Firefox 2.0 or IE7?

I was going to try out both IE7 (Robert Scoble says it just came out) and the Firefox 2.0 release candidate. You know, a little compare and contrast piece. Then I backed out of trying IE7. :) I’ve talked to two friends recently who tried it and had to uninstall it shortly afterwards, and Danny’s experience scared the bejeezus out of me.

But I tried out Firefox 2.0 (release candidate 2) last week, and here’s what I found.
- FF2.0 will automatically run spell correct for you in the text boxes of web forms. On one hand, it’s a little annoying at first to see red underlines under stuff (I’m a good speller, so all my suggestions were for real words like “webspam”). ;) On the other hand, it’s easy to right-click and add a word to the dictionary, so if you have a single computer then in a few days most of your weird words will be added. On the third-hand, if you have multiple computers, I hate the idea of adding a word to my home computer’s dictionary, my laptop’s dictionary, and my work computer’s dictionary. Let’s hope that Google Browser Sync or some other extension gives you a way to sync dictionaries on different computers. Oh, and by the way: Google Browser Sync seems to work great with FF2.0. I haven’t had any problems keeping bookmarks in sync between 1.5 branch versions and the 2.0 version.
- The first time a new window popped up (e.g. manage bookmarks or manage search engines), Firefox would hang for 3-4 seconds. It never paused after that first time though. Maybe it was just building some XUL as a one-time thing?
- Firefox2.0 is better on memory leaks than the 1.5 branch, at least for the sites I visited. You’re still looking at 100MB or so if you open a bunch of tabs, but I didn’t see memory usage growing and growing.
- I haven’t had any crashes yet. Again, I might be lucky, but I tend to hit some scuzzball sites as a member of Google’s webspam team.
- I think the 2.0 release candidate handles virtual private networks (VPNs) better? When I hop on the Google VPN with 1.5.0.x, I normally need to use SwitchProxy and change a proxy to kick the browser a little bit. In 2.0, things just switched over seamlessly for me.

Here are some nice things that I missed but noticed in the release notes:
- The History menu keeps a list of recently closed tabs, so you can undo a closed tab.
- If the browser crashes, Firefox will restore not only windows and tabs, but even words in a textarea box.
These two features are great, and pull in the best features of the SessionSaver extension.

This version isn’t perfect though. There are two things I’d like to change (one new issue and one longstanding one):
- They put a “close tab” button on each tab. I don’t mind that, but my muscle memory goes to the top-right to close a tab. Instead, it’s now some doohickey to show me a list of what’s in each tab. Dude, I don’t need that–I opened the tabs myself, so I don’t need some table of contents. :) I hope they’ll provide an about:config flag to give me my “X” back in the top-right corner.
- Firefox does not store favicons for urls that redirect. I *hate* that. I hit some of my bookmarks in the Personal Toolbar Folder 30-40 times a day, but the favicon never shows up beside them? I think it’s for urls that redirect. Come on, if my bookmark has url A and when I click on it I go to url B or C and there’s a favicon on the final destination url, go ahead and store it for url A. Or give me an about:config option for it.

But those are minor nuisances. Overall, version 2.0 of Firefox looks very stable to me.

Update: The answer to my close-tab preference is found in the comments. I love my commenters. :)

109 Responses to Firefox 2.0 or IE7? (Leave a comment)

  1. Lars

    The about:config for x right is:
    browser.tabs.closeButtons => 3

    Lars

  2. I just installed IE7 final release about three hours ago, and all seems great. I have been using IE 7 RC1 and the previous betas as they were being released and I have to say that I have been quite happy with the browser. I am curious to see what the final of FF will be like, though. I always need to have both installed so that I can see how certain things look like using different browsers, but my primary browser is Internet Explorer… through the years of trying alternatives… I still seem to default back to IE.

  3. I love Firefox and Firefox 2.0 RCs are awesome. Being on the Mac, I think I will never be trying out Internet Explorer 7.0. ;-)

  4. Sorry if this is a double post…(please remove if it is….) but it didn’t look like the last one went through

    I love the restore function! It has saved me a lot of time already. For example, do a quick search to “try something new”, jump back and forth between FF and the application and then BSOD because you just did something Windows didn’t like. Fire up the computer and FF remembers where you were at so you can see if there were any “frequently asked questions” on that same page that was telling you the instructions without having to remember exactly what you typed to get that page.

    And in all fairness, with the speed at which IE has been updated in the past, they are going to have to rethink their deployment strategy or get left in the dust by FF.

    Matt… who uses the X to close things any more???? Get the All-In-One Gestures and you’ll wonder how you ever browsed before without them. (I think they have a FF v2 one on their site at http://perso.orange.fr/marc.boullet/ext/extensions-en.html I promise you will never go back to any browser that doesn’t have the functionality.

  5. Ian

    browser.tabs.closeButtons = 0 is better, just a close button for the active tab.

    See: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.tabs.closeButtons

  6. I have just installed the FF 2 RC3. And I absolutely LOVE the Inline Spell Checker feature. As a support guy I spend a lot of time answering questions in our forum. Misspelled words do creep into from time to time and this new tool comes in very handy to prevent this.

    I was a little bit disappointed by the fact that some extensions are not (yet) compatible with the RC3 (namely, Search Status and HTML Validator) but I can live without them. Fortunately, Web Developer extension works ok.

    P.S.

    I was surprised to know that the word “ok” is not in the dictionary by default :)

  7. Andy

    Just installed IE7 about 1 hour ago. It took about 5 minutes total (including one reboot). No problems yet. I have been using automatic updates so I probably already had all the updates that Danny tried to choke down in one sitting.

