Internet Explorer Has Fewer Software Bugs Than Firefox, Chrome - InformationWeek

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12/11/2008
06:19 PM
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Internet Explorer Has Fewer Software Bugs Than Firefox, Chrome

The testers found 168 bugs in IE, 9% of which were deemed to be "showstoppers."

With Google Chrome released from beta, which Web browser is safest for your enterprise?

Online software testers compared Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, Google Chrome Beta 3, and Mozilla Firefox 3.1 Beta 1, and though they found the fewest bugs in Internet Explorer, they liked Firefox better.

During the course of the bug-hunting contest, coordinated by online software testing service uTest, the 356 testers who played with Internet Explorer found 168 bugs, 9% of which were deemed to be "showstoppers."

The 514 testers who evaluated Firefox found 207 bugs, 24% of which were characterized as "showstoppers."

And the 461 testers who evaluated Chrome spotted 297 bugs, 12% of which were "showstoppers."

UTest defines "showstoppers" as bugs that require immediate attention. It's unclear why this would be the case, however, given that the company also asserts that none of the nearly 700 bugs found pose a security threat. If indeed that's the case, one might classify the bugs as urgent aesthetic anomalies, since many of them have to with what many would consider relatively trivial typographical and layout issues.

The uTest findings raise a question: Why didn't the testers find more than 297 bugs in Chrome, given that Google's open source browser project maintains an open list that currently shows well over 2,000 open issues?

Despite Internet Explorer's lower bug count and "showstopper" count, Microsoft's browser wasn't the most beloved by uTest's testers.

Eighty-seven percent of those testing Internet Explorer rated the browser's usability as fair or good; none rated it excellent.

Among Firefox testers, 81% rated it fair or good and 16% said its usability was excellent.

Seventy-four percent of those testing Chrome said its usability was fair or good and 10% said it was excellent.

Asked which browser they preferred, 55% said Firefox, 30% said Internet Explorer, and 6% said Chrome.

All of this is rendered academic, however, by the recent release of Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 and Chrome 1.0.

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