The outstandings Web Browsers

Windows Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer abbreviated MSIE), commonly abbreviated to IE, is a series of graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft and included as part of the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems starting in 1995. It has been the most widely used web browser since 1999. The project was started by Thomas Reardom and subsequently led by Benjamin Slivka. “It has been designed to view the broadest range of web pages and to provide certain features within the operating system, including Microsoft Update. During the heyday of the historic browser wars, Internet Explorer superseded Netscape by supporting many of the progressive features of the time” The adoption rate of Internet Explorer seems to be closely related to that of Microsoft Windows, as it is the default web browser that comes with Windows. Since the integration of Internet Explorer 2.0 with Windows 95 OSR 1 in 1996, and especially after version 4.0’s release, the adoption was greatly accelerated: from below 20% in 1996 to about 40% in 1998 and over 80% in 2000.

Mozilla Firefox is a web browser, gopher client and FTP client project descended from the Mozilla Application Suite, managed by the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox had 16.80% of the recorded market share in Web browsers as of December 2007, making it the second-most-popular browser in current use worldwide after Internet Explorer. It uses the open-source Gecko layout engine, which implements some current Web standards plus a few features which are intended to anticipate likely additions to the standards.Firefox includes tabbed browsing, a spell checker, incremental find, live bookmarking, a download manager, and a search system that uses Google. Functions can be added through more than 2,000 add-ons created by third party developers. It runs on various versions of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and many other Unix-like operating systems. Its current stable release is version 2.0.0.12, released on February 7, 2008. Firefox’s source code is under the terms of the Mozilla tri-license as free and open source software.

Safari is a web browser developed by Apple Inc. and included in Mac OS X. It was first released as a public beta on January 7, 2003, and is the default browser in Mac OS X v10.3 and later. A beta version for Microsoft Windows was released for the first time on June 11, 2007 with support for Windows XP and Windows Vista, although it was also functional, albeit unofficially, on Windows 2000. Safari has also been run unofficially on Linux under Wine, but the graphical user interface (GUI) and web graphics do not render properly. It has a bookmark management scheme that functions like the iTunes jukebox software, integrates Apple’s QuickTime multimedia technology, and features a tabbed-browsing interface. A web search box is a standard component of the Safari interface, as are software services that automatically fill out web forms, manage passwords via Keychain and spell check entries into web page text fields. The browser also includes an integrated pop-up ad blocker. Also from Apple is the Web Inspector — a DOM Inspector-like utility that lets users and developers browse the Document Object Model of a web page.

Opera is a web browser and Internet suite developed by the Opera Software company. Opera handles common Internet-related tasks such as displaying web sites, sending and receiving e-mail messages, managing contacts, IRC online chatting, downloading files via BitTorrent, and reading web feeds. Opera is offered free of charge for personal computers and mobile phones, but for other devices it must be paid for. Features of Opera include high performance, tabbed browsing, page zooming, mouse gestures, and an integrated download manager. Its security features include built-in phishing protection, strong encryption when browsing secure web sites, and the ability to delete private data such as cookies and browsing history by clicking a button. It is currently the fourth most widely used web browser for personal computers. Opera has a stronger market share, however, on mobile devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, and personal digital assistants.

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Web Browser

According to the Free Encyclopedia a web browser is “a software application that enables a user to display and interact with text, images, videos, music and other information typically located on a Web page at a website on the World Wide Web or a local area network.” They allow users to quickly and easily access information provided on many Web pages at many websites by traversing links, that contain hyperlinks to other Webs. Web browsers format HTML information for display, so the appearance of a Web page may differ between browsers.

They communicate with Web servers primarily using HTTP to fetch webpages. This allows Web browser to submit information to Web servers as well as fetch Web pages from them. ” Pages are located by means of a URL (uniform resource locator), which is treated as an address, beginning with http: for HTTP access. Many browsers also support a variety of other URL types and their corresponding protocols, such as gopher: for Gopher, ftp: for FTP, rtsp: for RTSP, and https: for HTTPS (an SSL encrypted version of HTTP).” The file format for a Web page is usually HTML (hyper-text markup language) and is identified in the HTTP protocol using a MIME content type. Most browsers natively support a variety of formats in addition to HTML, such as the JPEG, PNG and GIF image formats, and can be extended to support more through the use of plugins. The combination of HTTP content type and URL protocol specification allows Web page designers to embed images, animations, video, sound, and streaming media into a Web page, or to make them accessible through the Web page.