  8. The memory issue is worse with 2.0 for me. It topped out at 400mb the other day, which is worse than I’ve ever seen in 1.5. My laptop only has 512mb, so this bringing my PC to a hault. It’s just wrong.

    I

  9. Ime surprised a company the size of Google doesn’t have a compatability lab to test this sort of thing out on.

    Or that you don’t have multiple pc’s at bt i used to have a pc just to run office and a gruntier pc to work on – it’s not just me that has to bring my own stuff to get my work done then :-)

    The memory issue may be a prob for smaller shops only 1 of our pcs here has >1 meg of memory – most are

  10. An example of a totally unbiased and balanced review, Matt.

    Had just one word been dropped from the first (and only) paragraph about IE7, the count of words for IE7/FF2 would be 60/600 respectively, instead of 61 for IE7 and 600 for FF2. Still, pretty much balanced in scale terms.

    As a Firefox user myself, I am curious, has anyone else tried IE7 without shutting off the computer *midway in the security updates installation*?
    Perhaps, that might have a less negative impact on the system after IE7 has been installed.

    Just curiosity.

    Luis

  11. Dave (Original)

    Matt, not like you is it to judge something on hear-say? There are millions of MS haters out there who will always slam anything they do.

    Working for a Tall Poppy yourself I would think you’d know that :)

  12. A couple of things:

    Why bother with the little “x” to close tabs? You can just middle-click to close the tab. Means you have more tab-width to spare if they remove the “x” (of course, assuming you have a middle mouse button).

    But, either way, I always use my left hand for shortcuts and my right hand for mouse handling. So, CTRL-W will close the tab.

    (I’m trying to get all this up on my site, just didn’t realise how much work it is to write down shortcuts in non-existant lunch hours).

  13. Hi Matt,

    I’m having some problems with the integration between Google toobar and IE7.

    For instance Pagerank doesn’t work anymore.

    Is google releasing a new update on Google Toolbar ?

    Regards

    Manuel

  14. After too many problems with the old versions of IE I just cannot bring myself to trust MS again. I will be sticking with the new version of FF once everything is hammered down.

  15. Ive never liked how FF users praise the great ‘recover from crash’ feature of FF. The very fact that so many people talk about it and recommned it just goes to show how much FF must crash. Personally, I cant even remember the last time IE crashed on me. But then I use Maxthon.

    And when it comes to closing tabs, just set up mouse actions. Hold the right mouse button, and click the left. You can close the tab without even moving the mouse. This feature and the ‘back mouse action’ must save me considerable wrist strain.

  16. Safari uses the same close button scheme and for some reason my brain likes the idea of just clicking on the tab I want to close.

    I’m sure by now though that my mind is glued to the top right, so now I’ll unlearn that.

  17. I’ve had problems with something which seemed like memory leaks in Firefox 1.5 and earlier on Linux but after my complaints in some mailing lists I’ve found out that “that is not bug, that is the feature”. I don’t remember exactly why Firefox has those issues with many open tabs on Linux, but AFAI remember it is due to some tab caching.

  18. MoreFiles

    all of the above … I have a sucessful install of ie7 tabs are nice but menu is not mobile , Firefox (almost a user) and am a very devoted Opera user / if Google completely got compliant with web standards … it would work with Opera and I’d be forever happy … as it is I gotta flip back and forth for some features between browsers but Opera is still my #1

  19. I’ve been using IE7 since March, and it works “fine.” It still has a lot of non-standard CSS rendering, but the browser itself is stable. There’s no problem with installing or uninstalling it, which I’ve done several times.

    The main annoyance with IE7 is that it replaces IE6, so you can’t have both installed at the same time. That means I need to use two computers for website QA. :-[

  20. pacificdave

    It’s funny how almost all bookmarks problems are solved with this extension:

    GMarks
    https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2888/

    I seriously can’t live with out it anymore. It makes the default bookmarking system useless. If only Google Browser Sync could sync with Google Bookmarks also, then it would be a sure winner in my eyes. :-D

  21. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Firefox. I’ve been using the beta IE for a while and it is okay but I love my Firefox. I LOVE the Noia theme in Firefox as well.

  22. ds

    anybody tried to install flash for FF2 under linux..????

  23. IE7 works. It’s slow, which is quite annoying, and certainly still experiences some of the same rendering differences that IE6 had, but I can live with it.

    But that individual tab close thing is annoying: if I’m working on a couple of projects simultaneously, want to close one out, it’s nice to be able to just sit in the upper right corner and close five or six tabs without moving the mouse.

    @geniosity: “Why bother with the little “x” to close tabs? You can just middle-click to close the tab. Means you have more tab-width to spare if they remove the “x” (of course, assuming you have a middle mouse button).”

    AND…assuming you’ve not configured the middle mouse button to do something else…;)

  24. The main annoyance with IE7 is that it replaces IE6, so you can’t have both installed at the same time. That means I need to use two computers for website QA.

    Two computers = twice the geekiness. What’s wrong with that, I ask you?

    Yeah, thought so. :D

  25. I have to say that having moved to FF (pre 2.0), with the advent of IE7 I’m back in the MS camp (even with FF 2.0). Prefer how they handle tabs, RSS Feeds, favourites – the lot! The only problem I have is that the IE version of the Web Developer Tool Bar isn’t as user friendly as the FF one.

  26. Matt Crouch

    Not that anyone really uses it. But to appease a client I tried installing Netscape Browser 8.1.2 … on 2 computers, I couldnt even get it to work after install, would just freeze up. Bah .. and its a standalone app, doesnt upgrade Netscape 7

  27. It is only recently that I have migrated to FF but apparently I am facing the same “memory” problem as many of you have for some time.

