Browser Battles—FireFox Launches 3.5

ffWhile it might be easy to wave aside upgrades in surf technology as being unconnected to the entertainment industry, it would be an over simplification and a mistake. The browser opens our window to the online world, the growing point of contact between artists and fans, plus buyers and sellers of; tickets, music files, merchandise and more.

Currently the latest statistics show Internet Explorer (66%), FireFox (22%) and Safari (8%) leading the pack in terms of marketshare. Google’s new Chrome browser, with less than a 2% share, is also attracting early attention.

“One of our biggest challenges is helping people to understand that they have a choice about their Web browser, and how big a difference that choice can make,” Firefox Director Mike Beltzner told Cnet. “Every release is an opportunity for us to bring improvements directly to our growing user base, but also help many users indirectly by putting pressure on Microsoft to improve their product as well.”

Firefox 3.5, available today (6/30) is loaded with improvements, the most noticeable of which is speed and complexity. Using a new javascript engine it named TraceMonkey, the browser can render pages faster, plus handle new file formats. It can also utilize new design options and functionality to improve platforms we use every day such as social networking and messaging.

Apple’s Safari product also just released a new updated version which accomplishes many of the same benefits found in FireFox 3.5. FireFox and Safari, the new kids on the block have steadily gained marketshare against Internet Explorer which has failed to keep pace with younger upstarts. The rebalancing of consumer preferences means that artists, labels and companies must be sure that online offerings work smoothly with all three browsers.

Browser MarketShare

Q406: IE 80%; FF 13.5%; Safari 4%

Q407: IE 77.3%; FF 15.85%; Safari 5.25%

Q209: IE 66%; FF 22%; Safari 8%

source: Hitslink Market Share

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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