So if you follow internet related news you know all the buzz these days is Firefox, Firefox, and . Personally I never really got the point. I had been using Netscape back in the days, then when IE started being included in windows (anti-competitive or good business?) I switched to IE because it was simply easier. Not to long ago I examined the Opera browser and found it so-so. It was a decent alternative to IE but what is the point of switching if they are almost equal? So being neither a MS fanboy nor a MS-hater what is in it for me by switching to Firefox?

So I thought I'd give it a try. My first impression is that it is a fast browser, has decent rendering on par with IE, and the tabbed system is nice. Then I checked the memory usage. It appeared that Firefox was using more memory then the same page IE. Well I think that is to be expected. With IE some of it's functionality is most likely hidden in other parts of windows, thus "hiding" the memory usage. Look here for a more detailed analysis of Firefox memory usage compared to IE. You will also see that Firefox is a memory hog that refuses to return it. Again I ask what is so good about Firefox?

So I didn't give up right away. I see that there is a book urging users "Don't Click on the Blue E!" that claims that Firefox will allow users to "browse faster, more securely, and more efficiently". Haven't see faster yet and don't know how it could possible be more secure. I see some efficiency improvement thanks to the tabbed browsing but from what I understand IE7 will have tabs. Is Firefox just a good alternative until IE7 arrives?

So why should I switch to Firefox? Well, here is a website that to give me 10 reasons to switch.
  1. Tabbed Browsing: See above.

  2. Popup Blocking: Maybe I missed something but my IE on XP has this same feature.

  3. Find Stuff Easier: Ahhhh.... Yes. The search feature in Firefox is nice. But it is almost exactly the same as I had in IE with A9 Toolbar installed.

  4. Simplified Privacy / Annoyance Eliminator: This is nice you can view cookies and such but did I really need to know that Amazon set a cookie to "KJHDKLQUWBCMNZUI"?

  5. Better Bookmarks and History: The bookmark manager is nice but I had no issues with the IE method of using the favorites folder.

  6. Accessible, Intelligent, Responsive: A bunch of shortcut keys I'll never use.

  7. Customizable and Extendable: This is really cool. Extensibility in Firefox is off the hook. If I just look at the shear number of extensions available on their website I am very impressed.

  8. Modern Download Manager: So far I've considered this a drawback. When you select "save to disk" from the download dialog box the file is saved to a preset folder. It was a while before I realized that all downloads were being sent to my desktop. Sure you can change this but I'm used to being asked each time I want to download something. Maybe I'll get used to this new method.

  9. Built for standards: That's right we all need standards. It is nice that Firefox conforms to all the W3C standards but Microsoft tends to be a standards setter not a follower. I'm sure when IE7 comes out there will be some fancy features that will only be in IE until an equivalent is incorporated into a standard and then into Firefox. Will developers wait that long? I doubt it. This same sort of thing hurt Netscape.

  10. KISS (Keep It Simple and Straight-Forward): Not sure what this means. I thought IE was pretty simple. Plus using the same system for file browsing and internet browsing seemed pretty straight-forward a simple to me.
I haven't given up yet. I t does seam that Firefox is a good application with more pluses on it's side then IE (for now). I really like the extensibility and the DOM Inspector. So I'm going to continue to try Firefox. I'm struggling to give it a fair shake and see if some of the issues are the fact that I need to retrain myself. I'm resisting the urge to "Click on the Blue E!" for now but we'll see what happens when IE7 arrives.