New Firefox and Opera Browsers Have Arrived

June 17, 2008

Regular readers will know how much I detest Internet Explorer. Unfortunately it is still the most-used browser simply because it exists on all Windows machines. Two of the biggest competitors have released new versions of their browsers this week and it is time you gave both of them a long look. Hey, they are free, so it doesn’t cost you anything to get them!

Those of you who give the new browsers a try will find that they are faster, use less memory, have more features and are a much lower security risk than Internet Explorer. They also allow you to easily transfer your list of Favorites so there is really no downside at all to switching.

Opera 9.5 is considered a minor upgrade from Opera 9.2. The Opera folks claim that the new version is more than twice as fast at rendering HTML and JavaScript over the previous version. That’s a huge jump! Downloading is also faster with the integrated BitTorrent distribution protocol. Sure there are tabs. You can block content you don’t want. It handles newsfeeds. And did I mention it was free?

Download DayFirefox 3 was just released today and the folks from Mozilla are trying to set a world record for most downloads in a day. I will be switching to Firefox 3 as soon as the final version is available (I’m writing this a few hours before it is available for download). What will you find? It will be even more secure than Firefox 2.0. It does a better job of managing passwords and add-ons. Downloads can be resumed. Even easier to bookmark and organize your favorite pages. Throw in the much faster performance and much less memory used and you have quite a few new features. Oh yea, and it is free too! You might also be able to say you were involved in setting a world record.

Users who are developing for the Web will definitely want to download both new browsers so that they can test their sites in these new environments. The rest of you should want to download at least one of them because they are just plain better browsers than Internet Explorer. For most users it will take less than five minutes to download, install and convert your favorites. Give them a try, I think you’ll like them!

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4 Comments

  1. Giftmugs

    Foster,
    Did you ever give the K-Meleon browser a test drive?
    You can get your free copy here:
    http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/

    Try it, you might like it. I do.
    Best regards,
    Roland K.
    giftmugs

    Reply
  2. Rikk

    I use Firefox, Safari, and Opera for Web Site design testing only. I have installed the new versions and found Firefox has committed grave sins against my machine. It put an Icon on my desktop without asking me. It put an icon on my locked task bar’s quick launch tool bar without my permission and most heinously, it made itself the default browser without asking. Such arrogance is not tolerated on my machines.

    It can ask if it can and it will be told ‘no’ emphatically. To suppose it is so self-important as to circumvent my wishes makes it no better than MS IE tactics of last decade.

    Firefox-no thank you. I will test on it to ensure my web viewers aren’t comprimised by its handling of HTML but I will not allow it to run roughshod over my systems. I was incredibly disappointed with the installation and the work it took to undo its foolish actions.

    Reply
  3. Foster D. Coburn III

    Roland,

    No I have not tried K-Meleon. I looked at it briefly. Quite simply it didn’t seem to do anything special enough for me to try it and the marketshare is too small to use it for testing.

    Reply
  4. Foster D. Coburn III

    Rikk,

    Very interesting. I installed a week ago so I don’t remember every single part of the install. I thought it asked about putting icons in various places as well as being the default.

    I do keep an icon for it on my desktop and I do have it as my default. So I probably wouldn’t have noticed if it had done these things without my permission.

    Sorry to hear it had these problems as I find it to be a very good browser.

    Reply

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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