LONDON – Mozilla’s Firefox browser is now ahead of the Internet Explorer in terms of usage on European computers. A study by technology company AdTech says that the popularity of the open-source browser has grown by 40 percent over the last six months.
Plus Firefox has managed to increase its market share from 8.96 percent to 12.41 percent in the same six-month period between March and October this year. The main reason for users shunning Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the dodgy security in the latter. That is not to say that Firefox is not vulnerable to being attacked.
But the fact remains that IE supports the ActiveX controls, which remains the main channel for the entry of malicious codes as well as spyware. Firefox does not support these controls, but it has still made massive improvements in the 1.5 version. The tabbed browsing feature has always been its main attraction to many users and this feature continues to deliver in leaps and bounds in the new version as well.
The main feature that has rendered Firefox relatively safe against hackers has been its open-source origins, which means that programmers have been regularly updating this version as keeping it out of the reach of malware makers. The new version boasts of a better pop-up blocking feature, but initial feelings are that it remains pretty much similar to earlier versions. The “Clear Private Data” command is pretty useful in wiping out all your traces including that of saved passwords and usernames. Firefox scores heavily over Internet Explorer in this category.
The new version also presents two new web-design categories called Canvas and SVG and this makes surfing more interesting. A big plus is the RSS button, which is now displayed on top of the page rather than at the bottom. All said and done, Firefox is at the moment ahead of Internet Explorer in the stakes and this should serve as a wake-up call to the Redmond honchos. A IE 7.0 is in the works and it is a sure thing that all the popular features of Firefox will be taken into consideration before releasing it. Till then happy “tabbed” browsing!