Robert Wenger's Computing and Tech Blog

How to Install a New Web Browser

Installing a new browser is simple.

Installing a new browser is simple.

Every version of Microsoft Windows comes with Internet Explorer (IE) installed as the default web browser. What some people don’t know is that there are other major web browsers out there, and they are in general much better.

Why is there a difference?

When website owners create their web pages, they use certain programming languages to do so. These languages have certain things they can accomplish, and these languages change over time. New things must be accomplished, and these new abilities can make old parts of the language obsolete. The people who create web browsers such as Internet Explorer must adapt to these changes and make their software show you what the website owner has specified. This code may be new code or old code depending on the age of the page.

Internet Explorer has a fairly poor track record in keeping up with these changes. In software development, change happens FAST! This means if you don’t change and adapt to the current situation, you will be left in the dust. Microsoft failed to realize that changes in web browsers were going to be important, and they shifted their focus away from Internet Explorer, assuming their product was finished. Recently, they have begun to focus more on the browser, but they are still behind and playing catch up.

For more on how IE got to this point, check out HTG Explains: Why Do So Many Geeks Hate Internet Explorer? This section in particular hits home for me:

Supporting IE is Like a Fork in the Eye for Web Devs
Here’s a sample of a day in the life of a web designer: You spend hours making sure that your page looks great, and you test it out in Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and even Opera. It looks great, awesome!

Now you open up IE and the page looks like somebody put it into a blender and hit the Whip button. Then you spend double the amount of time trying to fix it to look tolerable in IE6 and IE7, cursing loudly the entire time.

How do I switch?

Downloading a new web browser is simple. Two of the most popular browsers other than Internet Explorer are Firefox and Google Chrome. Both products are free, and which you choose is simply a matter of opinion. I personally use Chrome.

The following instructions assume you are currently using Internet Explorer to view this web page.

Installing Firefox

  1. Go to the Firefox Website.
  2. Click the green button that says (at the time of this writing) “Firefox Free Download”
  3. Click “Run”.
  4. If asked “Do you want to allow this program to make changes to your computer?” click yes.
  5. Follow the directions on the screen.

Installing Chrome

  1. Go to the Chrome Website.
  2. Click the blue button that says (at the time of this writing) “Download Chrome”
  3. Click “Accept and Install”.
  4. Follow any further instructions on the screen.

How do I use my new browser?

When these programs install, they will usually create an icon on your desktop. Minimize any open windows, and click on the icon for the browser you just installed.

For more on using your new browser, check out these pages on their websites:

Getting Started with Mozilla Firefox

Chrome Help

Out of curiosity, which browser do you use?

Which web browser do you use?

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If you have any problems with downloading a new browser, let me know. I hope to see all of my visitors using a browser other than IE soon!

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