Tag Archives: browser

The Browser Wars III

I wanted to see how the readers of The MKX® compare to the rest of the world once again. We have compiled statistics in 2006 and 2009, so might as well check again.

Browser Internet
June 2011
The MKX®
April 2006
The MKX®
Dec 2009
The MKX®
July 2011
Explorer 54% 59.32% 38.57% 23.03%
Firefox 21.67% 27.12% 34.84% 28.73%
Safari 7.48% 9.32% 18.55% 13.00%
Chrome 13.11% No data 5.68% 28.94%
Opera 2.98% 2.54% 0.49% 1.95%
Other 1% 2% 2% 4%

That’s right: The #1 browser around here is now Google Chrome, then Firefox, then IE (warning – disturbing domain name), and then Safari, who’s share has disturbingly fallen since we last checked in spite of growing in the Internet as a whole. A mystery.

Browser comparison

Safari 4 just came out of beta. I gave it a try at my work computer (a Windows XP machine) just to go back to Chrome shortly after. Now I’m back with Safari. The main reason? Text rendering. See, in Safari you can configure the browser to render its text like Mac OS X does. In my opinion, text looks a lot better in Mac OS X than it does in Windows. Sure, it’s a matter of taste; my excellent taste versus other people’s terrible taste.

To illustrate my point, I took a screenshot of the Facebook homepage. Why? Because it shows text in the English, Hebrew, and Arabic alphabet. You’ll see how Safari’s text looks much better. From left to right: Apple Safari 4, Google Chrome 2.0, Mozilla Firefox 3.0,and MS Internet Explorer 7.0:

Web browser comparison on Windows XP: Safari 4, Google Chrome 2.0, Mozilla Firefox 3.0, and MS Internet Explorer 7.0 (click to zoom)

What do you think? Which one do you like better?


Which web browser do you like the most?
View Results

Safari 4 beta


The good people at Apple released Safari 4 beta yesterday. For those not in the know, Safari is Apple‘s web browser. According to the traffic analysis for The MKX® (more on that sometime next month), a large amount of readers are still using Internet Explorer.

At home, I’ve been using Safari for years. Before that I used Camino. At work, I had been using Firefox, but switched to Google Chrome a few months ago and liked it very much. Now I’m giving the new Safari 4 a spin both at home and at work. Call me a browser slut if you’d like, I’ve been known to use iCab and the now free Omniweb in the past, and even IE for Mac back in the Mac OS 8 days.

I like it so far. For example, on Windows I can make the fonts look like they do on the Mac: much better – but perhaps a personal preference… from someone with better taste. I also like the new tabs (heavily borrowed from Chrome) and the fact that it will sync my bookmarks with my home computers and iPhone through my MobileMe account.

You can download it and test it here.

MobileMe does not like Chrome (updated)

MobileMe + Chrome

Every year I struggle with the decision of whether to renew MobileMe (formerly .Mac, formerly iTools) or not. This year, for the first time, it’s a no brainer: The family pack covers myself, my two brothers, and my parents for a total of 8 Macs and 4 iPhones.

So I’ll pay. But it won’t be all happiness: I’ve been using Google’s new and excellent browser Chrome at work for months now. It’s stable, lightweight, simple, and fast. All of a sudden, MobileMe stopped working on Chrome. There is an interesting discussion on the topic at Apple’s Support Discussions. In summary, MobileMe started doing a browser check and it breaks if Chrome is the browser. If you fake the user-agent string, MobileMe works just fine.

C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –user-agent=”Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_6; en-en) AppleWebKit/525.27.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.2.1 Safari/525.27.1″

This is very annoying because it proves that there is no technical reason (that anyone outside of Apple can gather) for MobileMe not working on Chrome. A big part of MobileMe is the “Cloud” part: You *should* be able to access it from any standards compliant browser. A big problem if it doesn’t work, especially for paid for service!

We will see how this pans out.

Update 1/13/2009: The shortcut above did not work for me, but I saw this today here and it did the job: MobileMe works in Google Chrome. Too bad you have to fake Google Chome’s identity. Instructions: create a shortcut to Google Chrome, right click on it and select Properties. Modify the target string to look like the one below, but substitute “mkirsch” with your user name. Hopefully it works for you as well.

“C:\Documents and Settings\mkirsch\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe”  –user-agent=”Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1 Safari/525.19″

Update 1/13/2009: Looks like it’s fixed! Today I noticed that if you go to http://me.com in Google Chrome, you are shown the “Unsupported browser” screen. You can choose to ignore it and you are taken to full MobileMe. Just in time for my renewal :).