Ok lets start of
by saying that I use Firefox every day. Its my main Web browser when doing
almost everything that doesnt absolutely require Internet Explorer. Ive been using Firefox way back since
version 0.6 when it was still called Firebird. Ive used it on Windows, OS/2 and
Linux. The problem is, the more I use Firefox, the more irritated Ive become
First, theres the
issue of updates. No software is perfect so patches are to be expected. And the
Firefox folks do a great job of making updates available when problems crop up.
Unfortunately, with Firefox that means that you have to reinstall the entire
browser, not just simply apply a patch to fix the problem. In a business
environment where you have to support dozens or hundreds of machines, I dont
see how that makes it a viable alternative to IE.
Second, Firefox is
slow. No matter what OS or computer Ive used Firefox on, its slow. I
quite go so far as to call it a bloated pig, but its slow. Way slower
than IE. Its slow to load.
Its slow to display menus. Its slow to load Web pages. Its slow on
machines. Its even slower on slow machines. I have a very old Compaq
machine a Compaq Presario 5712. With
its blazing 450Mhz PII and 256Mb of RAM, Firefox can be painful. Most
time, its easier to just load IE, get to the page you want, and be
gone. Sometimes Firefox takes so long to load, I’ve thought the mouse
click didn’t take, so I click it again only to wind up with multiple
copies of Firefox running.
Third, Firefox is
buggy. Im not a programmer and havent delved into the code, but you dont
have to be a programmer to be able to identify buggy code. IE has its share of
problems as well, but Firefox is far from perfect. Case in point – there have
been several times where Ill have a few tabs open and suddenly the entire computer
slows to a crawl. Ill open up Task Manager, and find that Firefox has consumed
several hundred megabytes of memory and is nailing the CPU at 80 90% usage.
Its gotten to the point that when Ive noticed the computer is running slow, I
know to go to Task Manager and just kill firefox.exe – everything will be
fine again. I could give other examples
of Firefox bugs like how it inexplicably closes all of the active Firefox
sessions (whether in tabs or separate windows) at once for no good reason, but I don’t want to belabor the point.
Lets face it just
because software is open-source doesnt mean its perfect. At the same time,
just because software is created by Microsoft it doesnt mean that its
inherently evil. Firefox still has plenty of lumps in it, and hopefully the next version helps to
iron some of them out. Even through all of that however, I still use Firefox
(except on that old Compaq) because it still beats the pants
off of IE most of the time.