Browser wars (Opera ships)

I've been playing for a few hours with Opera 9 tonight. Nice browser. But not sure I'll switch. IE 7 and Firefox serve my needs well and don't leave a lot of room for a new browser. 

Will Langford, though, did a nice writeup of Firefox vs. Opera. I don't share his concern with RAM usage, my main thing is speed of opening a new window and completely rendering a Web site. Firefox is fastest here on my computer (which is running beta 2 of Windows Vista). I love the Bittorrent integration, I wish everyone would build that into their browsers. That's going to be how we're going to get HD video from my camcorder onto your screen, so I care about that a lot.
One other thing I care about: I'm going to be using both Mac and Windows OS's in my new job and I want a browser that's as close to the same on both OS's as possible. That leaves me with Firefox. 

On the other hand, Opera has a nice browser for cell phones that I'm using more and more. So, it makes the choice hard. 

Anyway, which browser do you like best, and why? 

85 thoughts on “Browser wars (Opera ships)

  1. I have an old WIN98 system I got for free back in 1999 from http://www.freepc.com and am still using it (I have upgraded to a 550mhz chip). I discovered Firefox in Nov. 2004 and used it until about March 2006. I found various extensions significantly impacted my system performance and got tired of trying to figure out the right permutations to keep my broadband acting like broadband. I switched to Opera 9.0 (beta at the time) and found my speeds increased but things still were not “lightning fast” as various people make references of their browsers. I recently made the switch to K-meleon 1.01, a mozilla based browser designed for Windows. My load speeds are finally “lightning fast” (as much as a 550 mzh chip can be). I am very pleased. Configuring the broswer is a bit awkward and the themes for the new version are a bit limited (older themes for the pre-1.0 release seem to make it crash) but once it is set up it has much of the basic functionality of Firefox and/or Opera. I think I’ll stick with K-Meleon for a while.

  2. I have an old WIN98 system I got for free back in 1999 from http://www.freepc.com and am still using it (I have upgraded to a 550mhz chip). I discovered Firefox in Nov. 2004 and used it until about March 2006. I found various extensions significantly impacted my system performance and got tired of trying to figure out the right permutations to keep my broadband acting like broadband. I switched to Opera 9.0 (beta at the time) and found my speeds increased but things still were not “lightning fast” as various people make references of their browsers. I recently made the switch to K-meleon 1.01, a mozilla based browser designed for Windows. My load speeds are finally “lightning fast” (as much as a 550 mzh chip can be). I am very pleased. Configuring the broswer is a bit awkward and the themes for the new version are a bit limited (older themes for the pre-1.0 release seem to make it crash) but once it is set up it has much of the basic functionality of Firefox and/or Opera. I think I’ll stick with K-Meleon for a while.

  3. I use both Mac OS X and Windows. Based on this, I have a preference for different browsers.

    Personally, I am a strong Netscape user in Windows having worked with 7.2 most of the time and now currently having 8.1 as my default browser. I moved from IE early on and was never attracted by Firefox. To me, it served no particular purpose or had anything that would put it over Netscape.

    What I like the best about Netscape 8.0 and 8.1 is the control that I have over the websites based on Netscape’s ‘ratings’ and the ability to erase all tracks whenever I exit the browser. In addition, the two rendering engines (IE and Gecko), which allow me to be able to view any website with basically no problems whatsoever; I must say though, I wasn’t a fan of this when 8 first came out.

    In OS X, I use either Safari or Camino; although I use Camino as my default browser. I do no think that Firefox will get any attention from my part on OS X since Camino integrates so well into the OS. With Safari and Camino I get the option to ‘reset’ the browser which does the same thing as Netscape’s erase tracks. Here, I have found that Camino has an excellent speed – which was a big advantage when I first got my computer since it only had 256MB Ram.

    I have not used Opera extensively on either platform, although I think that the Windows version is better suited as an everyday browser.

  4. I use both Mac OS X and Windows. Based on this, I have a preference for different browsers.

    Personally, I am a strong Netscape user in Windows having worked with 7.2 most of the time and now currently having 8.1 as my default browser. I moved from IE early on and was never attracted by Firefox. To me, it served no particular purpose or had anything that would put it over Netscape.

