Tested: Five Web browsers you've never heard of

If an insight into the world of browsers nobody has heard of excites you, prepare to embark on a thrilling journey through the quirky jungle of Internet underdogs

Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome -- these are the mainstream browsers you probably know and almost certainly use. But there are dozens of others, and every time we don't write about them in a feature about browsers, we're roundly booed at and berated by their devoted fans.

Now, Microsoft is planning on letting European users of Windows 7, Vista and XP choose which browser they want to use, and there could be up to ten choices. So it's time we devoted some serious attention to the most popular underdog Web browsers to see what all the fuss was about.

Here, tested and prodded, used and abused, are the five browsers with the most vocal fans on CNET UK. Of all the browsers people use to visit this site month to month, not a single one of these five accounts for even as much as 0.1 per cent market share.

If an insight into the world of browsers almost nobody has heard of excites you, prepare to embark on a thrilling journey.

The browsers

1:Shiira (Mac)
2:Arora (Windows, Mac, Linux)
3:K-Meleon (Windows)
4:Camino (Mac)
5:Opera (Windows, Mac, Linux)

For each browser we provide some specific details on how they perform technically. Two key areas are standards compliance, measured by the Acid3 test, and Javascript-rendering abilities, measured by the SunSpider Javascript benchmark.

Standards compliance ensures Web pages work correctly, regardless of what browser you use. And as more and more sites rely on Javascript to deliver advanced navigation and interfaces, a browser's ability to handle it is becoming ever more important. As such, we've benchmarked and measured the skills each browser has in these fields.

Enough chit-chat! On with the tests...

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