Saturday, December 10, 2005

Firefox 1.5 versus IE 6

Asa Dotzler blogged I've seen a number of articles comparing the currently available Firefox 1.5 with the still not available and probably not released for some time Internet Explorer 7. What's wrong with this picture? Firefox 1.5 should be compared against the competition, not against something that may or may not be released sometime in the future.

An article comparing FF1.5 to IE6 would be unfair. Firefox totally blows IE6 away. A browser with tabbed browsing and live bookmarks compared to one with security holes? It is an unfair comparison.
Where are all the Firefox 1.5 versus IE 6 articles? It does no service to users to tell them how Firefox stacks up against some future offering from Microsoft. How about telling users how Firefox 1.5 stacks up against the outdated, insecure, and difficult browser they're using today? (or if they just have to report about IE 7, then how about comparing it to the equally unreleased Firefox 2 or Firefox 3?)

I guess the browser reviewing press really don't care about actual users who are suffering an increasingly painful and dangerous web. Microsoft announced IE 7 in February of 2005, very nearly a year ago. They claimed at the time that it would be available in the Summer of 2005 and here we are about to enter 2006 with nothing close to a finished browser from Microsoft.
6 months late. Sounds like on-time in Microsoft time.
Why isn't this being reported properly? Why the preferential treatment for Microsoft and such an unwillingness to point out the obvious -- that while Firefox continues to ship high-quality, secure, and usable browsers on a regular basis, Microsoft has left its user base of hundreds of millions of people helpless against a deteriorating web for nearly 5 years.

Was that almost year old announcement of IE 7 just a media strategy by Microsoft to freeze the market, and to goad the press into reporting that Microsoft's current IE 6 browser was a thing of the past?
No they knew their current product could not compete, and it is harder for someone to say how one compares to a puff of smoke and a few mirrors.
Well it's not a thing of the past. There are hundreds of millions of users out there suffering with IE 6, and IE 7 is still who knows how far away from being available (and then only to a fraction of Windows users.)
That is the worst thing about IE7 I can think of; that only some windows users will be able to use it.
In the mean time, Firefox 1.5 is available as a free, safe, and secure alternative for all Windows users today.

Who will step up and write about the real state of browsers today and what users can do to improve their web experience now.

Peter F commented I can't say I'm suffering when I'm using IE6. I was actually suffering whenever I tried Firefox (1.0.7 and 1.5). And I love open source (which is why I gave FF a try). Unexplainable 100% CPU load for ff.exe,
I must admit I have had a few 100% CPU loads with FF, but not as often as before 1.5, when my machine would hang for 5 minutes every reloading all of the live bookmarks; IE never did that, but then it does not support live bookmarks at all.
random crashes, web pages rendered in an ugly way, bloat, takes hours to start up,
I have not seen any random crashes or web pages rendered in an ugly way, although there are a few times when the rendering is not identical to IE, because IE has an older version of CSS support. Versions before 1.5 did take a long time to start up, but that was because they were loading the live bookmarks that IE does not have.
and again bloat
My experience is that Firefox with tabbed windows, uses LESS system resources than an equal number of copies of IE running.
(and no, I had no extensions installed). Opera is great, however, 99% of web sites are compatible and nicely rendered (the way they were intended to) by IE. I'm staying with IE, because it just doesn't suck as much as Firefox does. I'm afraid IE7 and Opera will bury the bloatware called Firefox.

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