What is a browser?

This is something I come across quite often in my job, when I ask people what browser they use. A lot of people genuinely don’t know. The most recent answers I had were: “Windows?” and “I’ve got Office, is that it?”

What is a browser?

For those who’re unsure, a browser — or a Web browser — is the program you use to view Web pages.

It’s likely what you’re using right now to read this blog (apart from you geeks using an RSS feed reader … but that’s a whole other ballpark of worms that I’m not going to get into right now!).

Right now, why not go to the Help option on your toolbar and click on the About option. That’ll tell you the browser that you’re using (or whatever other application you’re reading this from!).

Mine says that I’m using Mozilla Firefox 3.5. Go me!

Browser icons
Image from Webappers

Most people using Windows will have some version of Microsoft Internet Explorer installed by default; but not after October if you buy a new PC with Windows 7 installed. But there are loads of other ‘flavours’ of browser:

Each browser claims to do things better than the next: load pages quicker, run code faster, adhere to Web standards better. I certainly recommend you check out some of those other browsers. Why not start with those 4 above?