Firefox 3.1 vs IE8: 'Alpha, beta testers step forward, please'
Just cautiously browsing...
Microsoft is looking for additional testers for the second beta of its upcoming Internet Explorer 8 browser, while Mozilla has reached the first developer milestone of the next release of Firefox.
The two firms have been feverishly pitting their browsers against one another over the past few months.
On Wednesday, Microsoft said that beta two of IE8 was “right around the corner and we are expanding our reach!”. The software giant wants beta testers to step forward and contribute, er, “great bug reports”. Microsoft also has a vetting method in place to determine who gets to test drive the beta.
Somewhat creepily, the company’s IE8 program manager Allison Burnett wants you to tell Microsoft “a little about yourself including why you’d be a great beta tester”. Presumably to qualify you’ll need to have some kind of MS-endorsed developer-ish jiggery-pokery up your sleeve.
Early this week Mozilla announced that the next release of Firefox – codenamed Shiretoko Alpha 1 – was now available for download. It cautioned that the pre-beta version was for hardcore developers and testers only.
Shiretoko, essentially a very early preview of Firefox 3.1, is built on a pre-release version of the Gecko 1.9.1 rich internet apps platform.
Firefox 3 landed in June, grasping a tiny bit of Microsoft’s dominant market share thanks to its heavily-marketed “Download Day” to score a record number of downloads in one day. The PR stunt paid off, with Mozilla clocking more than eight million hits. ®
I do most of my work in a browser, filling in forms etc. I have 20 to 30 tabs open, the only way I can have that many is by using FF without using loads of mem. Occasionally, when I open a site with big flash movies, ff tends to grind to a halt, I am sure if I wait a bit it will display it, but I am not the patient guy, so I just kill it and manage close the last tab before it loads when it restarts.
FF 3.0? The password manager sucks, I have not tried recent version, though. Rich text field editing also sucks on the mac version of ff3, since the MAC OS "jump to beginning of line" keyboard shortcut is mapped to "back" in browser history. very frustrating!
What's all the fuss about?
The majority of people on planet earth, are still using the extremely dangerous version 6 of Internet Explorer, laying themselves open to the risk of visiting the wrong URL and infecting their PCs. This is certainly true of developing countries like China! At least IE7 and 8 are more secure. And IE7 benefits greatly from applying XP SP3! Every modern browser I've tried still has some problem or other - Firefox 3.01, Safari 3.1.2, Opera 9.51 and IE8 Beta 1, but I like IE the best because it loads up fast and works with most websites. Anyway, there's some cud to chew on.
If it was there by default, I for one would be looking for a way to turn it off. It's fully customisable (that includes the look and feel if you don't like it - I think it looks better than IE, but there's plenty of themes you can download), but obviously the default settings for any program won't appeal to everyone.
Also, why are you and so many others so hung up on the number of updates for Firefox? You get a similar number for IE, but probably don't notice them because they're supplied with the Windows updates. Wouldn't you rather have problems fixed when they're found rather than waiting for a schedule?
Also add me to the club of people who've been using FF for years (since it was called Phoenix, v0.4) and I've never had problems. Currently running v3.01, never had it crash and it has the nice habit of asking me whether I want to save the current state when I close it.