There once was a time when Netscape ruled Mac and Windows as the de facto default browser for the rest of us. Microsoft knifed Netscape and browsers went into the dark ages for a few years. Can you say ‘Windows XP?’
Apple decided to improve browsing and launched Safari and within a few years Mac users had a handful of very good, rapidly improving browsers; Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox. Even venerable Opera managed to stage a comeback. Competition is good and so is choice, but I’m thinking maybe we have a glut of browser choices.
Accipe Hoc, Min v. Vivaldi
Should we be asking why there are so many browsers available for Mac users? I mean, what’s the point? How does Safari, Chrome, and Firefox differ from Vivaldi, Opera, Min, SeaMonkey, Roccat, iCab, PolyBrowser, OmniWeb, and a few dozen others that are based off WebKit?
Most Mac browsers are free, so one has to scratch around to see the business model. For Apple, Google, and Mozilla– Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, respectively, there’s money involved. Chrome is the most used browser on earth. Safari, thanks to iOS and OS X, tops the aging Internet Explorer mess from Microsoft. Search engine giant Google is willing to give major browsers a share of the search revenue they bring in, so there’s that. But what about all the others?
Here’s the new and highly acclaimed Vivaldi in action.
Frankly, I like it. Vivaldi comes from the same folks who launched Opera browser way back in the day, so they have an understanding of how browsers are used, built, and what place they play in today’s technology.
The question i have to ask is simple and straightforward?
A browser developer needs a few hundred million users to get enough searches going for Google to cough up some money every month to fund further development. But what’s the point? In the end, it’s just another browser with a few features share with all browsers, and a few features shared with no browsers, but not features that will make much of a difference in the lives of the great unwashed masses of browser users worldwide, more than half of which are using mobile devices as their browser platform of choice.
Someone is reinventing the wheel here, and in the end all we have is yet another wheel that does mostly what all wheels do.