    Damir

  28. I’m surprised to hear you miss the X in the right corner so much. Don’t you mainly use keyboard commands? I’d thought you would certainly be a keyboard power user, not a ‘mouser’. :D

    I’ve been using the beta for Firefox 2 for awhile – it’s so much better than 1.5 that there is no way I could go back!

    As far as crashes go, I had them in IE too sometimes. Don’t know if it was the same magnitude as Firefox – it’s hard to compare when I usually have 10-20 tabs open in Firefox, and couldn’t do that in IE 6. Not to mention I go through more sites now that Firefox has made it easier to browse.

  29. Maurice, Matt Cutts != Google. :) I’m sure plenty of people at Google have worked with IE7. Dave (Original), it was less hearsay and more my officemate coming in and saying “I tried it for a day and I had to uninstall it. Ugh.”

    Robert, I really couldn’t say why IE7 was significantly slower for you on AJAX sites such as Google Reader and Google Maps. If it gets to be too much, you can always switch to FF. :)

    geniosity, I do weird things with my mice buttons. For example, my computer at work has a left-handed mouse and a right-handed one. I alternate if I start to feel carpal-y. So not all my middle buttons are mapped in the same way.

    BTW, if you’re running IE7, there’s a new security hole you should know about: http://secunia.com/advisories/22477/
    I don’t think that there’s a patch yet, though I’m sure there will be.

  30. To the IE7 types, a question (and Matt would probably want to know the answer to this as well, or I wouldn’t ask):

    How much RAM does it take up?

  31. Joe

    Matt I have found a site linking to me using the below ending string in the url
    Actually after the ? you can add what ever you want it will still go to your home page.

    Question– this is 2 different url’s so by all pratical purposes this is duplicate content and will get the front page of the site wacked.

    We have installed code to prevent this as best we can but my question is If Google is aware of this are there any measures that Google is putting into place to prevent this from causing issues with unprotected sies?
    http://www mattcutts com/blog/?test=test111111111111111111111111

    BTW I installed IE7 couple weeks back been fine one bug with deleting cookies though. You have to close the whole browser and reopen it up.
    Pain for us as we own a ecommerce site and it we forget to delete cookies after each order looks like we will have to redo the whole order to keep the names correct in the cart.

    Another note Google Checkout is working wondeful for us.

  32. Lew

    Matt,

    That is the first that I heard of the Google Browser sync, that is really cool. I probably would have not heard about it had I not read it here. Thanks for keeping us up to date on all the latest and greatest.

    Are there any plans to expand the Google Desktop search so that you could search across multiple computers on a home network from the one that Google Desktop search is installed on?

    Lew

  33. André

    I got tired of moving the mouse to the top of my screen everytime I want to close a tab. I came across an firefox extension called All-in-One Gestures, this enables mouse gestures in firefox. A tab can be closed by holding down right mousebutton and moving the mouse down and to the right.
    https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/12/

  34. The scary thing for Google is the search tab in the top right only going to MSN. Or maybe it’s different in the final release. I’m also on a mac and don’t want to install it on my test PC just yet. But I know that I only use my search field in Safari without ever going to the Google home page and I bet a lot of people will start doing the same with IE.

  35. Joe:

    It is a little bit tricky, but after I prodded Matt and Vanessa about the issue at SES NYC in March, the sitemap team provided me an answer. The best way to prevent duplicate content from dynamic arguments after the query is to script your robots.txt file to any arguements after the “?”.

    Matt blogged about it, but I can’t find the post.

    User-agent: Googlebot
    Allow: /*?$
    Disallow: /*?

    Here is the explanation of the Robots.txt:

    The *? will block any URL that includes a ? followed by any string, followed by a question mark, followed by any string).

    The *?$ will allow any URL that ends in a ? , followed by a string, followed by a ?, with no characters after the ?).

    These rules work together, so that the examples you list should be blocked/allowed the way you’d like with this syntax.

  36. Joe, glad that Google Checkout is working for you. I wouldn’t worry about dupe issues like that. Another example is adding fragments, e.g. “#stufflikethis” to the end of the url. That happens with lots of websites, and I believe Google accounts for that well and it shouldn’t cause any dupe problems.

    Lew, I haven’t heard of that; I tend to use Google Desktop Search (GDS) only on my laptop, so I haven’t worried about it with multiple computers yet.

  37. Matt,

    I just read your blog and upgraded. HUGE MISTAKE! This is a defining moment in web browsers. This is as big as the YAHOO VS GOOGLE. Now let me get back on topic.
    I’ve absolutely hated the Firefox look and feel since its start. IE has always been my little home. I do not like venturing out and trying new things. While change is good. Change is hard. I had the hardest time switching from Yahoo to Google for my primary search engine but I did it because yahoo started sucking so badly it wasn’t bearable. But yahoo extremely SCREWED it up. This is exactly one of the moments. As of today. I am no longer an Internet Explorer user. I don’t know what Microsoft was thinking. This was my primary reason not to switch to Linux. I had a unnatural love for IE and that is now gone. Yahoo/Microsoft you had pure gold. You screwed up. If this is your “keeping up with the times” You need to get out of your rascal scooter. One can obviously see the dominating companies in this business.

    This is the best PR Firefox could have ever gotten.

    Dade

  38. OK Matt,

    will say we don’t need IE 7.0 :D

    I didn’t test the beta version because I like to continue with the seamonkey project since thunderbird is a very buggy e-mail client. On the other site there are so much useful extensions for FF that a decision is not easy. But it looks to me that the latest mozilla browser has a lot of features that extensions are not so important any more ;)

  39. UrAWimp

    What a PUSS… you backed out of installing a released, highly pubilcised beta, product because some friends couldn’t install IE7 right? So what ur saying is that the 90% of computer users who will have this thing upgraded automatically are going to all suffer a horrible experience and want to uninstall it asap?

