Here’s a date you probably won’t remember. November 9th, 2004. That’s the day that the Mozilla Foundation unleashed Firefox 1.0 to the world. Sure, there were more than two years of releases before that which were affectionally labeled as “beta releases”. Don’t blame Mozilla for that. Google’s the one that made it fashionable to do so with their ridiculously long “beta” products.

At the time, Firefox was a great browser. Sure, it had its problems as all browsers do. In fact, all major software has problems. Yes, even software written by NASA that’s gone through 300 bazillion code reviews per line. Remember that itsy bitsy little crash? If you don’t, I’m sure that at a pricetag of $125 million, NASA does.

Regardless of little bugs here and there, Firefox was a dandy little browser for a time. Then things started to go wrong. Way wrong.

Wikipedia, the source of “all that is true” on the Internet, points out as one of the reasons for the creation of Firefox as the following:iStock_000007219877XSmall

“The Firefox project began as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project by Dave Hyatt, Joe Hewitt and Blake Ross. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape’s sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser. To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite’s software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite. On April 3, 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced that they planned to change their focus from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox and Thunderbird.”

Well, it worked out pretty well initially. Today, Firefox sports a market share of between 20%-30% of the market, which isn’t all that bad considering how dominant Internet Explorer had been. Remember IE? Of course you do. It shipped on pretty much every computer on the planet for the last 14 years. Sure, those Linux fans wiped their fancy Dell computers and installed Linux. And of course there was a Mac version of IE out there for a while.

But let’s call a spade a spade here. Internet Explorer has sucked for oh… I don’t know. 8 years now? Is that right? Probably not exactly, but nobody really cares. IE sucks. It’s on the Internet, so it must be true. It started out decent, and then it became a memory hog. It became bloated and slow. Then with those damned ActiveX controls, it became the transportation delivery device of choice for every cockroach on the Internet, aka: viruses, malware, spyware, popup maker, etc.

So the bottom line is that Firefox didn’t really need to be that great in order to be better than IE. It just needed to be average. However when you’re average in a field of suckiness, you look like a start. Yay Firefox!

But Firefox started to suck quickly… and I mean REALLY suck and REALLY quickly. Even back in 2005, which is 5 years ago and a lifetime in Internet time, I pointed out glaring performance shortcomings of Firefox. It was getting bad then, and it’s gone to hell in a handbasket since. And I wasn’t the only one to notice back in 2005or in 2006…  or in 2007or in 2008or in 2009… do you see a trend here?

When did Firefox become the new IE?

That’s a crappy way to label any browser. It’s like calling your boss the PHB, even if he is. Unfortunately the answer is just as obvious as the question. It happened between 2004 and 2005. Yes, less than 12 months from the release of version 1.0.

How did it happen?

I’m not really sure to be honest. Wikipedia isn’t much help here I’m afraid. But that’s not really the point of this long winded rambling of an old programming codger.

What is your point you old programming codger?

The real point is this. If you’re fed up with crappy browsers, you don’t have to live with it. I did, and you can do it too. Here’s how.

I ran a 24 hour experiment about 3 weeks ago. I’d had Firefox crash my machine one time too many and I just got fed up, subsequently venting my frustrations on Facebook. One of my old evil minions piped up and told me to try Google Chrome. I had. It sucked. He assured me things had changed a lot and I should try it again.

Well, what did I have to lose other than about a days’ worth of work and an Internet Explorer-esque browser. So to give it a fair shake, I deleted my Firefox shortcut, replaced it with Google Chrome and gave it a whirl.

I had it installed in all of 2 minutes, including the download. That’s not just because the download is small, mind you. The 25Mbps fiber optic connection certainly doesn’t hurt. But it installed painlessly and I fired it up right away. Immediately it asked me if I wanted to import all of my cookies and passwords from Firefox.

What? Seriously?

I really had expected this part of the transition to be a painful one. Anyone who has used a browser for long enough just saves passwords to the browser left and right to make surfing the net a lot easier. I figured what the heck and did the import.

