One aspect of modern technology is that old systems never die; they just fade slowly into the sunset. Two words: Windows XP. You get the idea, right? Think zombie operating system, the OS that just wouldn’t die.
Mac users face similar issues of walking dead applications; apps that still work, are still around, even get updated from time to time, but there are better options, and as to the future, well, the handwriting is on the wall. Got a favorite Mac browser? Maybe it’s a walking dead app.
The Big Three
As browsers go, there are many for Mac, Windows, iPhone and iPad, and Android users to choose. Google’s Chrome is popular everywhere, while Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and new Edge browsers are popular only on Windows.
Apple’s Safari dominates on the Mac, and even more so on iPhone and iPad. What about the second tier browsers? Mozilla’s Firefox and Opera have a presence everywhere; Mac, Windows, iPhone and iPad, even Android devices.
With Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s IE, and Apple’s Safari dominating the desktop and mobile device browser landscape, what room is left for any other browser other than a niche and footnote?
Say goodbye to Firefox and Opera. They’re both walking dead browsers. Sure, they’ll be around for years to come, get updates here and there, and new features will be bolted on, but the future is set. It’s Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Not Firefox or any other browser platform wannabe.
And why would you want to use a browser that doesn’t perform as well as the big boys? Adrian Kingsley-Huges setup a benchmark test of the Mac’s top four browsers that are not named Internet Explorer and the results tell the tale of the tape.
The performance winner? Apple’s Safari. Google’s Chrome came in a close second, followed by Opera. Firefox didn’t garner a win, place, or show and came in last. What does that say?
For Mac users, Firefox and Opera are the walking dead of 21st century browsers. Sure, Firefox has extensions and add-ons galore, and somehow or another Mozilla manages to rake in a few hundred million dollars in revenue every year to keep development going, but the tale of the tape and dwindling usage tell and ugly story.
As a member of the newly minted Walking Dead Browser Corp, Firefox won’t be going away. After all, that’s what zombies do. They hang around. Google and Apple place high value on the browser and how it is used, and the size of their respective platforms (healthy, in the case of Apple) indicates a future where other browsers simply fade away into that good night.
We’re in the golden age of Mac browsers, an age where all the browsers are decent, somewhat secure, and render pages that look mostly as they were intended (take that, Internet Explorer), and have the features most of us want and need; security, dependability, speed. But how many browsers does anyone really, truly, madly need?
For Apple’s customers, two is probably sufficient. Everything else is just road kill. Including Firefox.