    Don’t be a puss and let other anti-ms guys persuade you to forgo a head to head of browsers. Then again you already are a puss for not doing it in the first place. Oh well, the way I see it – Google is the next Microsoft (if you thought MS was horrible and going to steal your first bourne…. then be even more scared of what Google is planning.)

    Just my humble opinion though :)

  40. Mike Seiler

    “If the browser crashes, Firefox will restore not only windows and tabs, but even words in a textarea box.”

    Yes, that was a pleasant surprise!

    So far, I’m happy with v2 and haven’t had a single freeze-up… yet–which was happening too often with 1.5.

    As far as tabs go, I’ve always like the Tab Mix Plus extension. I like my tabs at the bottom, with the single close tab X, as well as an X on the active tab. I don’t like X’s on all tabs, but the active tab X is nice when you get too many open tabs and want to click threw them and clean things up a little. I also like to have it set to multi-rows… which I currently have 3 of! ;)

    I found that most extensions I use had 2.x updates available–but they weren’t automatic (or approved for upload), so I had to go to each author’s site and look around.

    These are the ones that updated (or worked as is): Adblock, Filterset.G, Adsense Notifier, All-in-one Sidebar, Colorzilla, Com Inspector, DownThemAll!, Forecastfox Enhanced, Gmail Manager, Google Toolbar, IE Tab, Infolister, Measureit, Mouse Gestures, Sage, Tab Mix Plus and Web Developer.

    And these ones still seem to be a problem, though I haven’t re-checked in a few days: Azoogle Toolbar, del.icio.us, Download Manager, FasterFox, Live HTTP Headers, Resize Search Box

  41. BillyS

    Matt -

    Do yourself a favor and give Opera a try for a bit. You cannot get all the cool ad ons that you can with Firefox, but it is one smoking fast browser.

  42. kumar

    I tried IE7 and am not very satisfied.
    But matt, if you could please do or ask someone to do something about making it more friendly for blind users, or people on screen readers, like “jaws” it would be a highly appreciated help.

    Secondly, I also just find a very sneaky spam in google results coming up at 1 position for their target words. It’s a new show up in results.
    Here’s the site:
    cheridesigns.com/templates.html
    This person has completely managed to prevent someone from selecting the text on his website, Because he has filled his footer with a lot, and a lot of words like free, html, templates and similar which he is going for.

    He made it to 1 position in google search for not one but many different keywords.

    I was able to read these words because am on a screen reader and it reads, no matter if it’s visible or hidden.
    Suspected spam because there were just words, not sentences. Then took a look at google cache and most of them were highlighted, depending on the search term.

    Can you take care?
    Thanks.

  43. kumar

    Oh, by the way, when I said “make it more friendly for screen readers”, I meant firefox, not IE…
    You already understood that anyway…

  44. sdfh

    It’s no surprise that a Google employee reviews Firefox 2.0 and says barely even 2 sentences about IE7, which is the news release. Not even installing it to try it out.

    Of course, we don’t blame you Matt. After all, part of your paycheck comes from Mozilla.

  45. Shodemofi

    I love firefox 2…..I would never consider using IE ever again

  46. IE7? is that released for linux?

  47. rputran

    I have used Firefox for a long while now but I wanted to check out IE7 and so got hold of the beta version. And liked it. Now I have completely stopped using Firefix and exclusively use IE7. Everything works nicely. Just two grouses. Horribly placed command bar – I wish they would make this moveable. And is miss the in-line Ctrl-F of Firefox. I have checked out Firefox 2.0 and am not feeling compelled to change back. Lets see over time..

  48. On a side note, why do people always say Firefox has a memory leak? I thought it was (finally) understand that Firefox’s “quick back and forward buttons” was what caused memory usage to be relatively high. It caches pages you’ve visited in memory so that you can go back and forth much quicker than you can in IE.

  49. Ultravires

    I can’t actually believe you didn’t instal IE7 and give it a chance because some of idiots reviews saying they had so and so trouble, don’t be a sheep and believe what ppl say, Instal the program try it out for yourself and than give an honest answer and as for me, i have both IE7 and FF 2.0 installed and i think they are both great, IE7 has come along way compared to IE6.

  50. Dave (Original)

    RE: “I tried it for a day and I had to uninstall it. Ugh.”
    ========================================

    Ok, so not hear-say as 1st written. However, why do so many assume MS is the one at fault? Who’s to say it’s not something else on the users PC that hasn’t been programmed correctly? Also, let’s face it, anyone who chooses to intall a brand new version of any software is really only live BETA testing for the developers.

    Another pet peeve is all the so called “experts” suggesting to NOT install MS updates, without pointing out the *very real (and often far worse) downside. Then SCREAM that MS products are not secure. Go figure!

    Trust me, when/if MS is knocked from its perch, the succesor WILL be the target of all the viruses, rants etc.

    Firefox vs Internet Explorer. Totally dependent on the users needs and wants IMO. I have both, but use IE almost exclusively as the vast majority to my site use it.

  51. I have IE7, FF2.0 RC3, and FF portable (1.5.0.7) and I am stuck with FF portable 1.5.0.7 …..

  52. Sean

    Why not use opera it is the ultimate browser, you dont have memory leaks, less vulnerabilities than both browsers talked about and it is ultra fast, so why not use it?

