10 Most Popular and Forgotten Web Browsers
Of course we all know the most popular web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. However, do you remember Netscape or AOL? Have you ever heard of Flock? From time to time I see the question "What browser do you use?" and the answers are always the same, Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer (which is even starting to be used less).
Often coming across the question "what browser do you use" I decided to do a hub dedicated not only to the most popular browsers, but forgotten and discontinued browsers as well.
The list of browsers are alphabetical, each browser gives a brief description giving a little information about it, a release date, operating system (OS) it works with and link to download the latest version.
1. AOL Explorer
Release Date: July 2005
This browser has been discontinued, but was build around Internet Explorer's Trident rendering engine. AOL signed a 7 year contract in 2003 with the creators of Internet Explorer (Microsoft) to use the layout of IE. The latest version was AOL Explorer version 1.5.
(previously Phoenix and Mozilla Firebird)
Release Date: February 2004
Download (latest version): http://www.firefox.com/
Like Internet Explorer during the 1990s, Firefox has become a household name of the new millennium. However, it had a rough start with naming issues. First they were going to call it Phoenix, however Phoenix Technologies did not wanting them to use the name. It was then changed to Mozilla Firebird, but again trademark issues came up due to the Firebird free database software project. Because of the turn of misfortunate events we now have Mozilla Firefox, and what a wonderful browser it is!
Release Date: April 2005
Flock, interesting name for a web browser , but apparently the flock migrated somewhere else as the browser was discontinued in April 2011. Flock specialized in providing social networking and Web 2.0. It started out using the Gecko engine designed by Mozilla which Firefox is based on. After version 3 came out Flock was based on Chromium and used the WebKit rendering engine. Upon discontinuation Flock support and developers suggested using Firefox or Google Chrome.
Release Date: 2010
I literally just learned about this browser as I was researching and typing this. It seems to have many features, some standard such as ad filter, tab bar and so on. However, the features that caught my attention Boss Key, which hides GreenBrowser in a hurry to keep others from seeing your surfing.
5. Google Chrome
Release Date: September 2008
Download (latest version): http://www.google.com/chrome
Google Chrome, another popular name in the web browser district. Then again when you have as much money to invest as Google and Microsoft, you can afford to make your product widely known in a short amount of time. When Chrome went public in 2008 it was available in 43 languages (now 50 languages).
For years Eric Schmidt (Google's Chief Executive) was against Google having an independent web browser as he knew the browser wars would be brutal. However, after Google co-founders hired several developers from Firefox, they built a demo of Chrome. Afterwards, Schmidt changed his views about the browser.
6. Internet Explorer
Release Date: August 1995
Download (latest version): Internet Explorer
If you have ever owned, or been on a Window's PC you have likely heard of this browser. It uses the Trident layout engine, which many browsers have since signed contracts or purchased the rights to use the Trident engine's layout such as AOL Explorer, even Firefox and Chrome are Trident based applications.
Release Date: 2010
*A reader mentioned the original release date was 2000, and was resurrected to work with all modern browsers.
Download (latest version): http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/download.php
K-Meleon is a customizable browser based on the Gecko layout engine developed by Mozilla which is also the same layout engine Firefox uses. K-meleon has a simple and elegant look to it making it easy to use and learn to use.
8. Maxthon / MyIE2
Release Date: 2002
OS: Windows, Android
Download (latest version): http://www.maxthon.com/
This browser runs off the Trident and Webkit layout engines. Maxthon was first known as MyIE2. It includes features such as tabbed browsing, page save (incase browser shuts down), customizable, and more.
9. Netscape Navigator
Release Date: October 1994
Netscape, remember that name? I remember using it a couple times way back when. It's another web browser from AOL that got lost over the years and discontinued in February 2008. Netscape 8 is based on Firefox, which makes me wonder how AOL goes wrong so much.
Release Date: 1996
Download (latest version): http://www.opera.com/
What began as a research project at Telenor is now a popular web browser. Opera's default search engine is Google which makes it that much more likable. Opera was big in the design world as it was one of the first browsers to support Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) coding. I have used this browser in the past, though Firefox is still my default I continue to have Opera on my desktop.
Questions for Readers:
- What browser(s) do you currently use, or have used in the past?
- Are there any web browsers that you think should make the list