Internet Explorer 7 vs. Firefox 2.0

The recently released Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) has certainly improved a lot compared to its predecessor, Internet Explorer 6 (IE6). It has been nearly 5 years since Microsoft last made any updates on the Internet Explorer. The arrival of IE7 is long overdue; especially with a renewed competition in the web browser space from Mozilla (and Opera).

The release of Mozilla Firefox 2.0 (FF2) came about a week after the official release of IE7. Personally, I’ve been a Firefox 1.x user for quite some time now. However, with the release of IE7, and the list of improvements and features that comes with it, I’ve decided to give IE7 a try. After using both web browsers for about a month, here’s my 2 cents of enlightenment…

IE7: The downloaded installation file is about 15MB, and would only install on a genuine copy of Windows. It took a little longer to install and requires a reboot after installation. Perhaps this is due to the tight integration of the IE in Windows XP and requires system updates/changes.
FF2: The downloaded installation file is just 5.6MB. It’s a fast and easy installation.

User Interface (UI)
IE7: A completely bold overhauls of the UI; may need some time to get used to it. The tabbed browsing interface in IE is well designed, although I do feel the tabs beings a little over-sized.
FF2: A minor change to the UI over FF1.x. Subtle changes to tab navigation with a close button on each tab.

IE7: The new tabs window preview shows a thumbnail of the web page on each tab to help navigate all the tabs opened. The newly added RSS/XML support is good and nicely formatted for display, but IE7 treats it like another webpage in your favorites.
FF2: The new spellchecker helps to avoid spelling mistakes while filling up web forms (such as web mails and blogging). Displaying RSS/XML pages is well supported (as expected of FF) and live bookmark still feels nicer. Added new session resume that would re-open all the web pages when FF2 was last abruptly closed. If there’s anything more to add, FF2 have numerous add-ons to add to the list of features to meet your needs.

IE7: Added new phishing filter to prevent unsuspecting user from revealing important passwords to fraud sites. Hopefully, Microsoft will renew their effort to patch up IE7 more swiftly then it did for IE6 whenever a new security hole and/or bugs are detected.
FF2: Has also added phishing filter, both (IE7 and FF2) filter implementation seems to work well for most common cases. Mozilla seems to respond to security hole and/or bugs fixes more swiftly.

Overall, Firefox 2 will continue to be my default or preferred browser for my everyday browsing. If I would to name one significant feature of FF2 that win me over IE7, it would have to be its spell checker. However, I would also strongly recommend every Windows XP user to upgrade to IE7 that would also patch the operating system of any vulnerability from the tightly integrated IE6. Go download both Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 today (if you have not).

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