    What I like the best about Netscape 8.0 and 8.1 is the control that I have over the websites based on Netscape’s ‘ratings’ and the ability to erase all tracks whenever I exit the browser. In addition, the two rendering engines (IE and Gecko), which allow me to be able to view any website with basically no problems whatsoever; I must say though, I wasn’t a fan of this when 8 first came out.

    In OS X, I use either Safari or Camino; although I use Camino as my default browser. I do no think that Firefox will get any attention from my part on OS X since Camino integrates so well into the OS. With Safari and Camino I get the option to ‘reset’ the browser which does the same thing as Netscape’s erase tracks. Here, I have found that Camino has an excellent speed – which was a big advantage when I first got my computer since it only had 256MB Ram.

    I have not used Opera extensively on either platform, although I think that the Windows version is better suited as an everyday browser.

  5. 1. Opera (I liked 8 better than 9)

    2. IE 7 (although it is buggy, the Internet being kind of a new thing there at Microsoft I guess or wasn’t FIVE YEARS enough time to “update” IE6?)

    3. FoxFire (only when I read something about it in blogs and fire it up to see what people are talking about. Otherwise for a browser it lacks security, hogs memory and UI-wise is duller than dirt.)

  6. 1. Opera (I liked 8 better than 9)

    2. IE 7 (although it is buggy, the Internet being kind of a new thing there at Microsoft I guess or wasn’t FIVE YEARS enough time to “update” IE6?)

    3. FoxFire (only when I read something about it in blogs and fire it up to see what people are talking about. Otherwise for a browser it lacks security, hogs memory and UI-wise is duller than dirt.)

  7. I’ve been using Opera for years, and like it’s advanced features coupled with easy customization. I can change anything, and I’m no programmer.

    But I let others use what they want without without feeling an urge to convert them. However, what REALLY bugs me is that MS once again decides to deliberately lock out Opera users. No wonder people who casually test Opera feel its less compatible…

    http://my.opera.com/hallvors/blog/show.dml/243931

    I guess it’s time for another Bork, Bork Edition (I loved the last one!)

  8. I’ve been using Opera for years, and like it’s advanced features coupled with easy customization. I can change anything, and I’m no programmer.

    But I let others use what they want without without feeling an urge to convert them. However, what REALLY bugs me is that MS once again decides to deliberately lock out Opera users. No wonder people who casually test Opera feel its less compatible…

    http://my.opera.com/hallvors/blog/show.dml/243931

    I guess it’s time for another Bork, Bork Edition (I loved the last one!)

  9. Latest WebKit builds of Safari and Camino. Firefox when I have to suffer Windows. Firefox for the Mac is fugly.

  10. Latest WebKit builds of Safari and Camino. Firefox when I have to suffer Windows. Firefox for the Mac is fugly.

  11. I love both of them, though Firefox is several magnitudes slower and heavier. One thing that article didn’t mention was that Opera’s memory usage scales with how much ram you have. Sure, there’s a limit and you can tweak how it works, but it’s very adaptable.

    Opera is pretty much the only full featured, modern, reasonably fast browser that a sane person would consider using on old Linux boxes. I’ve got it on my Mom’s 64mb ram, 300MHz Debian laptop, and it doesn’t use much more then 30mb ram most of the time, extremely reasonable for a browser these days.

  12. I love both of them, though Firefox is several magnitudes slower and heavier. One thing that article didn’t mention was that Opera’s memory usage scales with how much ram you have. Sure, there’s a limit and you can tweak how it works, but it’s very adaptable.

    Opera is pretty much the only full featured, modern, reasonably fast browser that a sane person would consider using on old Linux boxes. I’ve got it on my Mom’s 64mb ram, 300MHz Debian laptop, and it doesn’t use much more then 30mb ram most of the time, extremely reasonable for a browser these days.

  13. “One other thing I care about: I’m going to be using both Mac and Windows OS’s in my new job and I want a browser that’s as close to the same on both OS’s as possible. That leaves me with Firefox.”

