19 May 2011

Making Windows XP Cutting Edge with HTML5

By far, the most used application on the PC is now the web browser. It is the job of the web browser to make the web a safe place, and to show websites to their maximum potential. HTML5 is the latest standard that cutting edge websites use so you better be using a browser that supports it. Fortunately, there are plenty out there, although Microsoft's Internet Explorer is not one of them. Read on for how to upgrade.

So what are the alternatives to Microsoft Internet Explorer? Well there are four major ones, here is a quick summary. They are all free to download and use.

Browser Developer Notes
Chrome Google Development is mostly open source and it uses the WebKit browser engine.
Firefox Mozilla An open source project, somewhat descended from Netscape.
Opera Opera This is a closed source browser, popular in parts of Europe.
Safari Apple Also uses the WebKit engine. Same browser that is used in Mac OS X.

Over here at Recompute about half of us are using Firefox, the other half use Chrome. One of the best features of Chrome is the process-per-tab model. This means if you have a few webpages open in different tabs, and one of them crashes, then it won't take down the whole browser, only that tab.

So go ahead and download one, or all, of them and give them a try. If you are running Windows XP you will be amazed at how quickly and reliably modern websites and web applications render on your computer.