From: Craig Phillips [] on behalf of Craig Phillips []
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 12:31 PM
Subject: Cocktail Talk - Browser Wars
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Cocktail Talk
Bits and bytes of computer chat-chat
to help you through those dreary Cocktail Parties.
February 2010 
Our Topic
Browser Wars
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Cocktail Talk
Dear Craig,
Cocktail Talk
Welcome to
CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".

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Browser Wars
HalloweenYou may not know it but we're cheeks deep in the Second Browser War. Maybe you don't remember the First Browser War. Who would?  Unlike "Rocky"  it wasn't released  until after Second Browser War was released. Maybe they should call them "Browser War" and "Browser War the Prequel".
In the beginning there was the Web. Possibly the creation of the boys from Operation Paperclip. But until the 1990's there was no way for us to browse the Web. AOL (remember them?) had problems with this and found an early web browser named Mosaic.
The name Mosaic was chosen because the browser was made up of bits and pieces of code from different authors. AOL Mosaic Netscape 0.9 was released in October of 1994. It took the world by storm delivering 38 million units. Development continued under codename Mozilla and it later became known as Netscape Navigator.

Netscape was "shareware" or "freeware". Today it would be referred to as Open Source Software. aka Collaborative Software. Its the same free software, it just sounds better with a spin on the words. They should probably change "Beta" to something that won't strike terror in our hearts. "Prequel" maybe.
In 1995 somebody ripped off the Mozilla-Netscape design, allegedly, while it was under development by Spyglass Corporation. They subsequently released, allegedly, version 1.0 of Internet Explorer (IE) as a part of their Windows 95 Plus Pack add on. I think Spyglass was in on it the whole time.
In the late '90s, due to Microsoft's IE, Netscape lost it's 90% market share. After all, IE came with the PC, why install Netscape?  Microsoft had won, Netscape made it's code public, and that was the end of the "First Browser War". Word on the street is Netscape made it's code public so Microsoft couldn't make money selling what it allegedly stole.

In 2000 the Mozilla Foundation was formed, and in 2002, based on that same public source code, released Firefox. Firefox waged guerrilla warfare against IE alone until 2003 when Safari and Opera joined the resistance. Thus began the "Second Browser War".  Google just entered the fray with Chrome.

Microsoft's IE, Mozilla's Firefox, and Google's Chrome are free. You may already have IE7. IE8 is an automatic update now and the world is going to end if you let Microsoft install it on your PC.

All three give you the ability to have several pages open at one time. They're just set up with tabs along the top of the screen like .... well, tabs. Click on the tab you want, it shows you the website. All three have a thumbnail page. Chrome makes the thumbnails your Home Page and shows your most frequented sites. Secret Surfers are making little thought bubbles now. Don't worry, next paragraph.

IE has "InPrivate" browsing. This allows you to surf without leaving a history trail. Chrome calls it "incognito".  Firefox doesn't have this. All three let you clear history with a couple clicks but IE and Chrome have the ability to search history and you may still leave a trail even if you're InPrivate or incognito. Get to know your browser, we wouldn't want autocomplete popping up something embarrassing.

All three have Google Search on-deck so you don't have to open Google to search. Not that you couldn't run Google Search by typing a query into the Address Bar anyway.

All three are supposed to show you web pages. IE8 doesn't do this very well and its your fault. All websites written before IE8, which is all of them, are supposed to have HTML "metatag" code added to them so IE8 can display them in IE7 mode. There's even a menu pick to manage emulation but it doesn't work any better than a crossing button.  Why you need IE8 so it can look like IE7 instead of just using IE7 is beyond me.
Funny that Microsoft Publisher sites don't display properly in Microsoft IE8. You'd think their own products would work. Even funnier you can't add the metatag code to a Publisher site letting IE8 know to emulate IE7. Have I mentioned Chrome and Firefox?
Last week I called "Huge Internet Company" and the engineer said; "please tell me you're not using IE".  You may not be able to get rid of IE, but you certainly don't have to use it. Unless of course you want to use the site.

Trying Firefox or Chrome is easy. Both will import your Bookmarks and Favorites from IE in a snap.  Both Chrome and Firefox are so polite they ask you, when you start them, if you'd like to make them your default browser. They even ask you if they should ask you.

You can stick with IE if you want, that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk.
Thank you for reading,
Craig Phillips
CN Consulting, Inc.

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