Silicon Valley companies are waging countless head-to-head battles in the field of fibre optics. One of the fiercest battles in recent years has been the control of web browsing. Citizens' "fellow travellers" through the virtual ether have had to bow the knee to the hegemony of Google's Chrome browser. But is this the right choice?
"With a 68.2% market share on PCs, Chrome, the favourite desktop web browser of internet users around the world since mid-2012, is enjoying increasing popularity," according to the prestigious Statista portal. The truth is that Chrome holds the lead and the rest of its competitors are at an abysmal distance. Safari handles 9.8 per cent of internet travel, while Microsoft's Edge has 8.1 per cent and Firefox has 7.4 per cent.
A recent ranking by W3Counter offered the same positions, albeit with different figures. Chrome had 65.3% of the market, Safari had 17.1%, Internet Explorer and Edge had 5.6% and Firefox had 4.3%.
Safari cannot compete with Chrome even remotely, because it is a browser that can only be used on Apple devices, and this detracts from its market penetration. Firefox is considered the most secure browser, but this very circumstance leads it to be slower, which has caused it to lose potential.
Chrome is the latest browser to hit the market. PcWorld comments that the key to success may lie in the fact that "full-page and countdown ads, as well as those that play audio and video automatically, are removed. That makes for a much better user experience and faster loading speeds".
"Google assures you of ongoing funding and always being on the cutting edge of improvements and new developments; however, it is also one of the most influential and profitable multinational companies in the world, and as such, its ultimate goal is profit, and not everyone feels comfortable leaving their personal and non-personal data with them". Advantages and disadvantages of the browser par excellence, described in TuBlogTecnológico.
Edge is built into Windows 10, the leading operating system for PCs. ADSLZone points out that "its main virtue is the simplicity of its entire interface, since anyone will be able to handle it with a certain degree of ease in a very short time. Its security settings are much easier to optimise than in other browsers." And every new update that comes along makes it faster, which makes it very much on a par with Google Chrome.
Edge's release in 2015 and the browser's overhaul in 2020 have doomed the legendary Explorer, which all of us have used when we started prancing around the internet, to its demise. Explorer's epitaph date is already set for 15 June 2022.
Opera is also among the operating systems. Although familiar to Internet users, it accounts for only 1.5% of Internet browsing. Likewise, relatively recent is Brave, whose main virtue is fast loading.
The major technology companies with Internet browsing recorded significant profits last year. In net terms (after tax) Apple posted $49.172 billion, up 4% on 2019; Alphabet (Google) recorded $15.227 billion, up 42.0%, and Microsoft $44.281 billion, up 13%.