  53. I agree on the tab close button. Really annoying!

  54. rob

    >BTW, if you’re running IE7, there’s a new security hole you should know about:

    Applies to IE6 too. :(

    The current ‘fix’ sucks, as to do so, disables practically every useful feature of every site out there!

    Amazing. Breathtaking even.

    wanders off and changes file associations..

  55. Emil Hesslow

    A part solution to the favicon problem would be use something like Favicon Picker 2. Which lets you pick the favicon on your own.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/3176/

  56. You know, ever since the last version of IE I used was buggy I never went back after finding FF. For some reason not once have I had FF say it needs to shut down for any particular reason whereas IE always did after a while, no matter what version it was.

    This I can not understand. Microsoft, one of the wealthiest corporations on this earth can not get it right when it comes to browsers. Yet, Firefox by Mozilla gets it right without even trying. Who can explain this?

  57. Exactly, shares the same sentiment. Firefox 2 is rather stable. Also, I have just fully installed IE 7, and will try that out to see if this release candidate is going to be any better than past betas.

  58. Hopefully, the Tab Clicking Options extension will be updated for Fx2 soon. I have mine set to close tab on double click (no need to zero in on the “x”, wherever it may be.)

  59. I’ve tried to use some betha version of IE7 – but is was all suxx.

  60. “…why do so many assume MS is the one at fault? Who’s to say it’s not something else on the users PC that hasn’t been programmed correctly?”

    I’ve installed IE7 on a clean install of XP Pro SP2 (no other software whatsoever) and had problems. That’s why I personally assume MS is the one at fault ;-)

    “anyone who chooses to intall a brand new version of any software is really only live BETA testing for the developers”

    I, and many others, have been running beta versions of IE7 for nearly a year now, and have been posting and reviewing bugs on their apology for a bug-tracking system. Large numbers of reported bugs have been dismissed as “By design” or “Won’t fix” over the last couple of months. When challenged about this, the MS IE team have explained that “By design” means that they never intended to fix that bug (usually a bug that was already present in IE 6) and therefore it isn’t a bug, and “Won’t fix” means they are aware of the bug, agree that it’s a bug but don’t feel it’s worth their while to fix it before release.

    Then, to add insult to injury, they ask us to re-submit the closed bugs for further consideration once they’ve launched, despite the fact that they closed the bugs knowing they remained unfixed.

    All of which makes one wonder why they ever asked us to beta-test and report bugs to them in the first place. And gives one another reason to believe MS is at fault.

  61. Matt-
    I really appreciate your posting on subjects like this- because we can learn so much from the comments.
    When I installed FF final candidate release- none of my extensions worked. Had to find a nifty tool called: Nightly Tester Tools: http://users.blueprintit.co.uk/~dave/web/firefox/nightly
    to allow extensions to work.
    My loss of Sage almost had me crying – until I found the Tester tool.
    One thing I haven’t been sure of- is do I still need the Autofill extension with Firefox 2- it seems to want to always suggest something to fill in- even in the Google search box in the tool bar- need to do more research on it.
    Although some people are complaining about not being able to run IE6 and IE7 on a machine- as a lame developer- I can only tell you that if all of IE6 went away- it would make my day. It’s implementation of “web standards” was so non-standard that it has made every developers life hell. Sure, MS has 85% or so of the market- but unfortunately, from an accessibility standard- and a usability standard- IE6 had serious problems.
    The best move would be to force everyone to the new version- and leave the out modeled jalopy go away.
    RSS is too important in the war on spam to be left out of a browsing environment.

  62. spamhound

    I installed IE7 Yesterday and had no problems. I really like the look and feel and the tabbed browsing is pretty darn cool!!

    Having all kinds of firewalls and security sofware on my system that prevent most of the security problems with IE, I don’t worry about it.

    I’m quite sure Mozilla and the others have security issues as well but they just are not in the spot light.

    Every body hates on Microsoft but I really like it for personal computing. For running my servers, I use Linux though.

  63. Opera already has the: “The History menu” “will restore — —- windows and tabs” and a session saver / manager

    I use Opera and it’s working great for me, doesn’t use much memory and is super fast + has NO major security holes like firefox and ie.

  64. I like the FireFox, and one fo its new feature “recently history” just like another explorer “MyIE”.

  65. I love Firefox. I think the spell checker will be great. My English is not great, so i think it will help me a lot.

    When is the official release of the ff 2.0?

  66. Dave,

    Not all of the experts and IT-types make those claims. There are quite a few people in the industry who very quietly keep users on IE for a number of reasons:

    1) Certain portals are built for IE (e.g. Primus’ TalkBroadband portal);

    2) Less RAM usage (although that one may change with 7, I don’t know);

    3) A product that is supported by a professional development team vs. a team primarily composed of volunteers;

    4) As one of my friends in the industry puts it, “how good can a browser really BE if they have to pay people $1.00 a download to give them link cred?”

    5) The security issue that comes from open source software in general (i.e. open source is available to everyone, including those with malicious intentions). As far as I’m concerned, this is a standalone argument against open source, and the primary reason I’ve continued not to use it That, and a number of open source applications and products are coded by a bunch of people with their heads up their asses doing things in the archaic manner taught to them by the education system, but that’s another rant for another day.

    Personally, I think in IE7 from what I’ve seen of it, Microsoft may have made a crucial mistake…they tried to please the developers first. I’m not sure if most users will appreciate any of the new features, assuming they even find them. I just hope I don’t have to switch to FF because IE is too close to it…I never did like the browser, or the logo (that fox looks like it’s doing something sexual to me.)

  67. VJ

    I like IE7, but the moving around of buttons (home page on the right for example) have made it annoying to use. If I want to refesh a page the button is on the right hand side of the address bar, but then if I want to go back one page, then the cursor has to travel to the other side of the screen. This is just bad design.

