Bits from Bill: Firefox Ready to Be #1


By Bill Pytlovany

Are you a Firefox user? Apparently, if you are you’re not alone. Sometime this year when I wasn’t paying attention Firefox rocketed to a new high. For over three years I watched as Firefox hovered between a 30% to 34% browser share. This month I was surprised to see that Firefox consistently exceeds 40% and is preparing to take over IE as the most popular browser.

In June 2008 the release of Firefox 3.0 was a huge event. Mozilla set the Guinness world record for the most downloads in a single day. Over 8 million users downloaded Firefox 3 on Junes 17th, 2008. While it increased the credibility of Firefox the browser world was still dominated by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.


This post is excerpted with Bill P’s permission from his blog

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25 thoughts on “Bits from Bill: Firefox Ready to Be #1”

  1. I have tried all the various browsers and I keep returning to IE, IE8 in the latest case. And I must concur with the observation in an earlier post: Why FF? Is it simply because IE is MS?

    All I can say is if MS is so bad, why does an overwhelming majority employ its products? Is MS out there threatening bodily harm if its products are not used?

    If better products can be found, then use them and stop belly aching about MS.

    FYI: I would dearly love to employ Linux, preferably Ubuntu Gnome 9.04, and I very likely will whenever the OS and its available applications do what I want and work as well as MS. So far I don’t see that happening, particularly with the advent of Windows 7.

  2. FF will not upgrade firmware for my Netgear router. Netgear says you have to use IE due to FF can’t handle the firmware file exrension.

  3. Love FF, but have to keep IE around because FF apparently can’t be exercised from VBA. (Enough acronyms?) I do hope that someone will correct me on this.

  4. I honestly do not see how Firefox is slower than IE!! It was very slow on my old PC, but that was because it only had 256MB RAM, and then everything was slow! Now on my new laptop (2GB RAM) it works fine, well, worked fine at first until it started crashing often, but my switch to IE (IE8 pre-loaded) made no difference to my problems, with IE crashing fairly often when trying to open a new tab, which is definitely SLOWER than opening a tab in Firefox.

    I have no recollection of being any happier with IE7 when I had it (crashed a lot), and my change to Firefox was great, until much later it seemed to crash more. Maybe it’s adding on too many add-ons?

    One add-on I swear by is IE tab, which can be used to access those finance websites that insist on IE. You simply toggle it in the bottom right corner for that tab while remaining in Firefox for all other tabs – brill!

    I find IE annoying for the queer slow way the mouse moves over the favourites menu, and for how it always insists on opening new sites in either a new window (even when I set the pref.s for a new tab each time), or in the first tab already being used and never a new one.

    As I said, I’ve used IE for a while now, waiting to get my other software problems sorted by my local techie, who just shakes his head and tuts at any mention of MS or Gates. But I have just returned to Firefox, downloading vers. 3.5, and eveything right now is hunky-dory.

    In fact , I just ran a little test – Firefox 3.5 is actually MUCH faster than IE8 for opening and finding any website, it remembers sites in the address bar and saved form text fields much better, AND… a problem I had in making internet video (youtube or iplayer) full screen is now only present in IE8, and no longer in Firefox!!

    MS Bye-Bye ¦¬)

  5. With the IE Tab addon, Firefox handles those sites which are “IE only”, apparently flawlessly. I admit to using it (and Open Office) mostly because it is NOT MS but it’s fine and I don’t have the problems others have described, apart from the slow load. For ways to get round that, try a Google search for “firefox load faster”. There seem to be several, though I haven’t tried any yet.

  6. RE: “bryan catmull Says:
    August 6th, 2009 at 5:24 pm
    Gee Rob, having all those problems, still continued to use
    it, then it dawned on you it must be the browser, you are
    either a STOOGE for Microsoft, or a complete IDIOT!!
    let me toss a coin.”

    Gee bryan with a small d I have seldom run across such a complete asshole as you.

    Yes I admit I am an Idiot. but not for your reasons. I am an idot for continuing to use 2nd rate software just because it was not MS and therefore must be good. It is not good, it is now, and has always been Beta. when it is stable and actually does what it is supposed to I may return. If you can live with the defects and be happy then go for it. I have decided I will use the evil empires software if it is the best option. After all 98% of us use MS Windows and we all bitch about it. Some of you may be like me and have tried Linux, but gave up because it actually required an effort to install and setup. very few ( percentage wise ) actually followed through and use it.
    Yes MS has many problems. So do all the other software suppliers out there.
    Just to show you how much of an idiot I really am I freely admit to useing Norton Internet security and I like it. It does a fine job. I also use Nod 32 on 1 computer and I like that as well. But if NIS is cheaper at renewall time it will be the choice. One is not a lot better than the other.

