Browser

Browser wars redux

Will the release of Firefox 3 breathe new life into the browser wars? The new release, in beta for seven months, promises faster rendering and better resource management.

The browser wars are heating up again, and Mozilla has taken the first shot in the latest round. Firefox 3, released on June 17, has a host of additions and enhancements, the most prominent being faster rendering and better resource management than its predecessor. The only apparent downside is that older operating systems (Windows ME and before, as well as any OSX version older than 10.2) are not supported, but those platforms have so little market share that it can hardly be counted as a major issue.

Firefox 3 (News.com)

Microsoft has their latest version in Beta testing, though Beta 2 will not appear for months yet and the first Beta is aimed at Web designers and developers. Firefox, on the other hand, has been in Beta for seven months and, though there are some plug-ins that have not been updated for the new versions, many developers have already released updated or Beta plug-ins for Mozilla's latest offering.

Browser War: Firefox 3 Versus IE 8 Beta (CRN)

12 must-have add-ons for Firefox 3 (Download.com)

FAQ: Installing Firefox 3 (Computerworld)

Personally, I have been impressed by Firefox since its first release. It was the first browser that gave me tabbed browsing (my favorite feature), an integrated popup blocker, and a wealth of plug-ins provided by a fanatical cadre of developers. I am quite certain that the popularity of Firefox has a lot to do with the way that Microsoft destroyed Netscape back in the day, but in my opinion, the primary reason is Mozilla's attention to detail and desire to produce the best browser out there. What is your opinion of the newest browser war?

28 comments
Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

I'm hoping 3.0 will render java based applets better. Wish me luck! I'm gonna take the plunge today

cisauditor
cisauditor

Installed it and immediately uninstalled it. The installation was not the usually very smooth process. Streaming internet radio was gone and I was back to 2.0.0.14.

candraadiputra
candraadiputra

It was the first browser that gave me tabbed browsing (my favorite feature)?? Really, I thinks opera is the first browser with tabbed browsing feature

gnabors
gnabors

I've been a Firefox fan ever since Firefox version 1. I love the tabbed browsing and all the addons. I like the fact that someone (many someones) are able to stay ahead of Microsoft. I don't like the fact that Microsoft doesn't play well with others, but then again, I guess that's the spirit of competition.

s.butera
s.butera

For me it's between Firefox 3 and Opera 9.5 I've been a fan of Firefox for some time and I love the features they give me. Opera has a nice new look, clean feel, and it's fast. My only complaint is I don't like how Opera handles RSS. I will be sticking with these 2 browsers.

troykshafer
troykshafer

personally i find using IE boring, that silly gui interface is childlike (harking back to the days of the XP and the playskool interface it defaults too). I love firefox, but i don't believe it was the first browser to use tabs. I believe that goes to Opera. I only wish Firefox would build in a check to see if pages are coded specifically for IE and use IE's rendering engine to show that page. Then i wouldn't have to switch back and forth for some of our custom apps we support. overall firefox is feature rich and well thought out. Microsoft could probably save some R&D dollars if they just quit trying. I don't think Firefox is going the way of Netscape (which i preferred to IE 4).

Andy J. Moon
Andy J. Moon

I have the Beta installed, but was entirely too busy yesterday to install the final version. Have you installed it and, if so, what do you think?

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

It didn't do shit, LOL! So what might be problem. Weird! However i can do what i need to do through IE. It must be a conspiracy.

SKDTech
SKDTech

But I recall Netscape having Tabbed browsing first. I will admit that I found Firefox before Opera and adopted Firefox immediately because it gave me back the functionalities that I preferred from Netscape so it was no surprise to me to find it was a direct descendant of the Netscape I remembered. I just did a quick perusal of Wikipedia and found no hard dates on implementation of native tabbed browsing so if someone else wants to clarify with some verifiable sources I wouldn't mind. Netscape was king until AOL got ahold of it, Now Firefox is Emperor :P

gnabors
gnabors

Incidentially, I just installed Firefox 3, and so far, I love it!

rlee
rlee

Troy - You might try the extension "IE Tab". It will allow you to use the IE rendering engine _inside_ Firefox, and you can even specify that certain pages are rendered with IE every time, so you don't even have to think about it. If you do hit a site that wants to run in IE, you can simply right click and say "View page in IE Tab". Very handy, -- Rick

skip.berry
skip.berry

Opera recently released version 9.5. Beats both IE and Firefox. Crisp, clean and fast.

