Microsoft rolls out its browser choice update – but which is really the best?

Microsoft is rolling out its EU-required Browser Choice update. File under industry madness; but one thing I found interesting was the choice of words used by each vendor to market their browser.

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I only saw the top five in Microsoft’s post; but here are the words:

Google Chrome: A fast new browser. Made for everyone.

Mozilla Firefox: Your online security is Firefox’s top priority. Firefox is free, and made to help you get the most out of the web.

Safari: Safari for Windows from Apple, the world’s most innovative browser.

Internet Explorer 8: The world’s most widely used browser. IE8 makes your web experience safer and easier than ever.

Opera: The powerful and easy-to-use web browser. Try the only browser with Opera Turbo technology, and speed up your internet connection.

Needless to say, there is little here that would really guide a user’s choice, though there is a “tell me more” link for each. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the target readership is the subset of computer users who did not realise until now that they could install a web browser other than IE.

Still, Google is right to emphasise speed; that is the main reason I use it. It is also my first choice for sites that do not render properly in IE. Firefox plays the security card, trading on recent public fretting over IE insecurities, but doesn’t mention its real strength: rich add-on availability. Microsoft is bland as usual; Apple says nothing of note; and Opera talks about some strange feature called Turbo.

But which browser should a user choose? Personally I leave IE as default and run up one of the others as I want to; this fits with my instinct to keep Windows running as closely as possible to how its designers intended. My most-used browsers after that are Chrome and Firefox; I rarely touch Safari or Opera, though both are installed.

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