My Favorite Browser

Does the world need another browser war?

You could be forgiven if you thought that the browser wars ended in the 1990s and were between Microsoft Internet Explorer and the Netscape browser,  This month the Mozilla Foundation will release Firefox 3.0, the newest version of the browser whose origins trace back to Netscape (which released most of its code under an open source license in 1998, creating the Mozilla Organization to manage development of the Mozilla Application Suite).  Although the release date has not yet been announced, the Firefox community aims to set a new Guinness World Record for the most software downloads in 24 hours by asking people to pledge to download Firefox 3 on its release date.

Since then, Microsoft has greatly improved Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari 3.0 is decent enough as well.  I’ve been using beta versions of Firefox 3.0 for the past few months and, despite a few small glitches, I have found it provides a far more satisfying Web experience than the competition.  It’s faster, more secure, renders pages perfectly, and has infinite functionality, thanks largely to Mozilla’s vast selection of add-ons, which are created by members of the Mozilla community around the world (remember, this is open source).

A few features are worthy of note including improved bookmark management (one click on the new “star” in the URL line adds the address as a bookmark, two clicks to file it in a folder) and smart bookmarks, which are folders that tell you which Web sites you visit most often.  Firefox (and IE but not Safari) warn users about to visit a Web site known to be a fake, but now Firefox warns of sites that can download malware onto your machine as well.

The battle is on.

David M. Goldes is the president of Basex.

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