The Future of Browsers


Last week, Mozilla celebrated Firefox’s fifth birthday. While it may seem hard to believe that it’s really been that long since Firefox first burst onto the browser scene, it’s equally hard to understate just how important it has been for the development of the web. While IE is still the most popular browser, according to Net Applications, the browser market is much healthier than it was five years ago. Several major desktop and mobile browsers are  in active development, notably IE, Firefox, the WebKit-based Apple Safari and Google Chrome, and Opera. The intense competition among these vendors is causing a climate of innovation, and the start of a new browser war.

So what might the future hold for browsers? In my latest Long View over on our subscription research service, GigaOM Pro, “What Does the Future Hold for Browsers?“, with comments from Chris Wilson (Microsoft), Chris Blizzard (Mozilla) and Bruce Lawson (Opera), I look at where this new browser war might lead, and the battlefields that it will be fought on: innovative new technologies, browser performance, security and privacy, and the ability to browse from multiple, diverse devices.

How do you think browsers will change over the next five years?



Competition is good. I use IE at home and work, but have no problems when I’m at a friend’s house and use Safari or Firefox. That’s the way it should be: not feeling limited by using one browser over another.

Keith Parnell

We all have our favorite browser. Personally I use IE, Firefox and Opera, probably IE8 the most. But I love the competition. I don’t see that Microsoft would have moved off the IE6 (horrible!) platform as fast as they did if Firefox hadn’t have caught on like wildfire. For a long time, I’ve missed the days that IE and Netscape went back and forth trying to win our business. I think we maybe in that same situation again. Competition is good!

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