    Another thing that bugs me is that IE7 still has problems rendering CSS properly.

    I really did try to warm up to IE7, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  68. Travis

    I am always disappointed when I see these comparisons and Opera is left out. I like Firefox a lot, but I believe Opera is a superior browser.

  69. It’s amazing how that little favicon.ico thing is such a simple little image, yet it causes so much trouble all the time, why is that?

  70. What makes you think that they are the only two decent browsers available?
    I will stick to Opera ( http://www.better-browser.com or http://www.opera.com ).
    Offcourse Google is still trying its best to deter people from using opera ( block opera eg. docs.google.com unfairly ).

    Opera still beats ie7 and fx interms of features. Many of the new features in Fx ( especially those related to improvements in tabbed browsing ), are already present in Opera.

  71. Now this is interesting. I installed 2.0 over my previous version (1.5.0.7). After deciding there were some extensions I just couldn’t live without, I reinstalled 1.5.0.7. I’ve got everything back–plus the spellcheck feature, which I like, is still functioning. Hey, works for me…

  72. Jacob

    Your post is great, but I really want everyone to know that the 1.5 Firefox “memory leak” issue is NOT even an issue. It’s a feature. Firefox caches every page you visit to memory. There are simple ways of turning this off.

    Please stop spreading the myth of the Firefox 1.5 memory issue. Thanks. :P

  73. Offcourse Google is still trying its best to deter people from using opera ( block opera eg. docs.google.com unfairly ).

    Why would they?

    As far as why there are only two decent browsers available, I don’t think that’s what Matt was referring to. He was merely referring to major version updates to two major browsers and which was better in that context.

  74. Why would they?

    How am I supposed to know that ?
    Identify as Opera and G!chat and avatars for gmail wont work, as gmail doesnt present that interface to Opera. Mask Opera’s id as Mozilla, and lo everything works fine.
    Again try to open docs.google.com in opera and you are told that browser is unsupported.
    http://docs.google.com/?action=unsupported_browser

    Again mask as Mozilla or use http://docs.google.com/?&browserok=true and it works perfectly.

    Give me a valid reason why google should do that. And its not just google, its the same with yahoo and microsoft ( Opera had once sued microsoft and got a few milllion $$ in an out of court settlement ).

  75. Works for me. Had to turn off that anoying clear type stuff though.

  76. I installed IE7 successfully this week on one of our QA computers; our sites are hosed by CSS rendering that works fine with FF, IE6, Opera, Safari and so on. What part of this is so hard?

    Thanks for the review of FF 2.0. Now I won’t have to use the Googlebar spellchecker, which is awesome … but not integrated.

    Tom

  77. Hi,

    Ever considered Opera? I mean, I can hardly see why not everyone should use it. It’s a great browser, it has all the features you’ll ever need built right in.

  78. You got me, David.

    Hey, I saw that Googler Reader now supports Opera, so that’s progress, Opera fans. :)

  79. I don’t like using IE at all. Apart from the fact that, as a designer, it displays web pages WRONGLY, i hate that i can’t uninstall it.

    I find Microsoft very rude.

    Jomo

  80. I use ff1.5.0.7… and opera 9.1, opera is getting better and better. By the way.. firefox2.0 final is released

    Rob

  81. I take your point on the position of the close tab button, but after using the browser for a few days now, I like the ability to close tabs I’m not currently in.

  82. “Ive never liked how FF users praise the great ‘recover from crash’ feature of FF. The very fact that so many people talk about it and recommned it just goes to show how much FF must crash.” (shane)

    Shane, in most cases it’s Windows that crashes, bringing everything else down with it. The session saver is also handy for times when power is unexpectedly lost.

  83. I agree with the tab table of contents issue. FF2 is really an amazing browser, and I become more impressed each day. The only think that I have an issue with is the item Matt said.

    Mozilla / Firefox Rocks!

  84. How am I supposed to know that ?

    You’re the one that made the statement, that’s how. You can’t go saying things like that without some form of backup. That’s called talking out of your ass.

    I’m neither an Opera fan nor am I a fan of any of the Google services you mentioned, so the beauty of what I’m about to say is that it’s completely objective. As someone looking at it objectively, I find what you’re saying a bit hard to believe. It just seems like another unsubstantiated rant from someone with either partial or no information to back it up.

    In other words, I don’t have a problem with the statement…I have a problem with the lack of supporting evidence other than what appears to be a “he said/she said/I said” argument.

  85. Matt,

    Gotta say I enjoyed the laugher reading UrAWimp’s comments above. Thanks for the laugh and thanks for leaving the post and not considering signal-to-noise-ratio-elimnation-fodder.

    On that note, sorry the other day that I posted without following your guidelines and asked for specific help on my site and help eliminating my black hat competitors.

    Please delete this if what I say next does not contribute to your blog…

    On the topic of IE7 versus FF2 I recently heard that MS is going to force feed it to everyone through Windows Update. I find that shocking and hard to believe, but then I already know I am naive because every one of my competitors is kicking my butt in search with black hat tactics and getting away with it.

    Anyhow, being the marketing guy that I am I sadly realize that IE will continue to dominate for no other reason than 1) it will ultimately be force fed 2) people are sheep and 3) folks like myself and every small business person MUST use it to make sure the users of their site are having a proper user experience. IE’s success is foretold in the circularity of site owners using it to make site users experience happy. In today’s world huge numbers of people are site owners…!

    Anyhow, sorry agan Matt. I’ll play by the rules…And, I’ll keep my white hat on…but rewarding black hats sure makes it hard to sit still. -hlvis

  86. backup. That’s called talking out of your ass.

