I'm a big fan of Firefox, and have just recently upgraded to version 2.0. The main reasons I like it are:
- For me, I find it loads pages much faster than using Internet Explorer 7.0.
- I like the tabbed browsing. (Something that was added in IE7.)
- There are a ton of snap-in themes available
- There are a ton of extension (add-on) products available
- All themes and extensions are free. 🙂
Now, granted, IE7 introduced a lot of new features to catch up to Firefox, but I was converted a while ago. Between the add-ons, snap-ins and page speeds, though, I'm still sold on Firefox.
I run Firefox using the LittleFox theme, which makes the task bar as small as I can get it. The more screen real estate I have, the happier I am.
My add-ons include the following:
- Gmail Notifier. This little program just places a little icon in the bottom right of the Firefox window that pops up when I'm browsing and a new email comes in. I have all my forum notifications sent to a gmail account, so this is kind of handy for power surfing/posting. 😉
- IETab. This beauty makes use of the IE ActiveX control to run IE in Firefox. You can get a fully customizable list of domains that you always want to run in an IE session. Windows update, for example, or any other Microsoft site. I love this add-on, and very rarely use IE for anything now.
What's really cool about these add-on and theme products is that they are very quick and easy to install, (just click the button, wait a couple of seconds, restart Firefox,) and you are notified if updates become available. In addition, I had no problem using them in Firefox 1.0 through 2.0.
Another great Firefox related program that I came across in the Vista install process was MozBackup. Another fast install, and I was able to back up all my Firefox data in only a few intuitive clicks. The restore was just as easy. Install MozBackup and you are only a few clicks away from restoring everything. It installed just as easily on Vista as Windows XP, and I was blown away to find that it was like I hadn't even moved from another OS. I saw a seamless transport of the following settings from version 1.5 to 2.0:
- Bookmarks Toolbar
- Autocomplete settings
- IETab settings
- General options settings
Now, there is one thing I can't say I'm thrilled with in version 2.0 of Firefox. In 1.5, there was a button to the right of the screen which would close the active tab (window). So you could click it multiple times to close multiple windows. In version 2.0, the close button is found right on the tab, which means you have to mouse over to it. Much less convenient.
Overall, though, it's a small issue. I love this program, and it's one of the first things I install on any new system I use.