I’m launching a new browser switch site, with a bit of a twist. It’s promoting all alternative browsers, kind of like Browse Happy, but a bit more inclusive and aimed at a slightly different audience.

The idea is that a diverse browser “market”—one with three or four major browser suppliers all competing with each other—is the best way to maintain innovation and security. Anyone following the classic browser wars, the lull in IE development, and the sudden appearance of IE7 can see the difference competition makes for innovation. As for security… If someone can hit 90% of the world’s computers by hitting IE on Windows, we’re in trouble. But if they have to hit 30% each on IE, Firefox, and Opera, and even those are split among Windows, Mac and Linux, it’s a lot more effort for the bad guys.

I got the idea back in May, during some rather heated Firefox/Opera flame wars. It seemed to me that fans of the two browsers had more in common than they thought, if they’d just stop fighting each other. I worked on it during June, and launched a test version last month, asking for feedback from friends and from the Spread Firefox and My Opera communities*. It’s still not where I’d like it to be (Comic-Con, then procrastination), but after the net went crazy over Paul Thurott’s “Boycott IE” article I realized I’d better launch what I had and refine it later.

So, without further ado, I’m officially launching the Alternative Browser Alliance.

Alternative Browser Alliance

*I’ve since imported my comments from the post on Confessions of a Web Developer, my old blog at My Opera, because it was largely the same content. That’s why some of the comments here are dated earlier than this post.

10 thoughts on “The Alternative Browser Alliance

  1. Great! This looks like a useful site, and quite accurate AFAIKS.

    I don't think it is too wordy, though it might be for those a really short attention span.

    The chronology is a bit off: Opera (and Netcaptor) didn't start innovating in 2001 🙂

    In fact, I can't recall much innovation of Netcaptor apart from the tabbed browsing, which was definitely done before 2001. But I can understand why you mention it, if only to defuse Opera and Firefox fanboys.

    Addition: Opera is available for 34 euros in Europe.

  2. I really liked your site and please feel supported. I've been using Firefox since it came bundled with Linux distributions, before that I used Mozilla.

    I also have Opera installed, but Firefox's still my favourite. I can't wait to see Internet Explorer 7 (not because I like it, but because I want to see if they've already made the improvents they should've done since version 5).

    BTW, Netscape was (?) cross platform. I have Netscape 7 for Linux but can't find NS8.

  3. Thanks! Good point on the chronology. I was going for a thematic transition, but I guess it doesn’t quite fit…

    Also, thanks for the Euro price. I’d looked for it, but I guess I wasn’t looking in the right place.

  4. Am I missing something, or does that link not function? I’m getting File Not found….using IE…. The button does work, but the embedded link doesn’t….

  5. I noticed that when i change my user agent string to firefox, a big firefox banner loads in the right side.
    Opera,or IE , nothing.

  6. Actually, the Firefox banner only appears if the UA is Firefox 1 or less. It's an upgrade banner, to encourage people on older versions to move up to the current one.

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