Cloud computing and company web apps have raised the profile of web browsers in business, but how on earth do you decide which browser?
For many people, a browser is just a browser, and it doesn’t need to do anything but display web pages. But on the modern web, browsers are often expected to do much more.
Users expect their browser to make it easier to blog or use Twitter, to display up-to-date information and news, to tie into corporate applications, and to be easily updated to use the latest and greatest applications and services.
In the area of extensibility, the undisputed king is Firefox. Firefox’s large and diverse add-ons community makes it possible to add nearly any kind of functionality to the browser. With the right combination of extensions, Firefox can essentially become an operating system in a browser.
IE generally has good support for any major plug-in and has a fairly decent set of add-ons and tool bars that can be used to extend the browser. In IE 8, the new Activities and Web Slices features make it possible to add integrated web content and information directly in the browser.
The other browsers typically support most of the popular plug-ins and offer some add-ons, with Chrome probably coming in last in terms of its ability to be extended by users.
For companies, the ability to extend the functionality of a browser can mean the difference between an business application that works with the browser as opposed to one that is just displayed in the browser.
||Web-App Compatibility||Standards Support||Administration Features||Extensibility|