Saturday, May 14, 2005

IBM moves to Firefox

Microsoft's Internet Explorer continues lose market share as more consumers and businesses adopt alternative Web browsers. Rival IBM on Friday became the latest company to embrace Mozilla's Firefox browser , making it available to 300,000 employees. Firefox clearly has momentum. It has been downloaded more than 50 million times, and members of the open-source Mozilla project have provided funds for advertising to promote the browser. Firefox has features that aren't available in Internet Explorer. And some experts think it's more secure than IE, reason enough for businesses to consider it as an alternative browser.

Jaquith likes tab browsing in Firefox that lets him display multiple sites in one window. "It's the greatest thing since sliced bread," he says.

Microsoft's market-share decline is caused, in part, by the company's not refreshing IE or adding many new features over the past three years, as well as the perception that IE is riddled with security flaws that require constant patching, Jaquith says. "Firefox doesn't support Microsoft's Active X standard, and that's probably the No. 1 hole for spyware," he says. "The combination of no innovation and a dreadful security reputation has companies looking to the Firefox alternative for IE."

If you haven't tried Firefox, you probably should. You'll be introduced to tabbed browsing (something Opera also has) and if you've never tried it, trust me, it's like Jaquith said - it truly is the greatest thing since sliced bread - especially if you are still using dialup. Of course, Firefox isn't immune to security issues as I've mentioned before here. It had 2 biggies recently but fixed them within a few days, which is very fast. Opera is good too, but it doesn't support Roboform , the outstanding password form filler and that kills that right there from my viewpoint. Firefox also has "extensions" that add nifty little programs to Firefox and are very easy to install. So you can have a stock ticker running in your browser, special Google Preview thumbnails that appear and let you see what a page looks like when doing a Google search before actually clicking on the page, blogging tools, Tiny URL plugin (wonderful gizmo), etc.

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