    I’m neither an Opera fan nor am I a fan of any of the Google services you mentioned, so the beauty of what I’m about to say is that it’s completely objective. As someone looking at it objectively, I find what you’re saying a bit hard to believe. It just seems like another unsubstantiated rant from someone with either partial or no information to back it up.

    In other words, I don’t have a problem with the statement…I have a problem with the lack of supporting evidence other than what appears to be a “he said/she said/I said” argument.

    Ok, you yourself tell me how would you feel if one website you frequently use blocked the browser you are using. Google blocked opera in the past and is still doing the same for Google Docs and Gmail (it doesnt give Enhanced version with Chat etc to Opera). This is in spite of the fact that Opera is capable of rendering those pages (if i mask as mozilla the pages load properly). if you knew to read you would have got the point. This is the third time I am repeating it anyway. Obviously making sure that you block a browser from a popular webpage is equivalent to discouraging people from using that browser.

  87. I know how to read, and I don’t appreciate the implication there.

    I just don’t see it as anything other than one person complaining. Is this publicly documented? Are there other people complaining about the same thing? This is the first I’ve personally heard of any of it, and quite frankly you haven’t offered anything NEW. You’ve just recycled your line over and over again, and one person’s opinion just doesn’t count in the big picture (no matter who you are or who you think you are.)

    Screenshots…other people saying the same thing…the workaround…these are things that constitute PROOF, not just a series of random left-field statements that may or may not be true. Obviously if you want the problem fixed (assuming it actually is one and not just a misconfigured browser/bad install/something else), you’ll need to go further than what you have, that’s all.

    Anyone that has ever performed any kind of software fixes on someone else’s computer will tell you that 99 times out of 100, a complaint just like yours is caused by some misconfiguration (bad install, add-on feature, feature that should be disabled but isn’t, etc.) That’s why you need to show that your setup isn’t the one responsible before you can go accusing others of bugs.

    This isn’t saying that Google isn’t responsible. It’s just saying that you need to show that you aren’t before you can say someone else is.

  88. Lol, that just shows how ill informed you are. I remember about 6 months back it (gmail blocking opera) made to digg front page.
    And why dont you test it for yourself?
    Its quite easy. Install Opera, open mail.google.com and docs.google.com then mask as mozilla (from site pref) and then open those pages again.

    You seem to have no clue about these things.
    As far as getting the problem fixed is concerned, if a company like Opera Soft, hasnt managed to do it you really think 1 person can do it. I dont believe that Google doesnt know about it. As after Ie,Fx,Safari opera is the most used browser.

    Also, its not my opinion (for Gods sake), its fact, and can be checked out by anyone.

    Btw, its not just google that does it, yahoo also recently did it with their new beta page (fixed now, see http://operawatch.com/news/2006/05/yahoo-pulls-google-move-new-yahoo-site-blocks-opera-browser.html , btw that article says yahoo pulls google moove and google nightmare :P ). MS also does it. Infact Opera had sued them earlier.

  89. It’s not a question of being informed or uninformed. It’s a question of understanding the difference between fact and opinion.

    And asking me to install a piece of software for the sole purpose of proving you right or wrong when I have no other reason to do so is completely ridiculous. “Here, I’m right, and to prove it, you go do this, this, and this.” Why would I? I’ve used Opera before, and I disliked it. Why would I reinstall it for a singular purpose within which I gain absolutely nothing? Dumb, dumb, d-u-m-b, dumb.

    An article making the Digg front page (assuming it did…I don’t pay all that much attention to Digg since most things on it are useless and misguided at best) doesn’t establish anything either. It’s “an article”.

    Here’s another article talking about how much the Internet sucks…

    http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/life/article.jsp?content=20061030_135406_135406

    It’s an article, so it has to be true by your logic. Never mind the obvious bias and complete lack of research performed.

    Posting an article that is over 5 months old from a source that would be prone to bias based on the very topic of the site doesn’t establish anything either.

    If I were someone within Google, I would be in no way prepared to do any further investigation into your claim. It comes from one person who clearly doesn’t know the difference between fact and opinion and will likely say absolutely nothing to change that. “I remember an article…can’t find it, won’t post it, but it made the Digg front page apparently.” “It’s a fact, and to prove it, redo my work.”

    You’re not going to get anywhere with this the way you’re going about it. But since you’re not going to understand that, feel free to come up with some other heresay or conjectural evidence to back up your claim.

  90. Lol, its obvious that you wont listen/you wont understand. So I would leave it. Its a fact and not an opinion. Obviously if I post screenshot you would say the fault is with my installation. That’s why i asked you to check it out yourself. Clearly you have no clue about anything related to Opera.
    Opera Watch is the most reliable source of info for anything regarding Opera. But offcourse someone as ill informed as you wont know that.
    Anyway, I dont want to convince you either, as its obvious how capable you are.

  91. * sighs *

    You have inadvertently managed to sum up every flaw in your argument in a single sentence.

    But offcourse someone as ill informed as you wont know that.

    When you learn how to spell and read (i.e. fix the mistakes in this sentence), feel free to continue this. Maybe you’ll get someone to believe your opinion. Until then, don’t waste anyone’s time.

  92. FireFox RC3.0 looks stable, but I was hoping for some interface improvements…I must say that I was somewhat hoping for a more modern, sleaker interface – I quite liked the way pages looked in IE7 (especially the font, I just loved it), but, on the whole, I found IE7 to be way too slow compared to Firefox, not to mention all the possible security issues.

