Ok, I’ve bitten the bullet and made the switch to Firefox as my default browser. Version 0.9.3 (it’s still in beta) is good enough to convince me to move away from Maxthon, the successor to MyIE2. Both of these browsers are based on Internet Explorer (but that’s got nothing to do with why I’ve switched).
For me, the biggest appeal of Firefox (and, indeed, Maxthon) is tabbed browsing. Once you’ve used a browser that opens web pages in tabs rather than new windows each time, you won’t want a browser that doesn’t have this feature. Where Firefox has an edge over Maxthon is the enormous range of extensions (add-ins) that adds functionality to the browser, as well as it’s more polished look and feel.
As I mentioned in a recent post, the latest Firefox beta is very good but I did have a number of usability issues. The most signficant were some problems using Firefox with Typepad (this blog host) to edit my blog. All resolved, not because Mozilla issued a new release but because I did a bit of troubleshooting in conjunction with Typepad support (thanks again, Kristine!). It turned out that the problems were all related to how I’d installed the latest version, without fully uninstalling the previous beta.
Firefox still has some wrinkles (it is beta software, as is Maxthon) but they’re liveable-with.
Info and download:
Where does this leave Microsoft and a new version of Internet Explorer? With all the ongoing security scares about IE, more and more people continue to make the switch to alternatives like Firefox and others such as Opera (which I have tried but don’t like too much). IE does get some security updating in Windows XP SP2, and a decent popup blocker (you get that now if you use the Google toolbar), but not enough to make you want to stick with it when there are better alternatives out there.
There’s much speculation as to when IE version 7 will appear and what will be new and improved. One feature that looks very high on users’ wish lists is… tabbed browing. See this 6 August article in InternetNews.com: What Users Want in IE Upgrade