ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

Change Your Internet Experience with a New Browser

Let’s face it: we all take things for granted on a daily basis, but your internet browser is one thing that needs to be called to your attention. We live in the information era, relying heavily on the internet for personal use such as bill paying and shopping as well as business use like as marketing, sales, lead generation and more.

Poor browser performance leads to poor productivity. Performance can be measured based on the following criteria: speed, stability, and standards-compliant.

Your browser can be the cause of web pages loading too slow, taking away more and more of your valuable time. They can also become unstable, causing frequent crashes leaving you frustrated and annoyed. A browser that does not follow the standards set out by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an organization started to “ensure the long-term growth of the web,” (http://www.w3.org/Consortium/) neither looks nor functions how it was designed. Such a browser may lead to one or both of the issues previously discussed.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m referring to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (or IE). Microsoft conveniently provides us with IE right there on every version of the Windows desktop. Naturally, we use it to begin our journey through the web since there appears to be no alternative. The funny thing is that IE is not considered a standards-compliant browser; web-developers have to write “special” code to make their web designs work correctly in IE while other browsers have no problems. This is why a website may appear differently than intended or even experience critical errors (or crashes). Even if you do not experience these errors, you probably experience the lag produced by IE without even realizing it.

According to the latest statistics for browser usage, Mozilla Firefox has had a steady increase in usage since its beginning in 2004. As seen at www.w3schools.com, about 46% of the population currently uses Firefox, while about 39% use IE, and the remaining 15% are split among three less-popular, other browsers. Further examination of the data shows Firefox’s steady growth in popularity over the years (an average increase of 6% since last year), surpassing IE January of this year (45.5% Firefox versus 44.8% IE).

The numbers look great for Firefox – why do they continue to grow? Since it began, Firefox was a standards-compliant browser. It has been vastly improved and boasts faster speeds and custom add-ons for a beneficial internet experience. So, with nothing to lose but the slow speeds and the hassles produced by IE, we should take Firefox for a “test drive” and then we will realize what an upgrade this browser really is.