It's up to your Web browser to make using the Internet easy and enjoyable -- it's arguably the most important piece of software you use. As the Internet becomes more integral to daily life, the browser you use is of great importance to software companies too. That's why every major browser developer is working on new versions of their product.
Fortunately, they've all released early versions of their work -- that's betas to you -- for us to poke around and play with, so we can suggest fixes and improvements that could be made before the final version is released to the general public.
The four browsers in question are Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla's open-source Firefox 3, Opera 9.5 and Apple's Safari 3 for Windows. All are free downloads and all try to offer something better than the competition.
With this furious battle for worldwide adoption, we've decided to put the most recent beta releases head-to-head to see which is looking to be the best, and why.
We're not benchmarking and we're not reviewing; we're simply using each browser as the average user would, to determine which we think is the coolest, which works best so far and which we expect to be the strongest offering to the general consumer.
So without further introduction, let the browser war begin. We'll start with Microsoft...