It never ceases to amaze me how a company such as Microsoft can spend millions of man hours and dollars developing a program and then from seemingly out of the blue appears a free alternative on a shoestring budget and beats them hands down. Recently this has happened with the release of FireFox 1.0 which is an alternative for Internet Explorer; a program Microsoft once relentlessly improved but now seems to have lost any interest in developing any further.

Slipping in at only 4.7mg (compared with around 80mg for Internet Explorer) the Mozilla developed Firefox browser offers several important advantages over its Microsoft counterpart which I’ll detail below so you can decide for yourself whether it would be worthwhile downloading to improve your Internet browsing experience.

Tabbed Browsing:
This allows you to have only one browser window open which then has all the pages you are currently viewing available to switch between; one of the most annoying things I find about Internet Explorer is that if I’m doing some heavy work then I’ll often have around 20 different pages up which means 20 copies of Internet Explorer cluttering my work space. With tabbed browsing I just have the one instance of the program running which keeps things a lot tidier.

Downloads Manager:
Once again everything is kept simple by having a dedicated downloads manager which keeps all the files you gather off the Internet in the same place so that you can view what is currently downloading and you can delete or move files already completed. Internet Explorer insists of opening up a small download Window every time you try and retrieve a file which again leads to a messy interface when you have a few on the go at once.

Themes and Extensions:
Firefox makes it simple to integrate third party skins and extensions which allow you or others to design different looking user interfaces and additional features that can be integrated into the browser to allow it to become better suited to the way you want it to look or behave.

We also have available a pop-up stopper, password manager, update tool and a number of other small management utilities. The pop-up stopper is a worthy addition that no one should be without although to be fair to Microsoft this has been present in Internet Explorer since the last update (IE 6, SP2)

The user interface of Firefox is kept extremely simple and easy to use. In addition the phrase ‘less is more’ would tend to summerise this program as although it doesn’t have a huge number of features, those that are present are extremely well designed, not to mention the only ones you’d use anyway. The lack of excess baggage means that the program is small and nimble which are qualities that Microsoft seems to care little for nowadays; in order to keep their browser up to date the average dial up Internet Explorer user would most likely require to spend several hours a month on the Net just downloading updates! Hopefully this could be a thing of the past with Firefox.

If I’ve whet your apatite head to to download this fantastic piece of software for free; as mentioned at the beginning of the article it is only 4.7mg so should take just a couple of minutes even on the slowest connections.

Sponsered by Refresh Cartridges

Back to Main Page