The browser wars are far from over, though some have gone by the wayside, but for the most part there are strong contenders you should consider to be your top choices. This is, of course, my own personal picks, but I think you will come to agree based on the sheer number of useful applications these two beauties bring to the table:

Firefox: without a doubt one of my all time favorites. Not only can load it like a Christmas tree with your own set of adornments, but you can make it blink prettily at you
because of the thousands of add-ons (“installable enhancements to the Mozilla Foundation’s projects”) available at its Christmas shop, Add-ons for Firefox. These add-ons allow you to take control of just about every aspect of the web page you visit: from ways to stop annoying ads (check Adblock Plus), to making things disappear (like my all-time favorite Nuke Anything Enhanced). These are two examples of the thousands available at their Add-on site. It’s like the iPhone app saying: there’s an app add-on for that. It is nothing short of the “make it mine” browser: configurable, stable, updated, able to be loaded on a thumb drive, and free.

Chrome: Google’s Chrome browser is swiftly making mincemeat of other browsers. It’s also quite fast, has a super clean interface, and until recently, it also comes with its own way of taming websites based on your preferences. Like Firefox, Chrome has add-ons, though they’re referred to as “extensions.” Don’t like advertising cluttering your screen? Get Adblock! See? The Chrome browser has similar applications too; thousands, actually. The “most popular” extensions on the Chrome extension page is 2,386!

There are dozens of browsers out there to fit your particular tastes, but for the casual yet discerning user, Firefox and Chrome have the technical support and framework to ensure consistent development and experimentation; they will make your browsing/searching experience that much better.

And what are these browsers (and their companies) learning about us users? One, we like to make things conform to our own unique specifications. Two, we’re picky, and the more choices we have about something the better. Three, we see the web as a highly mutable environment different, but each one of us wants to control our own little slice of web real estate, no matter what that piece looks like. Four, we like to have our say about what we like and what we don’t like. And that extends to what we use to view the web. What’s in your computer?