Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Firefox 10 and Web Browsers in General

For those of you playing along at home, Firefox has updated to a brand new version number this morning: 10.0. Of course, as I've noted before, those new version numbers seem to mean less and less these days than they used to. Case in point? The first (FIRST) listed "new feature" for Firefox 10? They've hidden the "Forward" button until you hit the "Back" button.


Firefox, you just blew my mind. All this time, that's been the one thing that I've been hating most about browsers. That pesky Forward button. Thank goodness it's gone now. I'm so happy we have a brand new version of your browser. Totally worth the wait.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but isn't it a tad ridiculous? I'm not using Firefox these days--still going with Google Chrome, mainly for the following reasons:
  • It seems to me to be less buggy than Firefox on my machine. Chrome boots up faster and responds more quickly than Firefox. I haven't scientifically tested this, but that's how it feels to me, at any rate.
  • Chrome handles Google's software and web programs more capably--and I use a lot of Google stuff. I love how easy it is to search with Chrome--just type the query into the address bar, and you're off and running. It even autopopulates web addresses with commonly visited sites. In contrast, Firefox feels stone aged.
And it appears I'm not alone in my preference. Internet Explorer is now at a 20% market share--it peaked back in March 2003, when it was at 88%. (Good riddance, I say. I never liked Explorer. Way too clunky and prone to bugs.) Firefox is now at 38%. It peaked in July 2007, when it was at 48%. Chrome is now at 35%--it's highest share ever. (For exact breakdown of numbers, look here.)

Of course, I'd rather see three, four, or more major players in the browser arena. Any time you have multiple companies competing for the same users, the users win--there's more innovation, more features. It's a good thing. Much worse than the days of IE or else--it was Microsoft's way or the highway, and that's not a good place to be in.

So while it's nice that Chrome is seeing as much attention as it is, I do hope that someone (Firefox or someone else) steps up the game significantly to challenge them.

Eliminating the Forward button ain't gonna do that, Firefox.

To download the latest versions of these browsers, go to

1 comment:

  1. In the future, as landlines and cable become a thing of the past, most users will be on cellular connections with very little data available. To best control the use of bandwidth, Firefox extensions like adblock and flash and image toggles work much better than similar extensions in Chrome. If you have unlimited data, Chrome is fine - but on mobile devices and cellular, Firefox with its extensions is an absolute must.