Reasons for switch to Firefox

While you can read about psychological and evangelical reasons elsewhere, here I list technical and functional reasons to use Firefox. As you will read below, ALL still apply to IE7 as well, because when you will read reason #12 you will understand that you should not be exited about IE7's release, but should instead laugh hysterically. I have duplicated some arguments, but only so that the reasons can be more standalone and independent.

1) When IE6 crashed, it crashed bad

Have you ever had the experience for 30 windows cluttering your taskbar as a result of a day's work only to have something that might not even be related to IE, like another game that you have decided to play now, to crash, and bring down all of those 30 windows and your several hours' work to hell? I have, several times. until I found out about tabbed browsing and features in Firefox that eliminated the problem.

2) IE freezes

This will sound funny, but IE7 is so unstable and undeveloped that many new and AJAX based websites freeze, pause, or crash IE7. I have thought that I would need IE7 so that new websites can integrate better (for example, many video websites might need ActiveX/WMP integration). I have soon found out that Firefox handles almost all websites much better than IE7. All of the rest were designed so bad that it is their reason they might have functionality lacking in Firefox.

3) Firefox is a breeze to install and remove

IE, DirectX, and Windows (drivers and software) have taught me that a reinstall might be the easiest problem solution. Since IE, just like DirectX, is so integrated into the system that it cannot be actually "removed" (or even repaired), a problem in IE or DirectX might not be even fixable without a Windows reinstall. You might protest by saying that Windows supposedly can uninstall updates and restore points. However, many (myself included) delete this data because experience has shown us that this Micro$oft "solution" does not work.

Installing Firefox for your friend is as easy as recommending them the website, or providing them with the installation file. In a few seconds, they will get to know Firefox. For others, any process related to installation or update to IE7 is a long and a painful process. Those who have upgraded to IE7 know, for the rest simply would not understand.

4) Firefox is stand--alone

I have listed related comments in the reason above. I would like to add that the standalone nature of Firefox also contains any problems to either inside or outside of Firefox. Even events such as a process crash does not mean IE crashes with Explorer.

5) Firefox is customizable

Firefox is built with modularity in mind. I have a separate page that discusses customizations. Also, as I describe elsewhere, Micro$oft decides for us what options it might include in IE, which options to skip, and which to hide somewhere in the registry. Firefox lists a long (very long) list of all options they could think of. Granted, on this page I discuss that not all of them might be decided to be not so important to be included into the graphical Options dialog, but at least you can access all of the rest.

6) Extensions

For reasons that I might not necessarily agree with, Firefox is released in its minimal version. Therefore, what you see as Firefox is not Firefox at all. My Firefox implementation, and yours, can have much more added functionality. This functionality can be developed separately from Firefox, or even by yourself. I have a separate page that discusses customizations.

7) Firefox has an intelligent design

Like I discussed in reason 5, a few engineers in Micro$oft find it very reasonable to decide themselves what users need or do not need. Firefox, being Open Source, does not have this limitation. If you disagree with something, you can post it on the forums, and it will be changed. You might even code it yourself, or modify just your own version of Firefox. The community based development eliminates any stupid reasons that might be present in IE.

A good example is the fact that in IE, the address bar did not accept typing until you clicked at it. How easy it is to open Firefox, and immediately start typing the address! This has been fixed in IE7. But I had used the feature in Firefox "for years" now.

And while I am discussing this, why not another example? Why is about:blank always displayed in IE when you open it? What exactly does it mean to a non-engineer? Do you even type an address about:blank EVER in the address field? Why should be there a file on your system for IE just to be able to "open" a blank page on its start? And why do you have to OVERWRITE something that you have no idea what it is, just to type whatever address you are trying to visit? Sounds, and is, very Micro$oft--like.

And here is another example. Dragging and dropping files and objects around is all that Windows is all about, right? Well dragging and dropping does not work anywhere in IE!!! I am used at selecting a link in Firefox and dropping it on the new tab BUTTON, which opens a new tab in the background with that link. How easy! Now count how many steps you have to take to do THAT in IE! So apparently, Micro$oft could not even COPY that feature of Firefox right.

Not only that, but you can drag and drop a link with a file in it into FDM, and it will download the file. Neat! Since I said elsewhere that Firefox needs a FDM status indicator near the buttons, a button on which you can drop a link to download it would be SUPER NEAT!

8) Micro$oft makes stupid decisions

To add to what I have said in reason 6, another stupid decision was the release of IE7 now.

9) Firefox is updated often

Also see reasons 7 & 12. Firefox releases new versions frequently. Actually, they release them too fast for those used to using IE6, Office 2003, and Windows XP. Users do not have to wait very long before a version is released that contains any recent new functionality or redesigns. This makes practically all hot new features implemented, and bug reports meaningless. Any small errors might actually be fixed with a new release in a few days. (, although most users do not see these minor upgrades. they would have to download a new release each day to keep up with the community's developments)

10) Firefox leads IE in features, while Micro$oft clones them

See reasons 11 & 12.

11) Firefox must continually improve, while Micro$oft does not care if we use a 5-year old version of a program

In order to satisfy users, and keep up with developments from the Open Source community, Firefox cannot slow down its developments. Micro$oft only cares about upgrades when it comes in a new box that costs A LOT.

In another example, it does not matter much to Micro$oft if IE was updated as often as MSPaint is.

12) Since IE is updated so rarely, much new technologies like Bookmarks/Feeds in Firefox were not implemented in IE6 for a long time

Some features will not be implemented in IE in any foreseeable future. Small community developments like GreaseMonkey have a chance to be used in Firefox, while I cannot think of how IE could ever include any small community efforts.

In other words, how can you even allow Micro$oft to release updates in 5 years if new technologies can develop in 6 months, and be a requirement in 2 years (blogging, MySpace, podcasting, feeds, etc, etc)???

13) This is how Micro$oft developed IE7


Given the timing (released before Vista), I am very suspicious of why IE6 was even upgraded to IE7. From the GUI, a few possible reasons are apparent.

1) Someone in Micro$oft found out this new feature in browsing called tabbed browsing (maybe someone gave them a version of Firefox). Since you can now laugh about window-based browsing after you have tried tabs, it is unknown how anyone could continue the use of IE6.

2) Some small team of engineers inside Microsoft uses Firefox at home, and have tried for years to implement the features in IE. However, IE7 is NOT REALLY designed for Vista, so they have released it for XP instead. A vista version will be included into a Vista Service Pack 1 that you will see 2 years from now. In 2 year's time, Firefox will go thru 4 MAJOR version upgrades that will make IE7 look like IE6 by that time.

3) Although I am more convinced about this scenario. Firefox has a build-in Geegle search field, so Microsoft was seeing its Windows Live profits shrink and Geegle becoming richer. Guess what? Windows Live is the default search engine build into IE7.

The reasons behind Microsoft developments are very simple. They do not work to provide you with programs and solutions. They work for you to BUY those programs.


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Page last modified 12-Jun-11 10:56:29 EDT
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