… and it worked. The only “flaw” (if you could call it that) was that every page I normally visited asked me for my password again. But with the cookie import, all the passwords were already entered and all I needed to do was click the checkbox to save it for the future. Then off I went as if nothing was different.
sftrou-logo1
After a mere 24 hours on my desktop, I stopped using Firefox entirely. It’s been nearly a month and I haven’t looked back. Even my virtual assistant has given it a whirl based on the recommendation I made on my podcast.

What about your Bookmarks?

For all my bookmarks, I’ve been using the Firefox plug-in called XMarks for several years, which is a cross browser, cross platform book mark synchronization software. This plug in has been one of the primary reasons that this transition was so simple and painless because XMarks is available for IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

To be fair, I never gave Opera an honest shot. But at this point, I don’t feel like I need to. Opera may very well be a great browser. Kudos to them for doing such a great job of creating rabid fans. But until I get fed up with Google Chrome, I’m not about to go looking again. The experience of switching to Chrome was such a profound improvement that I really can’t even begin to adequately describe how it has affected my productivity.

For all of you who thought that the choice between Internet Explorer and Firefox was a choice between the lesser of two evils, there’s hope. If you’re fed up and irritated with the speed, memory usage, crappiness, bad rendering, poor experience, (insert profanity here) browser, give one of the two below a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Google Chrome Browser
Opera Browser

