Firefox 2.0

Post ImageI had a chance to install the latest release of Firefox this morning, and I have to admit, it’s pretty sharp looking! The user interface and default theme have both been updated with a fresh, clean look. Here are my favorite new features:

  • The updated user interface of course!
  • The close button for tabs is now on the tab itself, like IE7 and Opera.
  • Session Restore – replaces one of my favorite extensions.
  • The new add-ons manager is easier to use than the old extensions box.
  • You can reorder tabs now!
  • It’s not really a feature, but so far it appears Firefox is using way less memory than it used to.

The obvious question when you install a new browser is – how does it compare to the other browsers? Well, Firefox 2 appears to be a good improvement over Firefox 1.5, that much is clear. Compared to IE7 and Opera 9? They are all so similar now, it is becoming increasingly difficult to say one is better than the other. The installer for Firefox is definitely the best, though I have read some reports of errors when trying to uninstall.

As I mentioned a while ago, I have switched back to IE7 as my main browser, but I’ve always got the three (don’t forget Opera!) installed. If you’re a Firefox user, you should definitely upgrade to 2.0!

Bet you didn’t know: the IE Team at Microsoft sent Firefox guys a cake to celebrate their launch!

Read: Firefox

Opera plans for version 10

Post ImageJust weeks after officially launching Opera 9, the browser software company has already started sharing plans for the next version. Aside from the usual “we want to take market share from Internet Explorer”, one idea caught my eye:

There is also a big push in the company toward creating developer tools.

“We will be unleashing developer tools, which are still in the planning stages,” Ford said. “We want developers to use Opera as a Web development platform, using open standards. We need to keep the Web ready for open standards.”

I have been using Opera 9 as my primary browser on my tablet for about two weeks now. I find it very fast, and much easier on the memory than either Firefox or IE7. I have also been using Opera 9 on my desktop when developing websites, so any extra tools for web development would much appreciated! Opera is a great browser for testing websites, because if it works in Opera, it’ll likely work elsewhere too.

I would suggest giving Opera a try, just to see what else is out there. The only thing I still can’t get used to is clicking on the address bar to get to the Home button.

Read: CNET News.com