Rythie's Blog

Technology and stuff

IE7 and Firefox 2 Go Head to Head


It must be a PC magazine's dream come true, with Microsoft's IE7 and Mozilla's Firefox 2 released within a week of each other. I can see it now when I next go to the newsagent next there will loads of magazines with a headlines like "IE7 and Firefox battle it" (probably with a small headline on the same page "100 ways to remove spyware from Windows XP" as seems to common on Windows centric magazines)

I've had a look at both and I'm using Firefox 2 now. Microsoft's IE page says "Internet Explorer 7 is a major step forward in ease of use and security" which compared to previous versions of IE this is true but it certainly isn't compared to other browsers. Microsoft have added tabbed browsing, a search box in the top right corner as far the user interface goes the Phishing filter seems to be only new one for browsers, though this has been also been added by Firefox 2. A lot of the interest around IE7 seems to be from web developers wondering which of the many 1000s of rendering bugs they have to work around on a daily basis will be fixed, on this count it seems not to have really astounded anyone either way with some bugs fixed and plenty still to do.

Firefox 2 seems to be viewed in a completely different light, in that the support for web standards is already very high and the number of bugs in the rendering is very low with many people not being able to use the new standards because of lack of implementations of them by IE. Firefox 2 instead builds on a solid base tweaking the experience a bit to make it better with a new "Undo Close Tab" feature, spell checking, search suggestions (like Google Suggest) and others like "live titles" which I'm not sure how useful they will be.

When Microsoft first announced IE7 some people though people would switch back from Firefox to IE though I think at least with IE7 that's not likely to happen.