Comparison of web browsers explained

The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of web browsers. Please see the individual products' articles for further information.

Web browser history

Web browsers by year

See also: Mobile browser.

Historical web browsers

This table focuses on operating system (OS) and browsers of the 1990s and turn of the century. The year listed for a version is usually the year of the first official release, with an end year being end of development, project change, or relevant termination. Releases of OS and browser from the early 1990s to before 2001-2002 time frame are the current focus.

Many early browsers can be made to run on later OS (and later browsers on early OS in some cases); however, most of these situations are avoided in the table. Terms are defined below.

BrowserYearsMS 2000/XP/Vista/798/MeNT953.1IBM OS/2Mac OS X
(Intel/PPC)
Mac OS 9Mac OS 8System 7
(PPC/68k)
LinuxBSDUnix
(HP-UX,
Solaris)
Other
Years (OS)- 2000/2001 1998 1993 1995 1992 1988 2001 1999 1997 1991 '94(1.0)/'91 1993 (1990s) -
AWeb 1996-Current
Cello 1993-1994 (1.01a) (1.01a) (1.01a)
DocZilla 2003-2005 (1.0) (1.0) (1.0) (1.0) (1.0)
IBM WebExplorer 1994 (1.1h)
ICab 1998-Current (4.25) (3.03) (2.9.9) (2.9.9)
Internet Explorer 1995-Current (Win 2000 dropped as of IE7, Win XP dropped as of IE9) (6.0 SP1) (included 4.0-5.5) (6.0 SP1) (included 2.0) (5.5) (possibly included 1.0-4.0) (5.0) (5.2.3) (5.1.1) (5.1.1) (5.1.1) (5.01 SP1)
IE Mac
(IE5, Tasman)
1996-2003 (5.2.3) (5.1.7) (5.1.7) (3.0)
K-Meleon 2000-Current (Older versions will work) (Older versions will work) (Older versions will work)
Konqueror 1996-Current
Lunascape 2004-Current
MacWeb 1994-1996 (2.0)
Mosaic 1993-1997 (3.0) (2.6) (2.6) (2.6)
Mozilla
(restarted SeaMonkey)
2002-2006 (1.7.13 - Vista and 7 unsupported) (1.7.13) (1.7.13) (1.7.13) (1.7.13) (1.7.13) (1.2.1) (1.0.1) (1.7.13) (1.7.13) (1.7.13)
Mozilla Firefox 2004 - Current (3.0) (3.0) (3.0)
Netscape Navigator 9 2008 (Windows 7 unsupported
(Mac OS X v10.2)

(kernel 2.2.14)
Netscape Browser 2004-2007 (Vista and 7 unsupported)
Netscape 7
Netscape 6
2000-2004 (7.2 - Vista and 7 unsupported

XP also unsupported in Netscape 6)
(7.2) (7.2) (7.2) (7.2) (7.02) (7.02) (7.2) (7.2) (7.2)
Netscape Communicator 1997-2002 (4.8 - XP/Vista/7 unsupported) (4.8) (4.8) (4.08) (4.80) (4.80) (4.08) (4.77) (4.77)
Netscape Navigator 1994-1998 (4.08) (4.08) (4.08) 3.0.4 (4.08) (4.08) (4.08)
OmniWeb 1995-Current (4.0)
Opera 1996-Current (10.0) (3.62) (5.12) (7.54u2) (6.03)
UdiWWW 1995-1996 (1.2.000) (1.2.000) (1.2.000)
ViolaWWW 1992
WorldWideWeb 1991
BrowserYearsMS 2000/XP/Vista/798/MeNT953.1IBM OS/2Mac OS X
(Intel/PPC)
Mac OS 9Mac OS 8System 7
(PPC/68k)
LinuxBSDUnix
(HP-UX,
Solaris)
Other

General information

Basic general information about the browsers: creator, company, license, price, etc.

BrowserCreatorCost (USD)Open sourceSoftware licenseCurrent layout engine
AmayaW3C, INRIAAmaya
AOL ExplorerAmerica Online, IncTrident
AroraBenjamin C. MeyerWebKit
AvantAvant ForceBi-engine (Trident, Gecko)
CaminoThe Camino ProjectGecko
ChromiumGoogleWebKit
DilloJorge Arellano Cid, Geerken, Rota, et al.Dillo
DocZillaCiTEC (browser), MPL/GPL/LGPL (Gecko)Gecko
DoobleDooble TeamWebKit
ELinksBaudis, Fonseca, et al.built-in, based on Links
WebMarco Pesenti GrittiWebKit
FlockFlock Inc (as of 3.0)WebKit
GaleonMarco Pesenti GrittiGecko
Google ChromeGoogleWebKit
GNU IceCatGNUGecko
iCabAlexander Clauss (browser), LGPL (WebKit)WebKit (version 4+), iCab (version 1-3)
Internet ExplorerMicrosoft,
Spyglass
[1] Trident
Internet Explorer for Mac (terminated)MicrosoftTasman
K-MeleonDorian, KKO, et al.Gecko
KonquerorKDEKHTML, WebKit (optional, unstable)
LinksPatocka, et al.built-in
LunascapeLunascape Corporation (browser), ?Tri-engine (Trident, Gecko, WebKit)
LynxMontulli, Grobe, Rezac, et al.built-in
MaxthonMaxthon International LimitedWebKit, Trident
MidoriChristian Dywan, et al.WebKit
MosaicMarc Andreessen and Eric Bina, NCSAbuilt-in
MozillaMozilla FoundationGecko
Mozilla FirefoxMozilla FoundationGecko
Netscape (v.6-7)Netscape Communications Corporation, AOL (browser), MPL/GPL/LGPL (Gecko)Gecko
Netscape Browser (v.8)Mercurial Communications for AOL (browser & Trident),
MPL/GPL/LGPL (Gecko)
Gecko, Trident
Netscape Communicator (v.4)Netscape CommunicationsMosaic
Netscape Navigator (v.1-4)Netscape CommunicationsMosaic
Netscape Navigator 9Netscape Communications
(division of AOL)
(browser), MPL/GPL/LGPL (Gecko)Gecko
NetSurfThe NetSurf DevelopersNetSurf built-in
OmniWebThe Omni Group (browser), LGPL (WebKit)WebKit (version 4.5+), OmniWeb (version 1-4)
OperaOpera SoftwarePresto
Opera MobileOpera SoftwarePresto
Origyn Web BrowserSand-labsWebKit
SafariApple Inc. (browser), LGPL (WebKit)WebKit
SeaMonkeySeaMonkey CouncilGecko
ShiiraHappy Macintosh Developing TeamWebKit
SleipnirFenrir Inc. (browser & Trident),
MPL/GPL/LGPL (Gecko)
Gecko, Trident
SlimBrowserFlashPeak Inc.Trident
WorldWideWeb (Later renamed Nexus)Tim Berners-LeeNeXTSTEP built-in
w3mAkinori Ito
BrowserCreatorCost (USD)Open sourceSoftware licenseCurrent layout engine

