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IE 7 vs. FF 2

Friday, November 10th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet

IE 7 vs. FF 2

Are you ready for this?! I have been getting several e-mails lately about which browser is better: Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 2. Well, I do have some thoughts on this very topic and I’ve been waiting to let them all loose, so I guess now is my time! Before I continue on though, I just want you all to know that this is an opinion themed subject. You may agree or disagree with what I have to say, but either way, the decision on which browser to use is ultimately yours in the end. You have to choose which one will work the best for you and your Web browsing activities.

Okay, with all of that out of the way, let’s get started! Now, this is obviously a Internet Explorer versus Firefox matter, but they both have their pros and their cons. The first big thing is that IE 7 brought forth several changes. It was jam packed with new features, interface changes and several updates. On the other hand, Firefox 2 didn’t really offer many differences from the old version of 1.5. It does have a brand new antiphishing tool, but other than that, it’s pretty similar to 1.5. Now, on the other hand again, Firefox 1.5 already had several of the features that are new to IE 7 now, such as tabbed browsing, RSS feed support and add ons. So, take that as you want.

So, now that both browsers are more on the same page with each other, let’s go over some of their new features. Let’s start with IE 7.

One of the most prominent new features is tabbed browsing. IE 7 has gotten rid of the normal File, Edit, View, etc. menus and everything is pretty much done with tabs now. Another great feature is that when you have several tabs open for your browsing, you can close it out and IE will remember those particular tabs the next time you log in. This could definitely save you some time in your daily browsing activities. The only thing is that sometimes these tabs can get a “squished” look if you have too many open at once. They all don’t get their own row, so do please keep that in mind.

The next big feature is an RSS feed in IE 7. You can set your feeds up and check out their latest updates with just a click of an icon. These are also listed in the new Favorites Center, so you have various ways of accessing them. You do have to open the feed’s actual homepage to view it though, which in a way, defeats the whole purpose of an RSS feed. You could probably go out to the Web site just as fast using the regular way. Along with this comes safer browsing. IE 7 added a new phishing tool with new ways to warn you about suspicious activity. The sites you visit also go through what is called a blacklist. If the site ends up on the blacklist, it is blocked and if it’s unknown, you will be warned. Of course, if the site is recognizable, you can view it with no problems.

To finish up with IE 7, it also has a new add on manager. Unfortunately though, the add ons aren’t very well explained by the management and it makes it difficult to view any of the other extensions. Now, when you upgrade to IE 7 from IE 6, you will have a mostly smooth time. It will automatically run a virus scan for you and it will transfer over your bookmarks and some of the other settings that you already had in place. Now, on to Firefox.

As you probably already know and as I mentioned earlier, Firefox already had dominance on the tabbed browsing feature. With Firefox 2, they have updated it a little though. For example, now you can have Firefox save your last browsing session and you can open your tabs through other means like the History menu. As for the RSS feeds, Firefox’s used to come through in the form of some computer jargon. Well, Firefox 2 fixed that and they will now come in a very understandable manner. There are also several new subscription offers like Bloglines, Google Reader and a My Yahoo page.

Like I said before, Firefox 2 added a new antiphishing tool to their features as well. They will also be using the blacklist method, but you are able to find these sites easier with Firefox. It is also known that Mozilla is a little bit faster than Microsoft at patching up any malfunctions that may occur. Now, for the add on material. Firefox has always been known for their add ons and extra extensions, but they are now more fully developed for your pleasure. They have a completely new add on manager and you can take care of all your extensions and themes in one window. On the other hand, Firefox 2 may have a lot less memory than 1.5 did, which is probably no good for anyone.

Lastly, if you decide to upgrade to Firefox 2, you’ll have an easy transfer. It’s a much smaller download than IE 7 and it uses fewer resources. You will immediately be prompted to check for new extensions and themes as well. Firefox also keeps in place all of your bookmarks and your settings that you had from the older version.

Wow, that was a lot, huh?! Well, I’m pretty much done. The only thing left is for you to choose which browser you’re going to use. If you use Firefox 1.5, it’s probably a no brainer to switch to version 2, because you’ll only be getting some upgrades to features you’ve already been enjoying. On the other hand, IE 7 is quite different and it’s already been known to cause some problems. So, take some time to look over what I have just told you. Check out the pros and the cons and you should be able to decide which browser will work the best for you!

May the best browser win (for you!)

~ Erin

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