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Doug's Mailbag: New Browser Thoughts, Part 1

We received a ton of responses to Doug's post about his Firefox 4 thoughts. Here's the first batch:

I have Firefox on a Linux machine that I use to access software upgrades I need in my lab (that I cannot get to via the corporate network). Now understand that this is not the fastest machine on the planet but still...

I have found that Firefox sucks the life out of the machine, while Chrome seems to work fine. I haven't looked under the hood, but it seems that Firefox relies heavily on the CPU -- changes to the memory don't seem to make much difference.

Firefox 4 installed correctly the first time for me. It also updated on another PC correctly. On my installation, I right click and sort bookmarks, with no problems. I right click and delete a bookmark, no problem. It never has crashed.

Maybe a complete install would have helped with your experience?

Hey, if you want to run IE9, go ahead. Eventually you will have to because Microsoft will force it in some way. However, if you want to run Mozilla Firefox, install it correctly and it will run just fine.

You can shill for Microsoft if you want, but masquerading as being objective is transparent and ruins your opinions.


I loaded IE 9. It was blazingly fast compared to IE 8. But, maybe it was just coincidence. Google began stopping me from going to iGoogle from the Google toolbar button and put up a big button saying 'TRY CHROME' on the Google seach page.

IE 9 gradually slowed over several days. I don't know why. Maybe the Java plugin that I had enabled? The ActiveX deactivation/activation tool reminds me of the early versions of UAC -- a royal PITA.

So, I loaded Firefox 4, my first FF ever. You've got to be kidding me! This is the browser everyone raves about? I stayed with using IE 9 for awhile longer.

Finally, I rolled back to IE 8. Now I'm kind of missing IE 9's tear-off tabs. Maybe when IE9 is more mature I'll reload it.

Or, maybe I'll try Chrome. It was pure sh*% the first time Google wanted everyone to try it out. I don't know about these guys -- idiots run amuck in the Google playroom? If Chrome doesn't work this time I'll never touch it again.

Mozilla moved the 'open in new tab' to the top of the list when you right click a link. In the previous version it was the second choice so, consequently I keep opening pages in a new window rather than a new tab. That is really annoying...

Sometimes when you click the Firefox 4 icon, it opens up a ton of windows. Started with two and by the end of the day, if I clicked Firefox, it would opening 14 windows at once. All blank. I went back to IE 9 within a day, which has its own quirks, but at least I only get one open window.

Ultimately I found a fix for the problem, but I expected a better experience from Firefox. It was my primary browser for years.

I find the interface of Firefox 4 much more appealing and usable then previous versions. I am not married to the home button. I use my homepage, move on and never have to reset myself. I auto load three pages on startup also. Also, Firefox 4 seems much lighter on memory usage than any of the other browsers.

The tabs can be set to a lower position if that feels more comfortable to you. The interface can be tweaked to meet your needs.  My right click delete works perfectly fine in my five installs. Four are on Windows 7 platforms and the last is on a home server.

Now I have tried to install IE 9 because I liked the beta. Only three of my machines had IE 9 and all three run Windows 7. Two of the three are completely borked, and the third is still running the beta, which is like a non-curable disease that will not uninstall via any method listed as a fix or workaround. I run IE 9 on the fourth Windows 7 machine now and, like I said, it is nice, but after all the fail that happened to three previous machines, I refuse to use it much. Maybe when I do my regular six month wipe and reloads I will attempt the installs again. Until then I say stick with Firefox 4 for low memory usage or Chrome for fast java loading. Use IE 9 for practice fixing your own operating system issues.

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Posted by Doug Barney on 04/08/2011 at 1:18 PM


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