The same Opera that challenged IE way back in the days is now back to challenge a more tougher rival, yes you guessed it Firefox.
Firefox might be the leading IE alternative to web browsing, but I have a feeling that this is soon going to change, as more and more people realise the superiority of Opera.
In the Windows world – 4 main browsers are in use, IE, FireFox, Safari and Opera, there are some IE clones out there like Maxwell, but these are the favorites. Worth noting Google’s Chrome is up and coming, but too new on the market to have gained any substantial support.
IEs main problem is that its the least secure browser on the market, IE also does not fully support the W3C compliancy standards, this means that pages lazily slapped together do not render correctly in other W3C compliant browsers. Unfortunately because pages like this do render in IE, and not in other browsers, its usually the other browsers that take the blame. The much anticipated IE 8, is a display of good faith that Microsoft are finally starting to take the W3C serious. A little late, I would say, but rather late than never.
FireFox is a really good alternative to IE, but its by no means perfect, FireFox takes a long time to start up, and it has become quite a resource hog, but it usually renders pages pretty well, and has some great plugins. Usually 3rd party vendors of plugins provide FireFox versions of their plugins, for example DAP (Download Accelerator Plus) and RoboForms.
Safari works great on a Mac, but before you think it works great on Windows, remember its developed by the same company that brought you iTunes and Quicktime, and both these products are notoriously bad. Quicktime causes more problems alone than any other media product, and iTunes runs many services and processes that consume your systems resources. I have not tested PC Safari, because I simply do not trust Apple PC software.
Then there is Opera, a mean lean cat, designed for speed. Its fast sure, but it also has a decent looking interface, and more features than IE, Safari or FireFox. Opera is not perfect and you might find a few of your favorite forum sites not working with Opera, but this does not happen often, usually Opera renders pages very well.
If you haven’t already tried it go ahead – http://www.opera.com