Thursday, February 08, 2007
Released last October I only just upgraded to Firefox 2 yesterday when Google notified me that an upgrade was available.
And wow what a difference.
It includes spell check, which really helps me out, as folks have commented on my spelling, and it works automatically, in my email, my blog, when I post to Canada Blog Exchange, wow I was impressed.
Then my system shut down and it retrieved and restored my settings, including this blog posting when I opened Firefox again.
It includes a Google search bar, and when you click to open a new site it posts it in the tab bar rather than in a new window. IE7 ain't got nothing on this.
What we do care for, and where IE7 can’t compete, is innovative features. The live bookmarks, which bring Web feeds into the bookmarks folder, now get live titles as well. These add live micro-summaries to previously static bookmark titles, which can show the latest news headlines or blog posts, for example.
Like many of the new features, session restore used to be available as a third-party extension but is now built in. This enables the browser to restore all current tabs should the browser shut down abnormally — a lifesaver with multisite browsing and sadly missing from IE7. As is the integrated inline spellchecking that works in a similar, squiggly underline fashion as Word but is active in Web forms, forums and blog posts. Tab handling has improved in Firefox 2, with all labels now having a minimum size to ensure descriptions are readable no matter how many are open, before becoming scrollable when the screen is full. Also, if you close a tab by accident, you can now restore it with a single click.
The graph shows that, over the last week or two, Firefox 2 uptake has finally overtaken Firefox 1.5 usage. This appears to be quite an accurate assumption since Firefox's user base has traditionally been considerably more tech savvy and, further, the upgrade to Firefox was not forced on users. Hence, user uptake of the new browser appears to be much more enthusiastic than the uptake of IE7,
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