Ukitin
Ukitin

Mozilla keeps on giving me update software failed pop-ups. Because of that I configured my firewall to allow any connection between my computer and whatever mozilla tries to access. Still it gave me that problem. Mozilla takes up more hard drive space compared to Opera. (25.01mb - mozilla; 5.79mb - opera) Mozilla takes a longer time to open unlike opera. Mhhmmm... Let me see... I think Opera is the best out there. Never had any problems with it, unlike mozilla(keeps on giving me headaches) But Mozilla, in all its cons it still has it's pros like its faster when loading pages. But I think Opera is faster when rendering javascript. And Opera's Dragonfly ROCKS!!! But aside from that they both are good browsers.

barcgg
barcgg

I like the new Firefox, but during beta testing I reported some websites not rendering properly. They still haven't resolved this issue, do they ignore us? If you have a Hotmail account, you still cant use the new version, though it does now take you to the 'classic' version! Compared to IE7, Firefox still take a long time to start but those points aside Firefox 3 is a damn good browser, it will give you a warning in a big red box if you attempt to visit a known website that delivers 'drive by' downloads, giving you the option to proceed or 'get me out of here'! I use Firefox most of the time now. Its good, wonder what Firefox 4 will be like!!

kgunnIT
kgunnIT

Favorite browers by far! I am a web developer and love the add-ons that are offered. Some are not available for 3.0 yet, but I am sure they will be up to speed soon. I have used firefox since 1.0 and will continue to do so. Once again, another great browser, and works right out of the box, unlike IE which needs to be tweaked. I am curious to see what IE 8 will have to offer (that Firefox doesn't have), but I don't have any high expectations in the browser.

mark.silvia
mark.silvia

Just installed it and love it already. Very clean interface and smooth operation.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

I just installed the "final" version a few minutes ago, so all my opinions are based on the beta.... Cons: 1)It seems to have a bigger memory leak then 2 did when you leave a page up for any length of time (in the background etc). 2)Several pages I have come across did not render all elements even though IE and FF2 have no problems. 3)Seems to start slower on my computer then FF2. Pros: 1)Pages do load faster then with FF2. It seems "snappier". 2)The interface is clean and effective, and stays out of my way when I'm not using it. Overall I think I will have little issue switching to FF3 from FF2. the slight browsing speed increase will be nice, and I like the new interface. by the time my various add-ons are finished for FF3 I think all my "cons" should be fixed (except maybe the "memory leak"). I would recommend it to family and friends.

spreer
spreer

I haven't install FireFox 3 (beta) but I did install the latest version of Flock. I immediately uninstalled. Talk about "busy" GUI's and a boatful of radio buttons and tabs. Defintely not a browser from the enterprise. IE 6 is boring. IE 7 is a pain in the butt configuring all the security setting. And I agree with the others, love Firefox. However, I am not famliar with Opera. I'll have to look into that.

APitchford
APitchford

That really works - thanks for the tip. I have a few sites that I have to access regularly that require Explorer, and this makes things easier. For others trying to find the extension, search for "ie". For some reason, searching "ie tab" doesn't work. Amanda

larry
larry

Downloaded 9.5. First time using it. Looks cool. Then... Downloading images. 15-30 images later it loses connection with GUI, locks up. Restart. Every time. Every time... check the forums at Opera. Oh, and a new tab opens in the browser EVERY time you download anything. New "feature". Rt-Clk 20 images, you have 20 tabs open that you have to close that you never asked for. Download an image, hit Back to the thumbnails page. Opera kindly halts your download. Open the transfer window (one of the 20) and Rt-Clk, Click Resume Transfer. E-v-e-r-y time. Downloading images... every 20 or so doesn't save into the directory you chose. It stays in cache. Solution? Re-transfer the image, which you can do from any one of 20.... I would even use IE before I used Opera. And all I did was test it with downloading images. I can't count the other major bugs and dumb design decisions, at least in this latest version that are reported in the forums. Don't take my word for it. Their community is up in arms because Opera decided to release a half-baked beta just to beat FF's release date. By the way, installed FF 3.0 with a few clicks, and it has been running doing everything, including images, without a glitch, for several hours since. Nothing but better than FF 2.0, which was great. FF is the winner. Not even close. Someday we'll hold the biggest geek world party in history when it passes IE market share.

sparkieau
sparkieau

i know that Opera have the honors in tabbed browsing as i have been using this browser since version 5, and yes it has always been a clean, customisable browser

aescada
aescada

Opera 9.5 looks and works very nice. FireFox has the extensions, but Opera do what it have much better, and not everyone needs 1000 custom behaviours in their browsers. Opera is just showing the way, as always.

JD@Tassie
JD@Tassie

How to render webpages is always a juggling act , ideally a browser should support the latest HTML/XHTML standard but often if the implementation of the latest standard is to strict then older web pages will not render properly. There are many (non standards compliment) web pages on the net that render fine in IE but not other browsers. More often than not this is due to poor (or simply non-compliant) coding, old/archive web page or insufficient testing on multiple platforms. As a general rule, if you create a website that is fully HTML 4.01 / XHTML 1.1 compliant, then it will render properly in ALL modern web browsers!

Ukitin
Ukitin

GO OPERA!!! WOOO!!! LOL! XD

Tearat
Tearat

From the article ?our Zero Day Initiative program received a critical vulnerability? It did not say discovered only a small but misleading mistake on your part The vulnerability may have been discovered some time ago The person reporting it may have waited until the right time For any number of reasons

PrinceGaz
PrinceGaz

You must be using some strange different version of Opera 9.5 than the one I am using, because mine exhibits none of those problems. In fact I've been using it for the last week with no problems at all and have found it very fast and intuitive (though a little bit lacking in colour in the toolbars-- which I haven't bothered trying to alter). If Opera behaves remotely like how you describe on your box, there are probably serious issues with your PC you need to correct.