The Golden Age of Mac browsers means we have many very good browsers from which to choose. Safari. Firefox. Chrome. That’s about 98-percent of all browser usage on the Mac. The browser that only gets about 1-percent of Mac users might be the best bargain of all.
Free. With All The Extras
The business model of browser development escapes me. Browsers, with the exception of a few special browsers for children, are free. How does the developer make any money.
Some say that Google subsidizes browser development. Every time you use Firefox or Safari for search, and a Google ad is clicked, Mozilla or Apple gets a cut of the revenue. With a few billion clicks, the money might add up to something worthwhile.
Features? The king of features is not Firefox, Safari, or Google. It’s Mozilla’s SeaMonkey, a throwback design to the Netscape era. Everything is built in.
SeaMonkey is still around. It runs the latest Firefox engine so it’s fast and stable. Like Netscape of old, SeaMonkey has what other browsers do not. It’s a browser, yes. It’s also an email app. A newsgroup app. An RSS reader. An HTML web page editor. And an IRC chat app. All five are built-in to SeaMonkey.
All that extra functionality comes with a price. SeaMonkey is free, but cluttered. There’s Bookmarks, an Address Book, and a click brings up the built-in email, HTML editor, the RSS reader, newsgroups, and chat.
Because SeaMonkey is based on Firefox, it also runs most Firefox add ons, and that means extensions galore.
If all you want is one browser that does everything, or you yearn for the good old days when Netscape ruled and Microsoft was playing catch up, SeaMonkey is it.
Maybe it’s sentimentality that makes me keep SeaMonkey on my Mac. I seldom use it. It’s seldom used by other Mac or Windows PC users (there’s even a Linux version). It’s cluttered and confusing to use (features beyond browsing and email). Yet, it exists and gets regular updates. And it’s a choice.