Firefox is the new Internet Explorer
Here’s a date you probably won’t remember. November 9th, 2004. That’s the day that the Mozilla Foundation unleashed Firefox 1.0 to the world. Sure, there were more than two years of releases before that which were affectionally labeled as “beta releases”. Don’t blame Mozilla for that. Google’s the one that made it fashionable to do so with their ridiculously long “beta” products.
At the time, Firefox was a great browser. Sure, it had its problems as all browsers do. In fact, all major software has problems. Yes, even software written by NASA that’s gone through 300 bazillion code reviews per line. Remember that itsy bitsy little crash? If you don’t, I’m sure that at a pricetag of $125 million, NASA does.
Regardless of little bugs here and there, Firefox was a dandy little browser for a time. Then things started to go wrong. Way wrong.
Wikipedia, the source of “all that is true” on the Internet, points out as one of the reasons for the creation of Firefox as the following:
“The Firefox project began as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project by Dave Hyatt, Joe Hewitt and Blake Ross. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape’s sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser. To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite’s software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite. On April 3, 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced that they planned to change their focus from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox and Thunderbird.”
Well, it worked out pretty well initially. Today, Firefox sports a market share of between 20%-30% of the market, which isn’t all that bad considering how dominant Internet Explorer had been. Remember IE? Of course you do. It shipped on pretty much every computer on the planet for the last 14 years. Sure, those Linux fans wiped their fancy Dell computers and installed Linux. And of course there was a Mac version of IE out there for a while.
But let’s call a spade a spade here. Internet Explorer has sucked for oh… I don’t know. 8 years now? Is that right? Probably not exactly, but nobody really cares. IE sucks. It’s on the Internet, so it must be true. It started out decent, and then it became a memory hog. It became bloated and slow. Then with those damned ActiveX controls, it became the transportation delivery device of choice for every cockroach on the Internet, aka: viruses, malware, spyware, popup maker, etc.
So the bottom line is that Firefox didn’t really need to be that great in order to be better than IE. It just needed to be average. However when you’re average in a field of suckiness, you look like a start. Yay Firefox!
But Firefox started to suck quickly… and I mean REALLY suck and REALLY quickly. Even back in 2005, which is 5 years ago and a lifetime in Internet time, I pointed out glaring performance shortcomings of Firefox. It was getting bad then, and it’s gone to hell in a handbasket since. And I wasn’t the only one to notice back in 2005… or in 2006…  or in 2007… or in 2008… or in 2009… do you see a trend here?
When did Firefox become the new IE?
That’s a crappy way to label any browser. It’s like calling your boss the PHB, even if he is. Unfortunately the answer is just as obvious as the question. It happened between 2004 and 2005. Yes, less than 12 months from the release of version 1.0.
How did it happen?
I’m not really sure to be honest. Wikipedia isn’t much help here I’m afraid. But that’s not really the point of this long winded rambling of an old programming codger.
What is your point you old programming codger?
The real point is this. If you’re fed up with crappy browsers, you don’t have to live with it. I did, and you can do it too. Here’s how.
I ran a 24 hour experiment about 3 weeks ago. I’d had Firefox crash my machine one time too many and I just got fed up, subsequently venting my frustrations on Facebook. One of my old evil minions piped up and told me to try Google Chrome. I had. It sucked. He assured me things had changed a lot and I should try it again.
Well, what did I have to lose other than about a days’ worth of work and an Internet Explorer-esque browser. So to give it a fair shake, I deleted my Firefox shortcut, replaced it with Google Chrome and gave it a whirl.
I had it installed in all of 2 minutes, including the download. That’s not just because the download is small, mind you. The 25Mbps fiber optic connection certainly doesn’t hurt. But it installed painlessly and I fired it up right away. Immediately it asked me if I wanted to import all of my cookies and passwords from Firefox.
What? Seriously?
I really had expected this part of the transition to be a painful one. Anyone who has used a browser for long enough just saves passwords to the browser left and right to make surfing the net a lot easier. I figured what the heck and did the import.
… and it worked. The only “flaw” (if you could call it that) was that every page I normally visited asked me for my password again. But with the cookie import, all the passwords were already entered and all I needed to do was click the checkbox to save it for the future. Then off I went as if nothing was different.
After a mere 24 hours on my desktop, I stopped using Firefox entirely. It’s been nearly a month and I haven’t looked back. Even my virtual assistant has given it a whirl based on the recommendation I made on my podcast.
What about your Bookmarks?
For all my bookmarks, I’ve been using the Firefox plug-in called XMarks for several years, which is a cross browser, cross platform book mark synchronization software. This plug in has been one of the primary reasons that this transition was so simple and painless because XMarks is available for IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.
To be fair, I never gave Opera an honest shot. But at this point, I don’t feel like I need to. Opera may very well be a great browser. Kudos to them for doing such a great job of creating rabid fans. But until I get fed up with Google Chrome, I’m not about to go looking again. The experience of switching to Chrome was such a profound improvement that I really can’t even begin to adequately describe how it has affected my productivity.
For all of you who thought that the choice between Internet Explorer and Firefox was a choice between the lesser of two evils, there’s hope. If you’re fed up and irritated with the speed, memory usage, crappiness, bad rendering, poor experience, (insert profanity here) browser, give one of the two below a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Google Chrome Browser
