Firefox 3

Before I start this article I just want to apologise; once again I am going to dedicate an entire article to raving about the Firefox Internet browser.Just when I thought I’d finally got my love for this browser in to the open and out of my system they throw a spanner in to the works by releasing a major new revision; version 3.0.

Firefox 2 was an excellent browser however having been released towards the end of 2006, it was certainly due an update.It’s not so much that the browser looked dated as it was still an incredibly capable application but I just got the impression that perhaps it was losing a little ground to several alternatives that were starting to snap at its heels.With Internet Explorer 8 on the horizon Firefox needed to reassert its position in the industry and hopefully this new release will go someway towards achieving this goal.

In terms of the user interface I can’t help but feel that it does still does look a little dated; there’s not anything particularly wrong with it I was just expecting something a little more radical.I suppose it goes back to the old adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ which I suppose is quite fitting in this instance.

More important than the appearance has got to be the functionality and there are certainly a number of new features which deserve a mention:

-The address bar is substantially improved so that rather than simply accepting URL addresses you can type in any text.Firefox will then come up with suggestions on the fly by referencing your previous browsing activity and saved bookmarks.If, for example, you remember viewing a website discussing a particular topic then rather than having to remember the website address, simply start typing the subject or some relevant keywords and the correct address should be located automatically.

-In addition to the phishing protection provided in Firefox 2, this new version also includes malware protection which is designed to warn you when visiting sites which may take advantage of Operating System, application or browser vulnerabilities.

-Whilst it may seem like a basic thing, the zoom function has now been vastly improved.For us at Refresh Creations, a common issue is working to ensure that a webpage can be scaled up for those with impaired vision.Most browsers simply scale up the text leaving the pictures exactly the same size which more often than not completely ruins the page formatting.Firefox 3 has replicated the enhanced zoom of Internet Explorer 7 by scaling up the ENTIRE page, pictures included.

-The download manager now supports pause and resume features which can be useful if you are downloading a particularly large or multiple files.

One issue that I had with Firefox 2 was that it did tend to hog a great deal of memory if you were using it all day every day, especially when using large numbers of tabs.Firefox 3uses less memory to start and then releases the memory properly when a tab is closed; this and a number of other fixes results in both the browser and your computer remaining responsive throughout the day.Firefox now handles like greased lightning and feels as solid as a rock.

I’m writing a day after the official release of version 3 and in this time it has already been downloaded over eight million times.It is also nice to see that the Microsoft Internet Explorer development team sent them a cake by way of congratulations for making the release.I still firmly feel that Firefox has a strong part to play in the development of the Internet and I would encourage you to download it free of charge from



About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.