In 1992, Tony Johnson released the MidasWWW browser. Based on Motif/X, MidasWWW allowed viewing of PostScript files on the Web from Unix and VMS, and even handled compressed PostScript. Another early popular Web browser was ViolaWWW, which was modeled after HyperCard. However, the explosion in popularity of the Web was triggered by NCSA Mosaic which was a graphical browser running originally on Unix but soon ported to the Amiga platform, and later the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows platforms. Version 1.0 was released in September 1993.

The wars put the Web in the hands of millions of ordinary PC users, but showed how commercialization of the Web could stymie standards efforts. Both Microsoft and Netscape liberally incorporated proprietary extensions to HTML in their products, and tried to gain an edge by product differentiation, leading to the acceptance of the Cascading Style Sheets proposed by Håkon Wium Lie over Netscape’s JavaScript Style Sheets (JSSS) by W3C.

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Web search engines

According to the Wikipedia a Web search engine is “a search engine designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. Information may consist of web pages, images and other types of files.” Some search engines also mine data available in newsgroups, databases, or open directories.

The very first tool used for searching on the Internet was Archie. Then came Veronica and Jughead, and the three of them searched the file names and titles stored in Gopher index systems. The first Web search engine was Wandex, a now-defunct index collected by the World Wide Web Wanderer, a web crawler developed by Matthew Gray at MIT in 1993. Another very early search engine, Aliweb, also appeared in 1993, and still runs today. Soon after, many search engines appeared and vied for popularity. These included Excite, Infoseek, Inktomi, Northern Light, and AltaVista. In some ways, they competed with popular directories such as Yahoo!. Later, the directories integrated or added on search engine technology for greater functionality.

Lets point out the most important ones nowadays:

An American public corporation, specializing in Internet search and online advertising,which began in January 1996. It is well-known for its web search service, which is a major factor of the company’s success. As of August 2007, Google is the most used search engine on the web with a 53.6% market share. In 2004, it launched its own free web-based e-mail service, known as Gmail. It indexes billions of Web pages, so that users can search for the information they desire, through the use of keywords and operators. Google has also employed the Web Search technology into other search services, including Image Search, Google News, the price comparison site Google Product Search, the interactive Usenet archive Google Groups, Google Maps, and more. Google has also developed several desktop applications, including Google Earth, an interactive mapping program powered by satellite and aerial imagery that covers the vast majority of the planet.

An American public corporation and global Internet services company founded in January 1994. The global network of Yahoo! websites receives 3.4 billion page views per day on average as of October 2007, making it one of the most visited U.S. websites. Yahoo acquired companies to expand its range of services, particularly Web 2.0 services. It offers diversified services; it provides vertical search services such as Yahoo! Image, Yahoo! Video, Yahoo! Local, Yahoo! News, and Yahoo! Shopping Search. Yahoo is built with search assist so 3 letters can be typed & yahoo will give sugestions of what is typed. It provides internet communication services such as Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail is the largest e-mail service in the world with almost half the market share.Right now it only works on search (not images)On 1 February 2008, after its friendly takeover offer was rebuffed by Yahoo, Microsoft made an unsolicited takeover bid to buy Yahoo for 44.6 billion dollars in cash and stock.

Is the name of Microsoft’s web search engine, designed to compete with the industry leaders Google and Yahoo!. Live Search is accessible through Microsoft’s Live.com and MSN.com web portal. The new search engine offers some innovative features, such as the ability to view additional search results on the same web page and the ability to dynamically adjust the amount of information displayed for each search-result. It also allows the user to save searches and see them updated automatically on Live.com. The first public beta of Live Search was unveiled on March 8, 2006, with the final release on September 11, 2006 replacing MSN Search.

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