Buh-bye Internet Exploder

Posted: March 1, 2008 in Uncategorized
I’ve never really used Firefox that often, mostly for my job, although I had it installed on my main machine at home. I still primarily used IE6, but about a month ago I noticed that it would suddenly stop responding…I first noticed this would happen a lot at cnn.com, just as a linked page was loading, but later realized it was happening at almost all websites I frequent. And it was happening two to four times a day. Trying to close the window closed all IE windows, and I would send the exception dump to MS. I was really starting to get annoyed. Then I tried IE7 on one of my work machines, and sure enough, within an hour it quit responding. I’ve been using IE since 1995, and have never experienced this much frustration with it. I can only assume a recent security patch shipped with a sev=1 bug, but I’m surprised it hasn’t been fixed yet.

Firefox 3 is currently in beta, and should be ready for release in a week or two. And these guys have set their sights on beating Opera for the speed crown. What I didn’t know was that I was missing huge performance by not using Firefox 2 all this time…check out these numbers:

  1. Firefox 2.0.0.12: 29376.4ms
  2. Internet Explorer 7: 72375.0ms

Whoa…way more than twice as fast as IE7? Seriously? So I launched Firefox and started surfing around a little…sure enough, the perceptual performance difference even against IE6 is stunning. Pages load FAST, back navigation is almost immediate. And Firefox 3 has something coming that’s even better: 10 times the performance as IE7. This is going to be SWEET!

I don’t listen to the crud about how Firefox is "more secure" than IE, simply because Microsoft constantly releases security patches, and Mozilla does the exact same thing…no browser can ever be completely secure. But I absolutely DO listen to performance.

So I removed IE from my Start menu and Quick Launch bar, and replaced it with Firefox. That doesn’t preclude that I won’t use IE for certain things. Sorry IE, I stuck around with you for as long as I could…but constant "Not Responding" episodes has finally pushed me away.

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