The browser wars are not over. Microsoft’s MSIE 7 is on the streets. So is Firefox 2.0. Apple’s Safari 3.0 may show up in Leopard.
Is Firefox ready to take the browser crown from Redmondian Roughage, MSIE?
Among broswers, there’s really only two competitors. Microsoft, and everyone else.
Why everyone else? Because everyone else builds a better browser.
They’re all competing against Microsoft’s idea of what a browser should be, by actually building a better browser.
Unfortunately, Microsft owns a commanding share of browser usage, disdains most web standards for page display, and scoffs at the competition.
How? By dismissing Firefox and all comers as non-competitive.
Firefox, Mac and Windows is the only other browser that truly competes with Microsoft on a market share basis.
Roughly one in five or six web browser users will have Firefox as the preferred browser.
Mozilla’s new Firefox entry, version 2.0, and release candidate three, is an incremental, evolutionary “feel good” version.
On the Mac side, the latest candidate looks more like Camino, it’s Mac-like cousin, than the previous version of Firefox.
Under the hood is all the polish, as Mozilla’s development team enhances Firefox without providing major surgery to an already good thing.
There’s a new Visual Refresh, as Mozilla folks call the user interface and Firefox theme system. How? Glowing buttons.
That works for me. What else would you need to improve a GUI experience besides glowing buttons in the toolbar. Yummy.
Unsurprisingly, Phishing Protection is available in Firefox 2, more in the form of alerts to protect the unprotected and less experienced.
Unsurprisingly again, Firefox 2 enhances integrated search with built in usage for Google, Yahoo, or Answers.com search engines.
What? No link to the search engine at Microsoft? Surely, that’s an mere oversight and will be in the next version of Firefox.
Well, it’ll be in there about the same time as Microsoft including Google in MSIE’s next version.
Tabs are the cat’s meow and Firefox improves tabs, again evolutionary, not revolutionary.
Links will open in tabs, if you wish, and many, many, many tabs can be opened at once, a feature solely for the tabaholics amongst us Mac users.
I’ve been on Firefox 2’s last two release candidates and the feature I’ve come to love the most is Session Restore.
RSS is built in and looks like RSS should look like, rather than a bolted on device from previous versions.
Spell checking of inline forms is an odd feature but has benefits for those of us constantly editing text in a browser.
Firefox users love their extensions. Firefox 2 will break many older extensions, but adds a new and improved and ultra white Add-ons Manager for themes and extensions, all in one tool.
I can just see you salivating at all the delicisous coolness in the new Firefox. That’s called drool.
The list of improvements, enhancements, evolutionary items is lengthy, but worthy. Release candidate #3 is fast, mostly stable, and very close to being ready for prime time.
What do you bet that Firefox 2 will hit the streets in time to take some noise away from Microsoft Vista and Internet Explorer 7?