While there are plenty of web developers that would love nothing more than to eliminate all but one web browser for EVERYONE to use – the truth of the matter is a single browser to use on the entirety of the internet would never work, could never work, and (honestly) should never work.
Like everything else in this world, competition drives innovation and without competition from other web browsers (even those that aren’t able to gobble up a considerable share of the market like Internet Explorer, Edge) there would be almost no incentive whatsoever for browser developers to continue to push the boundaries of what this technology is capable of and we’d see a much more stunted internet because of it.
As Steve Jobs said in a legendary interview in the middle of 2004:
“What’s the point of focusing on making the product even better when the only company you can take business away from is yourself?”
There’s a lot of truth behind that sentiment, and the internet is better off with multiple web browsers out there pushing one another further and further into the future and looking for new ways to revolutionize the world’s and humanities most revolutionary piece of technology.
Sure, a lot of the game-changing innovation for modern web browsers is coming out of the same old, same old development houses at Microsoft, Apple, and Firefox. However, open source solutions are pushing new innovations forward as well, with very talented developers that might have gone unrecognized and underappreciated otherwise creating new browsers and new add-ons that the “big boys” continue to cannibalize and gobble up – in turn making our web experience even better.
There are other reasons behind why it’s good to have real browser diversity online today, as well.
Believe it or not, not everyone is a web developer
Ask a room full of web developers whether or not they would love to see a single standard browser to streamline the efficiency of their work and every single one of them would respond positively.
Now ask a stadium full of people whether or not they are web developers and even care about whether or not to web developers can do their work more efficiently or effectively and see how many hands shoot up.
At the end of the day, consumers are using the internet – using the web browsers themselves – and they want things that are completely and totally separate from what web developers are interested in. The web thrives on diversity, customization, and “tweaking things” until they are exactly the way YOU want them, regardless of whether or not everyone else wants them that way.
By forcing everyone into the same standard, you steal that creativity from the market, and there would be considerable pushback and inevitable diversity bubbling up anyway.
Diversity connects us all through different browsers
The web is easily the most revolutionary technology ever created in human history, connecting every corner of the planet with more than 4 billion users logging in each and every single day.
Not only connecting each and every one of us to everyone else, but the internet also connects us to more information than any of us could ever hope to use effectively or efficiently. The entire history of humanity is written on the web, but the entire future of humanity is written on the web every single day as well.
Different browsers, though they can be a real headache and hassle to design and program for, make it possible for a diverse group of people all over the planet to connect, collaborate, and share with one another in a way that wasn’t ever possible before.
It’s a good thing that the browser wars are a reality!