  93. That’s how I see it.

    While I divide time between Opera and Firefox {and for example OffByOne browser, Flock etc) I will always stick to Opera because>

    -it always offered most advanced an efective interface WAY before other browsers catched on. I’ve been using tabbed browsing and sessions+”auto recovery” for YEARS now with Opera, so the fuss about these “new features” in IE7 and Firefox just makes me LAUGH!

    Opera’s GUI is VERY customizable, Opera was the first to introduce ingenious Mouse Gestures…

    Wait!
    I’m not saying everyone should use Opera. Nonsense, it’s not for everybody!!!

    It is for people who want to USE the internet effectively at great comfort and speed.
    Invest those initial 60minutes to understand the concept and you’ll never look back.

  94. IE for corporations, Firefox for (pro)g(r)amers, Opera for internet USERS – That’s how I see it.

    While I divide time between Opera and Firefox {and also OffByOne browser, Flock etc) I will always stick to Opera – because in past I always got more from opera than from the others>

    Opera always offered most advanced an efective interface WAY before other browsers catched on. I’ve been using tabbed browsing and sessions+”auto recovery” for YEARS now with Opera, so the fuss about these “new features” in IE7 and Firefox just makes me LAUGH!

    Opera’s GUI is VERY customizable – you decide how you want to control it, Opera was the first to introduce ingenious Mouse Gestures… and so on.

    Wait!
    I’m not saying everyone should use Opera. Nonsense, it’s not for everybody!!!

    It is for people who want to USE the internet effectively at great comfort and speed.
    Invest those initial 60minutes to understand the concept and you’ll never look back.

  95. As a Webdesigner I use all browsers to test the sites how they are coming on each browser both on XP and Professional systems. for general surfing I love to use Netcaptor (purely based on IE) . Its tabbed browser. and very very user friendly than any other browser I use..

    Firefox is very useful to install several SEO extensions like alexa bar and PR bar etc. few extensions are only available on Firefox not on IE or any other browser.

  96. i use opera and all the things you like at firefox 2.0 are available also for opera 9.02. though, opera has some problems inrecognizing some java scripts, but i got such problems only twice since i use it

  97. I love the firefox only. You can add cutting edge helpful add on’s also, like FTP, Gmail access. Thanks, My blog, http://aiswarya-rai.blogspot.com

  98. Curtis Kline

    Say what you want about how much better IE7 is over FF, but you’re wrong. First of all, like most MS products, it’s bloated. The install file for IE7 is nearly 15mb, verses the 5mb for FF. Also, FF doesn’t make you reboot to install it. Basically, MS copied many of the features from FF to make it “competitive”. By the way, FireFox has never crashed on me, and that’s loading pages with interactive content using flash and java.

    The only complaint I have with FF is the add-on compatibility check, which renders all your installed add-ons virtually useless simply because the haven’t expanded their version numbers to include 2.0. A simple about:config change though solves that issue.

  99. lotus

    how come no one mentions what really makes FF better than I.E.7,FREE EXTENSIONS if FF can,t do it yet it will soon, or you could learn to write your own.
    the memory link well FF really should find away to do something about that but from what I understand there is away to turn this off in regedit

    the Xcontrols on tabs are very usefull if you have alot of tabs open and wan’t to selectively close afew .
    those who criticize peoples command of the english language have not understood E.E. cummings
    write as you think not. think as you write
    I think I will give opera a shot.
    butt what can I say extension,extensions, extensions

  100. Darth

    Quote: “P.S. I was surprised to know that the word “ok” is not in the dictionary by default :)”

    That’s because “ok” needs to be caps, homie. Try it, no underline. “Homie” unfortunately has a line.

  101. Matt,
    You’re amazing. I learned more from this post and the ensuing comments than I did when I went thru the FF2 install myself.

    Thanks. I feel obliged to proffer one of my favorite extensions: the highlighter. It lets you highlight lines in a Web page like you would with a printed out sheet of paper. Stellar.

  102. I installed IE7 today after reading about its predicted uptake and the possibility that IE7, by rendering CSS more accurately, was breaking designs that use specific hacks; I wanted to check a few sites.

    The install was trouble free and so far I’m impressed by the changes. I only use IE for testing purposes – I run Ubuntu and Firefox for daily work – but the most impressive aspect of IE7 seems to be that MS seem to be listening to developers and, from what I’ve read, participate in establishing standards.

    To me the argument above about browsers is misguided and becoming irrelevant. Which is not the same as saying I don’t have an opinion, I love FF, it’s just that so long as the browsers are adhering to standards and capable of running web apps the “client” doesn’t matter.

    Of course my main complaint with IE generally, related precisely to Multi-Worded Adam’s remark about the differences between IE and FF development though with the opposite emphasis, is the complacency of IE development. For a “product that is supported by a professional development team”, why is it so difficult for IE to release bug fixes amidst its myriad security updates?

  103. liu

    I never use “X” to close tabs, just use mouse geasture.

  104. IE7 s*cks bad time when it loads. I have it installed in my system but hardly open it. I use it only when I need to download something using the plugins I have installed only on IE..

  105. I am thinking of trying opera.

  106. Jason

    Firefox SUCKS. I hate the way it renders code and no, Firefox does not fully support the most important web “standards”. IE 7 is a much better browser and kicks Firefoxes ass. The only good thing about Firefox is the Add-ons, but that’s about it.

    Read about Firefox myths: http://www.firefoxmyths.com

  107. ro

    I installed Firefox for the first time yesterday. I played for about 2 hours with it.

    I uninstalled it. I use Opera 9.24.
    Why going thru all that mess setting/adding/ things when you have everything (except colored tabs) in Opera?

    Firefox works well. At least in my pc. But again…for me it is not practical.

    cheers

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