Microsoft has introduced Windows 8 (updated in Windows 8.1) after incorporating major changes in its user interface (UI). Its goal is to make OS more compatible with tablet-like touch-screen devices. Between others, “Metro” mode and “Start Screen” are two major enhancements that Microsoft has included in its new OS suite.
However, to get the best experience of Windows 8.1, or any other OS for that matter, it is important to run it in a highly compatible browser environment. Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer are the three major browsers.
To determine which three browsers will best support the new features and interface of Windows 8.1, a comparison has been made based on verticals like interface, speed, special features and standard support.
It is important to have a nice interface in the browser to facilitate quick and comfortable web browsing. Some of the features listed below are some features that highlight the interface.
- In Windows 8 Metro mode, Chrome opens with its familiar browser layout: A window containing Google Search, Gmail, Docs, and an app icon for youtube in the taskbar at the bottom. Compared to the desktop version, there is not such a big difference in the metro mode in Chrome’s interface. Like the desktop version, here are the url bars and navigation icons located at the top.
- In Metro mode, Internet Explorer and Firefox have chosen to transfer users to their navigation panel below to provide easy access to their thumbs.
- If you compare the navigation panel of three browsers, Internet Explorer has a somewhat disorganized navigation panel, while Firefox employs a very cleaner approach. Perhaps this seems to be, because the IE navigation panel is full of many buttons and search bars, while Firefox has buttons for back, pin, favorites, and options with the search bar only.
- IE and Firefox are an auto-hide feature in the bottom panel which provides full-screen viewing.
- Firefox has transparent ‘back’ and ‘new tab’ buttons on the left and right sides of the screen. This allows the user to open a new tab without exiting the full screen view.
- Internet Explorer and Firefox suggest sites when user enters a URL in the address bar
- To support smooth scrolling through the tabs, IE displays them just above the address bar
- Firefox displays the recent, most visited pages and bookmarks, each time a new tab is opened.
- Firefox supports smooth switching between Desktop and Metro modes through a simple taping of the ‘Options’ button.
Browser speed is more reliable on CPU power and web connections, but the browser also plays a role in determining speed. To determine the speed, you can refer to the tests performed by the prestigious laboratory owned by an international tech-information website.
Using the Numian website loading Stopwatch tool, a speed test for each browser was run on the same Windows 8.1 Acer Iconia W4 tablet on the same Wi-Fi connection for the same browser, in which the cache was cleared for all the browsers.
The result was declared by Firefox as the fastest browser because it downloaded the site in 3.21 seconds. While IE took 4.17 seconds and Chrome took 5.06 seconds to download the same site. However, in another trial in a complex webgl (Web Graphics Language) environment, Chrome has excelled on two other browsers.
Each browser has its own set of special features designed and developed in an effort to enhance the UI. Following are the unique and new features of each browser:
- Chrome for Metro mode has more than 30,000 apps, extensions and add-ons
- Chrome has the tab indicator that quickly shows the pages that are making noise because of video or audio playing
- Internet Explorer and Firefox have the very useful feature named ‘Do Not Track to signal’ that restricts the server from recording your presence
- All the three browsers can be used in Windows 8.1′s split screen mode
- Internet Explorer can be laid side-by-side with another window of itself. This feature turns very useful in making comparison of content in two different windows.
- Internet Explorer allows pinning of sites in the Start screen as a Live Tile. The live tile receives notifications whenever the connected web page gets updated.
- IE also has built-in ‘Reading List’ app that allows saving of web pages for later offline reading
- Microsoft’s browser also has the ‘Flip ahead’ feature that facilitates better scrolling over multi-page article.
A reputed laboratory has done some tests on three browsers to support normal web standards. The results show that Chrome enhances the best support for HTML5 and CSS3.
In the current highly competitive market, all three original companies Mozilla, Microsoft and Google are making their best efforts to provide excellent user interfaces via their browser, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome, respectively. Windows 8.1 raises various key features under different browser environments. As such, it gets the fastest with Firefox, while it provides the best web standard support when running on Chrome. Similarly, when it comes to the best features, IE is more than the other two browsers.
Other factors like your web connection, CPU power, etc. also affect your browsing experience. Since downloading any browser is free online, you can see each browser one-by-one, which provides better service to you.
Submit your review