beta test

I probably should start out by letting everyone know that I am biased – I’ve been using FireFox for a number of years now and am pretty certain that I will be using it for many years to come.  And for those that know me, you may not be surprised at all that I’m currently using the latest beta version (as of this writing, Firefox 4.0 Beta 7, you can visit their beta site here) of the browser to enter this post.  To see a review by Matthew (on behalf of Lockernome), check out the video here.

I’m a huge fan because Firefox is extremely configurable.  I’m thinking the new features will win over many folks, and they are looking at what other browsers use (like Synch) as well as what users have developed or really want and are updating as appropriate!  I love it that FireFox is still standards-based and will support HTML 5.

But this post is not all about FireFox, I mentioned in an earlier post that Microsoft is currently in beta testing for Internet Explorer 9.  As of this writing they are also in beta release 7 (you can see their beta site here).  While (in this writer’s opinion) IE has not been accused of being standards based for many versions, they have made an effort to move more towards standards compliance, and that is a welcome move.

From the various tests and information on the site, IE will also have a decent overhaul.  Quicker, supporting more graphic options, and looking towards HTML 5 are also in their offerings, along with security enhancements.  It looks to be a nice update!

Google’s Chrome browser is in version 9 beta testing (you can find their beta site here).  While this may seem strange (since version 8 was just released in stable version to the public), it is important to keep in mind that browsers are applications.  As such, they are always in a state of development and refinement based on changes to standards, user needs and updating technology (think smart phones, pad / tablet technologies as well as updating web development / presentation applications, etc.).  Chrome has been another strong browser that you may want to install and give a try – it is a very capable application.

Opera … believe it or not, is also in beta for version 11 (you can see their beta site here).  I love the play off of Spinal Tap in their site (and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you either haven’t seen This Is Spinal Tap or you don’t remember it … and shame on you if you fit in the latter category, go watch it again).  Again, loads of promising features!

All the browsers are promising better performance (touted as speed).  They also look to have better features for us, the user community.  So the question becomes – when will you update?  Some people adopt quick, others – not so much.  If your computer can handle the software, I would encourage you to update to take advantage of the new features as well as increased performance.

If you don’t adopt and upgrade, at some point you will not be as pleased as you can be with your surfing experience.  And for developers of web sites out there – you need to test in multiple browsers to ensure your content is showing up as you intended across these different applications.

Thanks for reading, I’m looking forward to FireFox having a stable release of version 4 early in 2011.  What are you looking to update to?  Feel free to leave a comment or thought – unless you’re going to comment on why I didn’t include Safari (hey, they are at version 5, and let me know where their beta URL is and I’d be happy to – why does Steve J. make it hard?).