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Does it really make a lick of difference what browser you use?

In this photo illustration Google's Chrome browser shortcut, Google Inc.'s new Web browser, is displayed next to Mozilla Firefox shortcut and Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser shortcut, on an laptop.

And all this comes on the heels of the new release of Chrome 10, the latest version of Google's increasingly popular browser.

Browsermania is busting out all over. And that's kind of weird considering browsers haven't historically been a big deal to most of the population. Sure, the hardcore power users have been finicky over what goggles they choose to employ for viewing the Internet, but mostly a browser is no big deal.

As for the latest batch, there are some differences between the big browsers. You won't be able to use IE 9 if your computer runs Windows XP or earlier, for instance. The new version of Firefox will support it just fine. But according to our guest Kartik Hosanagar of the Wharton School, the regular uses of websites and the occasional YouTube video will be roughly the same no matter what browser you use. In fact, he recommends holding off for a couple of months before you upgrade in order to let the bugs get worked out.

But why are all these browsers coming out at once? Why the push? Kartik says the browser is still the gateway to the Internet and the type of search engine it defaults to is a big deal in terms of getting your eyeballs to eventually see advertisements. There is a big push going on right now from the big tech companies like Microsoft and Google to maximize the impact of their advertisers. Yep -- follow the money.

Also in this program, a recent college graduate has invented food-bot.com. It's a website that sniffs out where on a college campus free food is being offered. He won $500 for his efforts. That can buy a lot of hors d'oeuvres.

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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