As Mozilla Firefox nears 10% market share, with well over 25 million downloads direct from the makers website, and goodness knows how many through other sources, Microsoft announces that it will be releasing IE 7 ahead of schedule. Originally scheduled for release with Microsoft's new Longhorn operating system in 2006, it seems that Microsoft are reacting to the run away success that Firefox has had over the last few months. But is Microsoft's announcement just a response to Firefox's success, or is it truly a commitment by the software giant to improve the browsing experience of the masses?
I'm going to make no secret about it; I am a Firefox user first and foremost. Ever since I first looked at Firefox and saw the features such as power tabbing, proper support for Internet standards and the integrated search bar, I've been in love with this browser. To me Internet Explorer has not a patch on the competition, and without a major update soon will surely fall behind. When Microsoft announced their plans to bring forward Internet Explorer 7 I was very interested in what they had to offer. Competition is the life-blood of progress, and if Microsoft were to seriously invest in their browser it would be of great advantage to Internet users as a whole. Unfortunately, I was disappointed at what emerged. It seems that all Microsoft are doing is making some nebulous claims as to 'increasing the security' of their browser. No mention of tabbing, increased standards support or any of the other features of Firefox which IE are sorely lacking. To me it seems that all Microsoft's latest release aims to do is distract people in an attempt to out-hype Firefox.
I sincerely hope that I can be proved wrong and, for once, Microsoft can deliver on their promises. Early reports do, however, indicate that their new browser will only work with Windows XP, leaving many users out in the cold still. Even if Microsoft does get it's act together there is one thing they'll never have ? cross-platform compatibility. While Firefox will run under Mac OS X, Linux, even old BeOS systems, as well as Windows, IE is limited to Windows only. So for now Firefox is far and away the best choice of browser for the web, and looks like it may stay this way for some time to come.
Do you not want to believe what I am saying? Well, even the almighty Google agrees with me. Just try searching for 'best browser', or even 'browser' in Google, and just see what comes up. Even MSN seems to agree. If you haven't yet tried Firefox and would like to give it a go, it can be downloaded here. If you would like to know more about why you should consider changing your browser I can also recommend you go visit This Page: Why you should dump Internet Explorer.
Daniel Robson runs http://www.shock-therapy.org where he hands out his freeware, as well as hosting Freeware for Symbian UIQ series 7.0 phones such as the Sony Ericsson PX00 series.