I been a fan of Firefox for some time, even before it was called Firefox! (and I had to walk up hills…both ways!). At the time the idea of a stand-alone browser was very appealing to me along with something new to use. I never liked Internet Explorer (and I still don’t) so I always looked for something else to use, Firefox filled that need and still is. All this and it’s open sources, which I feel is something that is needed nowadays when you are going to be using this software for most of your important things like banking and money management. The feeling you get when you have the ability to analyse the code, and ensure there is nothing that shouldn’t be there.  If there is something there, you have the option to fix it.  Even if you don’t read the code yourself, the feeling that there are ton of people working and using Firefox puts your mind to rest.

The Firefox team has been keeping up with the browser updates with bug/Security fixes along with new features, come on we all love tabbed browsing don’t we? But after time it seems like speed become an issue and the browser seemed to get bogged down. A lot of the great stuff added the UI got old and stagnant and the browser became a memory hog and just lost the new feeling even with all the updates. At this point I switched to Google Chrome.

Firefox Test Pilot

Google Chrome, being another Open source browser caught my eye. It had speed and a new look to it, along with the backing of Google and the aim of tailoring it to their web applications which I use daily. Some cool new features came out of it like ‘application shortcuts’ and the address bar being your search bar. Also, improvements for CSS3, HTML5, and a nice speedy Javascript engine.

After using Chrome for some time I started getting curious about the new Firefox. I was still using Firefox for any web testing I needed to do for work but it’s been some time since I used it as my full-time browser. I knew that Firefox 4 was in beta, but I just didn’t have time to test it out with everything that was going on until recently.  I download Firefox 4 beta 6 and was happy with the updates made, the new UI is great and was much needed. The app tab is perfect for me as I leave a good number of sites open, like Gmail, Google Reader, Twitter and Pandora. The app tab keeps my sites only a click away but not in the way of my other tabs. There was also a nice boost in speed from Firefox 3.5, but it still seemed slower then Chrome. Overall the new feeling come back and I started using Firefox again as my full time browser, and at this point I’m helping to test out the beta and supply my feedback. Nov 10 there was a update and Firefox 4 Beta 7 come out, I updated not thinking too much but was shocked at the updates made from 6 to 7. The speed was if not faster then chrome about the same, along with some nice features like hardware acceleration for HTML5.

Looking at the wiki.mozilla.org/Releases page, it seem that there are 3 more betas and 1 release candidate. I can’t wait until the next beta to see the great updates they have made, its placed on(around) November 30. I feel that Firefox 4 has revitalized Firefox greatly, and has renewed my feelings for using it. With updates made to the UI and to the backend code, I will be waiting for Firefox 4 to fully come out and be my primary browser once again! Give it a try for yourself, www.mozilla.com/firefox/beta