driven culture is at the heart of this focus on "speeds and feeds."
And that emphasis is starting to pay off, with Chrome closing the gap on the fastest browsers out there, according to independent tests.
Computerworld's recent browser bechmark found Google Chrome 6 to be 17 percent faster than Chrome 5. According to the tests, Chrome is now only slightly slower than Opera and Apple's Safari, with less than 12 milliseconds separating the browsers.
But as InfoWorld's Peter Wayner discusses, when it comes to choosing the right browser to suit your needs, for many speed is not the only criterion.
Mozilla Firefox: Browser as productivity platform
Mozilla has always looked beyond speed in its approach to rolling out innovations in Firefox. User productivity has been one key area, with Tab Candy, a Mozilla Labs feature that aims to vastly improve productivity for knowledge workers or power surfers, providing a shining example of this commitment.