    Er… Opera is available for Mac too (as well as several other platforms; see http://www.opera.com/download/index.dml?custom=yes) as David Terei mentioned. AFAIK, it should be nearly identical on all platforms, just as Firefox is.

    “Anyway, which browser do you like best, and why?”

    I run Ubuntu Linux and have Firefox, Opera and Konqueror installed. I like Firefox the best :)

    Being a cross-platform browser made transitioning from Windows that much easier, though even if I had started out on Linux I would still be using Firefox because of its extensions :) (Opera Widgets are cute and all, but they don’t let you customize your browser)

    I’m glad to hear that Opera has ad… er… “content” blocking now ;) though I still prefer the more automated process of using Filterset.G (via updater extension) with Adblock in Firefox.

  14. “One other thing I care about: I’m going to be using both Mac and Windows OS’s in my new job and I want a browser that’s as close to the same on both OS’s as possible. That leaves me with Firefox.”

    Er… Opera is available for Mac too (as well as several other platforms; see http://www.opera.com/download/index.dml?custom=yes) as David Terei mentioned. AFAIK, it should be nearly identical on all platforms, just as Firefox is.

    “Anyway, which browser do you like best, and why?”

    I run Ubuntu Linux and have Firefox, Opera and Konqueror installed. I like Firefox the best :)

    Being a cross-platform browser made transitioning from Windows that much easier, though even if I had started out on Linux I would still be using Firefox because of its extensions :) (Opera Widgets are cute and all, but they don’t let you customize your browser)

    I’m glad to hear that Opera has ad… er… “content” blocking now ;) though I still prefer the more automated process of using Filterset.G (via updater extension) with Adblock in Firefox.

  15. I am from South Asia and I love Opera simplye because of its speed. I have to work with 5-6 KBPS bandwidth and that is why Opera is so cool to me. It gives me the best speed. So, I use 99% of the time Opera and it helps me to increase my productivity by saving me some valuable browsing time.

  16. I am from South Asia and I love Opera simplye because of its speed. I have to work with 5-6 KBPS bandwidth and that is why Opera is so cool to me. It gives me the best speed. So, I use 99% of the time Opera and it helps me to increase my productivity by saving me some valuable browsing time.

  17. I’m using Safari for my Mac OS X browsing and Firefox when I jump into Windows.

    As far as I can see, the whole interface difference is purely crap (as long as the UI is usable). You’d have to be either dumb or have no computer experience to need the same interface to get things done while browsing the net. Actually, I find switching interfaces once in a while.

  18. I’m using Safari for my Mac OS X browsing and Firefox when I jump into Windows.

    As far as I can see, the whole interface difference is purely crap (as long as the UI is usable). You’d have to be either dumb or have no computer experience to need the same interface to get things done while browsing the net. Actually, I find switching interfaces once in a while.

  19. I was using FF, and still do at work. But since moving my laptop up to Vista Beta 2, I find myself using IE7. It has a very nice feel. I love the RSS integration.
    Also, I installed Office 2007 Beta and now I use Outlook instead of Thunderbird. The fact that IE7 can add the RSS to Outlook with a single click ROCKS! I think MS is on their way to something here!

    But Wellsfargo.com won’t work on it, so I still have FF on here.

  20. I was using FF, and still do at work. But since moving my laptop up to Vista Beta 2, I find myself using IE7. It has a very nice feel. I love the RSS integration.
    Also, I installed Office 2007 Beta and now I use Outlook instead of Thunderbird. The fact that IE7 can add the RSS to Outlook with a single click ROCKS! I think MS is on their way to something here!

    But Wellsfargo.com won’t work on it, so I still have FF on here.

  21. It took a lot for me to switch over to Firefox about a year and a half ago, but now I’m glad I did. I’ve never had a problem with it, and don’t think I’ll ever change again — unless something truly spectacular comes along.

  22. It took a lot for me to switch over to Firefox about a year and a half ago, but now I’m glad I did. I’ve never had a problem with it, and don’t think I’ll ever change again — unless something truly spectacular comes along.

  23. I use Safari for 99.9% of my browsing. As others have said, it’s fast, stable, easy to use… but best of all is the system integration and how good it looks. For the few web sites with extras I need that are only available for Firefox, I have used Deer Park (a G4-optimized Firefox), but mostly I use Camino.