Release history

A brief overview of the release history.

BrowserFirst public release dateFirst public release versionFirst stable release dateFirst stable release versionLatest stable release version dateLatest testing release version date
Amaya0.90.9-->
AOL Explorer1.01.1-->
Avant-->
Camino0.11.0-->
Chromium?NANA-->
Dillo0.0.00.0.0-->
DocZilla1.02.7pre1-->
ELinks-->
Web0.41.0-->
Flock0.4.91.0-->
Galeon0.60.62.0.7 none
Google Chrome0.2.149.271.0.154.36-->
iCabPreview 1.0Preview 1.0-->
Internet Explorer1.01.0--> 
Internet Explorer for Mac2.0b2.0-->
K-Meleon0.20.2-->
Konqueror-->
Links0.80.8-->
Lunascape3.03.0-->
Lynx2.0.102.0.10-->
Maxthon0.1 (as MyIE2)1.0.0250-->
Midori0.1.60.1.0-->
Mosaic1.01.0-->
Mozilla"Preview"M3-->
Mozilla Firefox0.11.0-->
Netscape6 Preview Release 16.0-->
Netscape Browser0.5.6+8.0-->
Netscape Communicator4.04.0-->
Netscape Navigator0.90.9-->
Netscape Navigator 99.0 Beta 19.0-->
NetSurf0.001.0-->
OmniWeb0.51.0-->
Opera2.1b12.1-->
Safari0.81.0-->
SeaMonkey1.0a1.0-->
Shiira0.90.9-->
Sleipnir2.00 alpha2.00-->
WorldWideWeb-->
w3m-->
BrowserFirst public release dateFirst public release versionFirst stable release dateFirst stable release versionLatest stable release version dateLatest testing release version date

Operating system support

Browsers are compiled to run on certain operating systems, without emulation. For a given browser/OS combination, browser support status can be one of six possibilities:

This list is not exhaustive, but rather reflects the most common OSs today (e.g. Netscape Navigator was also developed for OS/2 at a time when Mac OS X did not exist) but does not include the growing appliance segment (for example, the Opera web browser has gained a leading role for use in mobile phones, smartphones, the Nintendo DS and Wii, and Personal Digital Assistants, and is also used in Interactive televisions).Both the web browser and OS means most recent version, example: Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 8.

BrowserWindowsMac OS XLinuxBSDOther Unix
Amaya
AOL Explorer
Arora
Avant
Camino
Chromium
Dillo
DocZilla
Dooble
ELinks
Web
Flock
Galeon
Google Chrome
iCab
Internet Explorer<-- ...Read the notes above: "Included means that the browser comes pre-packaged as part of, or has been integrated into, the operating system.Please note that the list is not exhaustive, but rather reflects the most common OSs today". IE is included in the common Windows OS, prepackaged. Do not be pernickety. --> (5.0)
K-Meleon
Konqueror
Links
Lunascape
Lynx
Maxthon
Midori
Mozilla Firefox
NetSurf
OmniWeb
Opera
Safari
SeaMonkey
Shiira
Sleipnir
WorldWideWeb (NeXTSTEP only)
w3m
BrowserWindowsMac OS XLinuxBSDOther Unix

Browser features

Information about what common browser features are implemented natively (without third-party add-ons).

BrowserBookmark managementDownload managementPassword managingForm managingSpell checkingSearch engine toolbarPer-site security configurationPrivacy modeAuto-updater
Amaya
AOL Explorer
Arora
Avant 
Camino
Chromium
Dillo
DocZilla
Dooble
ELinks
Web
Flock 
Galeon
Google Chrome 
iCab
Internet Explorer (included in IE10)  
Internet Explorer for Mac
K-Meleon
Konqueror   
Links
Lunascape[2] [3]
Lynx 
Maxthon
Midori
Mosaic
Mozilla
Mozilla Firefox 
Netscape
Netscape Browser
Netscape Navigator
Netscape Navigator 9
NetSurf
OmniWeb

Notes and References

  1. License Terms for Internet Explorer
  2. Depending on user's choice of rendering engine
  3. Users can receive auto-notification when updates are available.