    As far as the people who complain about paying MS and not getting value nobody pays for IE or Firfox or any other browser. all are free for the asking.

  7. I prefer Firefox to IE, but I prefer Safari to the both of them. Firefox has too many add ons that have to be downloaded and upgraded practically every time log on, and I never use them anyway. And as one writer said above, I use OpenOffice as an alternative to MSOffice, and I love it. Microsoft is Satan.

  8. I stupidly hit the “OK” button when Windows recommended an upgrade. It was IE 8, and that was so horrible that I immediately found and installed Firefox.

    I’ll never look back.

  9. I tentatively migrated over about six months ago to see what would happen and I became a believer. I am willing to look at Firefox as a continuing work in progress, so I don’t get upset when it crashes, I just reopen it. Since I normally only have one instance of it open I usually get all my tabs back and am back in business in a few seconds with no harm done.

    Because I believe in crawling before I walk I waited until I was comfortable with Firefox before I added too many add-ons. I have finally added No-Script and like the control it gives me.

    Finally, I have now gone ahead and installed Firefox on my wife’s computer. She isn’t particularly tech savvy but she already sees Firefox as an improvement.

  10. I have loved Firefox in the past as a welcome alternative to the dreaded Internet Explorer. However, recently Firefox has succumbed to the Microsoft bloat disease. It takes forever to load and crashes frequently. I am now running Chrome on my netbook, and when it becomes mature, I will install it on my laptop/desktop replacement. When it comes to software, big is usually not better.

  11. I love firefox, every bit of them and the add on WOT is great….

    the only problem is they have to fix the memory leak issues.

    Had problems since 3.0, still there in 3.5.1 & 3.5.2…..

    But still great, way less infected than any other browsers

  12. I have use Firfox but not all the sites I visit are compatible.

    I can not visit my senator unless I use IE – ARGH!

    Why is that I can not use Firefox for any site available on the web?

    This is the only drawback of Firefox otherwise I would use Firefox at all times!

  13. Am so sick of paying for software that isnt properly finshed and thought out. If microsoft came to my restaurant, would they pay full price for a meal thats only 2/3 cooked ?

  14. Sorry if i appear to gloat, but ive had the utmost contempt for microsoft for ages. They think theyre a power unto themselves and never listen to the end user. It’s time they got a large foot right up their bums. Maybe now they’ll pay attention.

  15. I have used Firefox for ages now. The only problem I had was the long start up times. The other week I downloaded a free program called Rocket Dock. It’s like an Apple toolbar that your can put your icons on and auto hide it. For some reason when I click on Firefox in the Rocket Dock toolbar it loads a lot quicker than clicking the icon on the desktop. Now somebody down load it and tell me why that is.

  16. I have been using firefox for as long as I cen remember. I’m not a fan of IE and never have been. I have tried other borwsers other than FireFox, Safari for instance, but I always find myself going back to the old faithful. I don’t like the timely startups, but I can easily forgive that. 🙂 I also use open source office Software. I currently have Office 2003, and was thinking about upgrading to Office 2007, until I saw the price…I’ll be sticking to 2003, and when that is completely outdated, I’ll move 100% to OpenOffice.

  17. Gee Rob, having all those problems, still continued to use
    it, then it dawned on you it must be the browser, you are
    either a STOOGE for Microsoft, or a complete IDIOT!!
    let me toss a coin.

  18. I have used Firefox for a few years now. It has served me well and apparently is more secure than IE. But I uninstalled it today and use it no more. I forgave it the long startups and the crashes that were frequent. I forgave it the sites it could not operate properly on and the albums it choked on trying to show pictures. But now it started not shutting down properly, hanging and using 100% of CPU until manually stopped using the task manager. Two complete uninstalls and clean installs did not help. Then it dawned on me. I have gone to this kind of trouble with Firefox many times. Am I an idiot to continue to do this just because it is not MS. Sorry but bye bye FireFox.

  19. More and more I’m moving towards open source applications. I have both Foxfire and IE7 loaded on my desktop and laptop, as well as OpenOffice 3.1. I’m using both now on a semi-regular basis and will probably drop IE & MS Officealtogether soon. Especially when the OS’s will no longer support MS Office 2000 (the last I bought. With all this free stuff, can’t see paying for it any longer.

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