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Firefox and Opera release updates but are eclipsed by Internet Explorer

Microsoft browser remains most popular browser
Tue Sep 02 2014, 16:04

A Firefox logo

MOZILLA AND OPERA have both updated the stable versions of their web browsers, but both remain less popular than Internet Explorer (IE). 

Mozilla has made Firefox 32 available for desktop PCs, with an Android mobile version hot on its heels. It offers mostly internal changes, with highlights including HTTP caching switched on by default and a garbage collection process. Elsewhere there are slight tweaks to the password manager and add-on manager, but nothing major.

At present, Firefox 31 remains the default download in the stable channel, however the beta version of Firefox 32 is described as final.

Opera, meanwhile, has reached version 24, which brings a little more glitz to the front end with the addition of tab previews. By hovering over an open but hidden tab, Opera will now show you what's in that tab without changing focus.

This can also be handy if you want to quickly check Facebook without switching away from what you are working on.

Elsewhere, high density screens are in for a treat as Opera will now render webpages with appropriate crispness, rather than just scaling the page.

Finally, private browsing has been given added privacy with a distinct background colour, so you can tell exactly what mischief needs to be expunged before you let anyone else near the computer.

However, this months figures from Net Applications show that IE remains the most popular browser with 58.46 percent market share. Chrome stands at 19.61 percent, Firefox is third with 15.23 percent and Opera, which is also based on the Chromium engine, trails Mac default web browser Safari with 0.96 percent of the market.

Of the Internet Explorer users, the most popular version is Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), at 21.4 percent. This reflects IE8's place as the last version to be compatible with Windows XP, which still holds a 23.89 percent share of the market.

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April and ended support for Internet Explorer 8 soon afterward, but that has motivated less than three percent to migrate since then, leading to the recent announcement of an unofficial Service Pack 4 for Windows XP. µ


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