Opera BFirefox is the new Internet Explorer
Here’s a date you probably won’t remember. November 9th, 2004. That’s the day that the Mozilla Foundation unleashed Firefox 1.0 to the world. Sure, there were more than two years of releases before that which were affectionally labeled as “beta releases”. Don’t blame Mozilla for that. Google’s the one that made it fashionable to do so with their ridiculously long “beta” products.
At the time, Firefox was a great browser. Sure, it had its problems as all browsers do. In fact, all major software has problems. Yes, even software written by NASA that’s gone through 300 bazillion code reviews per line. Remember that itsy bitsy little crash? If you don’t, I’m sure that at a pricetag of $125 million, NASA does.
Regardless of little bugs here and there, Firefox was a dandy little browser for a time. Then things started to go wrong. Way wrong.
Wikipedia, the source of “all that is true” on the Internet, points out as one of the reasons for the creation of Firefox as the following:
“The Firefox project began as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project by Dave Hyatt, Joe Hewitt and Blake Ross. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape’s sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser. To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite’s software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite. On April 3, 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced that they planned to change their focus from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox and Thunderbird.”
Well, it worked out pretty well initially. Today, Firefox sports a market share of between 20%-30% of the market, which isn’t all that bad considering how dominant Internet Explorer had been. Remember IE? Of course you do. It shipped on pretty much every computer on the planet for the last 14 years. Sure, those Linux fans wiped their fancy Dell computers and installed Linux. And of course there was a Mac version of IE out there for a while.
But let’s call a spade a spade here. Internet Explorer has sucked for oh… I don’t know. 8 years now? Is that right? Probably not exactly, but nobody really cares. IE sucks. It’s on the Internet, so it must be true. It started out decent, and then it became a memory hog. It became bloated and slow. Then with those damned ActiveX controls, it became the transportation delivery device of choice for every cockroach on the Internet, aka: viruses, malware, spyware, popup maker, etc.
So the bottom line is that Firefox didn’t really need to be that great in order to be better than IE. It just needed to be average. However when you’re average in a field of suckiness, you look like a start. Yay Firefox!
But Firefox started to suck quickly… and I mean REALLY suck and REALLY quickly. Even back in 2005, which is 5 years ago and a lifetime in Internet time, I pointed out glaring performance shortcomings of Firefox. It was getting bad then, and it’s gone to hell in a handbasket since. And I wasn’t the only one to notice back in 2005… or in 2006…  or in 2007… or in 2008… or in 2009… do you see a trend here?
When did Firefox become the new IE?
That’s a crappy way to label any browser. It’s like calling your boss the PHB, even if he is. Unfortunately the answer is just as obvious as the question. It happened between 2004 and 2005. Yes, less than 12 months from the release of version 1.0.
How did it happen?
I’m not really sure to be honest. Wikipedia isn’t much help here I’m afraid. But that’s not really the point of this long winded rambling of an old programming codger.
What is your point you old programming codger?
The real point is this. If you’re fed up with crappy browsers, you don’t have to live with it. I did, and you can do it too. Here’s how.
I ran a 24 hour experiment about 3 weeks ago. I’d had Firefox crash my machine one time too many and I just got fed up, subsequently venting my frustrations on Facebook. One of my old evil minions piped up and told me to try Google Chrome. I had. It sucked. He assured me things had changed a lot and I should try it again.
Well, what did I have to lose other than about a days’ worth of work and an Internet Explorer-esque browser. So to give it a fair shake, I deleted my Firefox shortcut, replaced it with Google Chrome and gave it a whirl.
I had it installed in all of 2 minutes, including the download. That’s not just because the download is small, mind you. The 25Mbps fiber optic connection certainly doesn’t hurt. But it installed painlessly and I fired it up right away. Immediately it asked me if I wanted to import all of my cookies and passwords from Firefox.
What? Seriously?
I really had expected this part of the transition to be a painful one. Anyone who has used a browser for long enough just saves passwords to the browser left and right to make surfing the net a lot easier. I figured what the heck and did the import.
… and it worked. The only “flaw” (if you could call it that) was that every page I normally visited asked me for my password again. But with the cookie import, all the passwords were already entered and all I needed to do was click the checkbox to save it for the future. Then off I went as if nothing was different.
After a mere 24 hours on my desktop, I stopped using Firefox entirely. It’s been nearly a month and I haven’t looked back. Even my virtual assistant has given it a whirl based on the recommendation I made on my podcast.
What about your Bookmarks?
For all my bookmarks, I’ve been using the Firefox plug-in called XMarks for several years, which is a cross browser, cross platform book mark synchronization software. This plug in has been one of the primary reasons that this transition was so simple and painless because XMarks is available for IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.
To be fair, I never gave Opera an honest shot. But at this point, I don’t feel like I need to. Opera may very well be a great browser. Kudos to them for doing such a great job of creating rabid fans. But until I get fed up with Google Chrome, I’m not about to go looking again. The experience of switching to Chrome was such a profound improvement that I really can’t even begin to adequately describe how it has affected my productivity.
For all of you who thought that the choice between Internet Explorer and Firefox was a choice between the lesser of two evils, there’s hope. If you’re fed up and irritated with the speed, memory usage, crappiness, bad rendering, poor experience, (insert profanity here) browser, give one of the two below a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Google Chrome Browser
Opera Browse