    On my work laptop, which is Windows XP, I use Firefox for anything that’s not on my company’s intranet. Unfortunately, most things on the intranet are actually built to only work in IE, so I use it when I must. Otherwise, it’s all Firefox.

  24. I use Safari for 99.9% of my browsing. As others have said, it’s fast, stable, easy to use… but best of all is the system integration and how good it looks. For the few web sites with extras I need that are only available for Firefox, I have used Deer Park (a G4-optimized Firefox), but mostly I use Camino.

    On my work laptop, which is Windows XP, I use Firefox for anything that’s not on my company’s intranet. Unfortunately, most things on the intranet are actually built to only work in IE, so I use it when I must. Otherwise, it’s all Firefox.

  25. It’s important to remember that most of Firefox’s “cool features” are user and community created, whereas Opera’s features are built and tested by developers of the browser. This isn’t a knock on FF developers, but when FF moves to 2.0, whose to say that all extensions will continue to work? I say Opera, it’s stable and fast, and it looked and performed fantastic on the Nintendo DS as well.

  26. It’s important to remember that most of Firefox’s “cool features” are user and community created, whereas Opera’s features are built and tested by developers of the browser. This isn’t a knock on FF developers, but when FF moves to 2.0, whose to say that all extensions will continue to work? I say Opera, it’s stable and fast, and it looked and performed fantastic on the Nintendo DS as well.

  27. Although Opera is a more than competant browser, famed for its standards support, it’s actually because of its non-support of standards that makes it a non-starter for me.

    Prior to Opera 9, there was no support for XSLT (the way to view XML pages in the browser). Even in Opera 9, the support misses out vital parts of the XSLT 1.0 spec (notably support for the document() function), which makes it useless for my needs. (Both IE 6 and the Mozilla family have long fully supported XSLT 1.0).

    My preferred browser is Mozilla – more powerful than Firefox, without the annoying tabs, and just a single entry box that combines searching and url entry.

  28. Although Opera is a more than competant browser, famed for its standards support, it’s actually because of its non-support of standards that makes it a non-starter for me.

    Prior to Opera 9, there was no support for XSLT (the way to view XML pages in the browser). Even in Opera 9, the support misses out vital parts of the XSLT 1.0 spec (notably support for the document() function), which makes it useless for my needs. (Both IE 6 and the Mozilla family have long fully supported XSLT 1.0).

    My preferred browser is Mozilla – more powerful than Firefox, without the annoying tabs, and just a single entry box that combines searching and url entry.

  29. I use Firefox because with it I can use Windows Live sites (Live Mail in particular) on both my Mac and my Winbox.

  30. I use Firefox because with it I can use Windows Live sites (Live Mail in particular) on both my Mac and my Winbox.

  31. Opera has two things that I like better than IE6/7 or FF (though FF is my regular browser):

    1. Opera seems to load java pages much, much faster than the others, especially on the initial hit. If you don’t believe me, visit http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge/radar.php?rid=mlb&product=N0R&overlay=11101111&loop=no (which will load quick) then look at one of the ‘loop’ (like base or long range) options on the left. Opera will almost immediately begin loading in the frames for the applet, while the others spend quite a bit of time just starting java.

    2. Scaling. Opera scales EVERYTHING on a page together, even graphics. FF and IE scale only the text (IE7, might do more, I’ve not tried that yet). This is very important for a vision impared person, especially on web sites formatted like this one, hard coded to use less than 50% of the available width in my browser window, all the rest wasted white space. In opera I can zoom until the whole window is filled, as it should be.

    And Opera has an extra for web site developers who might care about such things: it has a narrow (or cell phone) display mode that shows how many cell phones (which use the Opera engine) will render your web page.

    So, all-in-all, I use FF mostly, just because it is simple and I’m very familiar with its keyboard interface (I’m not a grabby/clicky kinda guy). But Opera 9 is giving me a serious reason to consider a change. Of course, I’ll keep IE around just to visit the lazy sites that only work with one browser, and to visit MS, of course.

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