If you’re not using a modern browser, it’s time for a recall. (Part 2)

on June 3 | in Featured Story, Technology, User Experience, UX | by | with Comments Off on If you’re not using a modern browser, it’s time for a recall. (Part 2)

Previously in this four-part series about older browser versions: We discussed the parallels between how we choose our vehicles and how we can use the same criteria when choosing to update to modern browsers. In Part I, we looked specifically at the criteria Reliability and Security.

Now, let’s take a look at performance and advanced technology. Wow, think about cars today compared to those from just a couple of years ago: more efficient gas mileage, all-electric options, dynamic steering and braking, improved aerodynamics, heads-up displays, auto-sensing wipers, real-time weather and traffic reports, touchscreen displays, voice-controlled consoles, connectivity and a lot more. Pretty impressive and appealing, aren’t they? Well, modern browsers offer the same types of improvements and advances in technology that older browser just can’t compete with, and in many instances, don’t even support.

For example, when is the last time you waited for a webpage to load, or complained it (the internet, a site, or your browser) was too slow? Well, did you know older browsers are considerably slower than modern browsers? Even if the pages you are loading were made to load much faster using newer technologies, your older browser could be causing them to creep. For example, Internet Explorer 7 and 8 can load pages approximately five times slower than their modern counterparts. That’s five times slower, or close to half a minute for pages that should take seconds! Now, calculate that across all the pages you need to view or more importantly, actions or work you need to accomplish in a day. If a routine task in your workday required 10 minutes to complete over a few pages of an application in a modern browser, are you really content spending almost an hour instead just because your browser is slow? You could upgrade to three different modern browsers in half that time. You are less efficient and your performance is suffering, period. There is no question modern browsers are designed to perform faster, better and more efficiently, especially considering the new technology behind the pages being written for them. Just curious. When was the last time you got your car’s oil changed or replaced a filter? Any particular reason why?

What is advanced technology? Well, if your car has a touchscreen display in it, if it brakes before you are aware you need to brake or prevents you from texting while driving, you know what advanced technology is. And even if you haven’t made the leap to advanced technology in your vehicle yet, can you plug your iPhone or other device into an auxiliary jack and listen to music? I can’t even do that with my 2004 SAAB 9-3 (10 years old!). Advanced technology is what pushes us to be faster, more efficient and perform better; it’s what makes our vehicles more reliable, safer and more enjoyable to drive; it’s what makes the internet more reliable, safer and enjoyable to use, but only if we’re driving a modern browser.

Websites and web applications are being built using advanced technology to deliver you the information you need faster and more efficiently, using fewer resources on their end and yours, but the benefits are only gained when they are coupled with browsers designed to work with those newer technologies. The functionality you ask for (or even demand); the speed you require to stay ahead of the curve at work or in the loop in the social web; and the security you’re entitled to are limited by the versions of your browsers. Even your service provider’s ability to get updated functionality to you faster and more often is affected. Remember those auto-updates I mentioned earlier? Did you know most modern browsers update themselves every day and without your even realizing it, and if you notice the update it’s a simple browser close and reopen? Gone are the days of downloading and installing an entirely new browser to replace the old one every time there’s an update. I bet your car doesn’t update that way yet.

And speaking of updates, your service providers can deploy new products, functionality and features more quickly and with greater confidence when not having to concern themselves with coding and testing for outdated browser compatibility. Imagine if your car manufacturer continued developing new technologies and had to contend with making sure those improvements could be installed on every vehicle they’ve made for the last 13 years — and then supporting them all on top of that. 2015’s model may not be on the lot in the summer of 2014 anymore and those limited recalls would be filling your mailboxes a lot more often. It just doesn’t make sense, does it?

Stay tuned for Part III, in which we’ll take comfort, style and consistency into consideration when choosing a modern browser.

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