What Mobile and Desktop Browsers Do You Use?

Browsers have been on the news lately with Java plugins getting the boot and Safari having issues. In an enterprise environment, your choice of browsers largely depend on what the IT administrator installed on your workstation unless you went BYOD. If you work in the IT industry, you get to install your browser of preference or necessity and the IT staff pretty much can't stop you even if they tried. Likewise, if you are working in a smaller non-tech related industry, say selling fruits, you can also pretty much install whatever browser you like for your online tasks.

Web developers argue that the browser you use ruins their clever and artistic designs, going so far as to always resort to the predictable rant against users who still linger around with Internet Explorer. However, reality is very different today - ask a mainstream user what browser they use on their smartphone and most of them probably don't know the answer.

In fact, ask a dedicated iPhone user what browser they use and they'd show you the app on their expensive iOS device but fail to tell you the name of the browser. They would, however, gladly swear their allegiance to the church of Jobs and iOS even with Safari's failings. Android users aren't exempt from this confusion considering that the default browser in Android devices vary (cough Samsung cough). Of course, a more educated user would quickly tell you "Safari for iOS forever!" or "Google Chrome, are you an idiot?" at the question. A millenial, on the other hand, wouldn't care and would prefer to debate over Facebook, Twitter and Tinder instead.

Google Chrome is ubiquitous in the Windows desktop, whether the user is running the well-loved Windows 7, the rapidly disappearing 8.1 or the equally divisive and well-received Windows 10. However, it's clear most users are no longer aware (or even notice) any benefits from using the attractive Google browser. Tech sites like Ars Technica, TechCrunch and Wired love to post articles regarding the fortunes of Mozilla Firefox, but on Earth where PC users aren't aware of the politics or technicalities, Firefox is as much a reliable alternative as Chrome.

As a non-web-developer nor power user, my choice of web browser is generally inconsequential save for specific tasks. Dedicated apps on my Android, iOS, Windows 10 and Windows Phone devices take care of most of my needs. IE for Windows Phone 8.1 on my Lumia 925 is left unused not intentionally. On my Linux machines, Chromium and Firefox are my default web browsers with the latter serving as my default browser on my Sony Xperia Dual C3 also. On a Windows 10 desktop, Edge is all right even though banking sites prefer the older Internet Explorer 11. Contrary to plenty of articles online ribbing Microsoft's new default browser, I actually don't find any faults in Microsoft's new product (it's an unsaid reality in the web writing industry that there is money to be made writing articles against Microsoft, particularly if you praise Apple instead).

Windows 10 - Edge Browser (Tablet mode) / Mozilla Firefox (Desktop mode)
openSUSE Leap, Debian 8 - Chromium and Mozilla Firefox
Windows Phone 8.1 - Internet Explorer for Windows Phone/UX Browser (backup)
Android 4.4/Android 5.x - Mozilla Firefox for Android
iOS9 - Google Chrome for iOS

Back in the day, it was easy to declare that web browsers were the unsung workhorses of computers and the most used application on a desktop or laptop. Today, in the mobile world, web browsers have once again largely disappeared in the background for mainstream users. Meanwhile, web developers and programmers are still swearing and insulting each other over browser plugins, web standards and compatibility.    


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