Benchmarking Modern Web Browsers

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Executive Summary

With the introduction of the first graphical web browser Mosaic in 1993, the World Wide Web (WWW) was made accessible to the world and since then web browsers are increasingly being challenged to improve performance in terms of generating web pages on the screen and processing the client side request embedded in the web page.The success of web browsers is dependent on the user savvied performance of the browser and the choice is generally made in terms of the satisfaction rendered by the browsers mainly in terms of speed. However, the performance of a browser is not given the justified attention owing to the bottlenecks such as server load and network congestion. Although no particular browser can be said to be universally the best, this article tries to give a justified comparison of four commonly used web browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari) keeping in mind the browsing execution primarily with respect to JavaScript, rendering and AJAX performance. The results of this comparison can be used by users for browser selection, by developers for browser performance improvement, and by web service providers for better user experiences. The comparison can be taken further for a broader set of browsers and to evaluate the browser performance for real examples of Web2.0 applications to see if the user perceived performance difference exists.

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