19 Comments

  1. The New IE? A little harsh methinks on November 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I hear a lot of people complaining about Firefox crashing. I have been using it heavily for years, and it has crashed maybe twice. I have been using Chrome quite a lot for a much shorter time and it has crashed more. For development and debugging, I don’t think anything is as good as Firefox with Firebug. It does have some performance issues particularly with memory usage, but it has never seemed slow to me. Firefox 4 is noticeably quicker too



  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dan Andrews, Mike Taber and Seh Hui Felix Leong, Rob Walling. Rob Walling said: Firefox is the new Internet Explorer http://bit.ly/bTPdHe […]



  3. Eli on November 3, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Agreed. Swapped to Chrome for similar reasons and haven’t really looked back. Firefox is kind of like IE now in that it’s alright to use if it’s the best thing installed on a computer without wanting to bother installing something else.



  4. Leary on November 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Just as I would never again use any software created by the Microsoft corporation, I will never again use any software created by the Google corporation, unless it is utterly impossible to avoid using it.

    If those eventually end up being my only choices, I’ll take a sledgehammer to my computers and save a lot of money on Internet access every month.

    Microsoft is incompetent and evil. Google is competent and evil.

    Good choice you made!



  5. Antonin Hildebrand on November 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    When Joe Hewitt left Firefox it started to suck.
    When Joe Hewitt left Firebug it started to suck.
    My assumption: Joe Hewitt leaves Facebook it will start suck too.

    Joe wouldn’t stay on the project which is starting to rot (even before anyone else notices). He has pretty good senses of it 🙂



  6. Is Firefox the new IE? | Cocoy Chronicles on November 3, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    […] Taber from The Single Founder blogged about Firefox being the new Internet Explorer Today, Firefox sports a market share of between 20%-30% of the market, which isn’t all that bad […]



  7. rycamor on November 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I honestly can’t understand the problems some people have with Firefox. For years I have used it on Windows, Linux and FreeBSD, leaving multiple tabs open for days sometimes. In fact, on FreeBSD and Linux, I have often realized with surprise that I had multiple Firefox windows open in multiple desktops, often totalling over 40-50 websites all open at the same time. Without fail, the websites that took Firefox down were always Flash sites. Once I installed Flashblock, problems were over, except for those sites where I needed to enable Flash.

    Sure, there were a few sites which abused Javascript, and might cause a freeze now and then, but hardly on the level of suckitude that IE would cause me daily.

    The only other clue I might have to Firefox complaints is the number of fonts some people have installed on Windows. For some reason, Firefox had trouble on Windows systems with an extremely large font collection, (For example, web designers, unfortunately)



  8. franc mclaughlin on November 4, 2010 at 1:13 am

    I hate articles like this – high on readability – short on substance. Try yourself: after reading it, what do u know about the weaknesses of FireFox and the strengths of Chrome?



  9. w359 on November 4, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Agree with @rycamor – especially on the Flash problems. I never had a problem with Firefox although I admit that its memory consumption is surprising. Which is hardly a problem.



  10. FG_JR on November 4, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I have for many years used almost exclusively Opera. And have given many shots trying to use Firefox, but, even if much quicker than IE, it was always a below average experience. Sure Extensions were the reason I kept trying it, but was never enough to do the transition. Without a few gbs of memory, a few dozen of tabs open made the whole computer crawl. I could simply open twice more with less than 1gb with Opera…
    Today I am still using mostly Opera, but started using more and more Chrome. It is as fast as Opera, and as light on memory too. I still like the UI of Opera more, but Chrome has a clearly better plugin support (Flash crash so much less often…).
    If somebody asks me, I will say: Try Opera and Chrome, and use whatever you like more. Both are good options.



  11. Giancarlo Corzo on November 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I think you did ok, Google chrome is fast, ultra fast. Only thing I miss from firefox are all the developer extension, like firebug.



  12. Anton on November 7, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Chrome does have a developer extension like firebug – rightclick on the page and “Inspect Element” it has a few shortcomings over firebug, but not many, and once I got out of the firebug mindset, I was able to get it to do everything I could in firebug, and actually a bit more.



  13. Lennie on January 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    @w359 @FG_JR Actually Chrome uses more memory than Firefox, I don’t know where you get your numbers from.

    The biggest memory problem in Firefox always was that it grew a bit every day for as long as you had it open. Seems to be mostly fixed now.



  14. Mike Taber on January 12, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Lennie, with memory leaks the problem is that the actual memory usage isn’t always reported accurately via the task manager. So although the task manager may be reporting less memory, you can’t be sure that it’s an accurate number. I’ve seen Firefox claim to be using 500MB and when shutting it down, more than 2GB is freed up.

    And as for using more memory, most people don’t care if it uses more RAM so long as it doesn’t impact the other things they do. Once it impacts other programs, then people start to dig and massive memory use in relation to other applications will surface as a symptom. At that point, it doesn’t matter whether it’s more or less than another program if that other program isn’t causing issues.



  15. Jesse on January 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    My problem with Firefox were “features” that were more like bugs. They had a one second delay on “alt click” for download, so clicking on a link and alt-tabbing within a second caused a junk file to get put into your downloads folder.

    Chrome has started doing that too, so maybe some people like it.



  16. Travis on February 13, 2012 at 7:48 am

    So I’ve been an avid Firefox nut until about a year and a half ago… and then I started developing sites and found that the experience using Chrome made Firefox seem, to me at least, that it was indeed now on the same shelf as IE. I loved Firefox… but the memory issues; which kept bringing my MacBook Pro to its knees, the stupid need and desire to not use webkit and other things that should be standardized to make life ******* much easier for all involved has driven me in the arms of Chrome; which, has been a delight to use.

    Sorry Foxes but Firefox simply sucks.



  17. Paul on October 18, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    I think the real benefit of Chrome is its V8 engine. After I ditched FF in favor of Chrome, the biggest thing I noticed was how much more responsive sites with lots of javascript were.

    Also, when one tab is having problems, “usually” I can use the other tabs w/out any issue and return to the frozen tab later, whenever it’s done thinking. When a tab froze on me in FF, it was pretty much game over at that point.

    I don’t think Chrome is perfect, for example I do get some annoying screen tearing when scrolling my hotmail inbox once in a while, but Chrome is definitely, without a doubt, the best browser I’ve ever used, and I’ve used a lot :D.

    I Hate IE, only use it to download Chrome.



  18. ChromeUser on February 15, 2013 at 4:41 am

    I’ve tried Opera, and while I liked the UI, and having the ‘dial up’ tab open on startup displaying small previews of my favorite bookmarks. It was wrought with memory leaks; even after I closed my browser performance would be slow and when I tried to open the browser it would refuse and tell me it was already open. When I got sick of killing the processes all the time I switched to Chrome.

    Firefox has some weird rules; for example if you are three pop-up windows deep into a website; if you hit enter in any context (if you are entering text into a form element or something), the windows all just close. And it is too lazy to calculate percentages for widths and heights; it only supports % sizing if the element above it is explicitly sized in pixels. Which makes creating websites that can be sized appropriately for any size screen, and dynamically adjust size when you resize the window tricky. Its just plain weird.



  19. Petter Bruland on October 10, 2018 at 12:26 am

    And it’s 2018, and nothing has changed other than Internet Explorer is more or less replaced with Edge, which is somewhat OK. Firefox is heading for the recycle bin for me. They said it was going to be faster, all I know is that most of my plugins do not work, I use Java apps at work and no rely on IE 11, and I wish the auto update feature of the old Firefox 52 could be disabled and I could have a stable browser and not this garbage it has become.



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