For as long as I have been using a computer and surfing the Internet (it has been over a decade now) I have been using Internet Explorer. I have never wanted to try another browser, trusty IE did what I wanted and usually worked well.
Over the last several months I have been plagued by issues with IE7 that didn’t pop-up until some of the more recent updates for Windows Vista. I'm not sure if the issues with the browser locking up several times per day, the browser not being able to access web pages and other assorted miseries were due to my specific system or if other users were seeing the same issues.
In complaining to a friend about the problems I was having with IE7, he said I should give Firefox a whirl. My first inclination was to say whatever, I'll stick with what I know and have been using. The next day as I tried to work with my typical five or more browser windows open and multiple tabs running in each browser things started going badly with IE7 (again). The browser locked up when changing tabs and locked my entire computer up for about five minutes before I could do anything. Time is money in my business, not to mention how irritating it is to sit and wait for Windows to respond.
Not too long ago I upped the RAM in my computer to 4GB hoping more system memory would help the issue, it didn't. So as I sat there waiting for Windows to respond I vowed that the 30 or more minutes I waste on an average day simply waiting for IE7 to do what I want was over. As soon as my system would respond, I hit the Firefox 3.0 download page and tried the browser.
At first glance, the browser looked similar enough to IE7 feature wise to make me feel comfortable. It admittedly took me a while to figure out how to do basic things like open a new tab, or even see the tabs. The tab toolbar was hidden by default. After searching around Google I finally realized that opening new tabs was much easier than I thought, you just double click in the tab toolbar and there she be. You can also click the middle mouse button to open a link in a new tab. Easy enough really.
I found that there were a few things that I really missed from IE7 though that I used so often they were second nature. For instance the little icon on the IE7 tabs bar you click to open a new tab, I really missed that button. Thankfully, there are a ton of extensions and add-ons for Firefox that are available. I was able to grab one that put a button for opening tabs on the tab toolbar. The button wasn't in the familiar place it was on IE7, but it's there along with a new and magical button that lets me reopen the last tab closed.
I have closed a tab accidentally in IE7 on more than one occasion and wished I could simply undo the closing, with Firefox, I can do just that. The best and most import thing about Firefox is that the browser works, every time, day in and day out. Since I went to Firefox, I have not had one single browser lockup. My computer doesn't become unresponsive, the only downtime I am forced to take is when my Dr. Pepper runs dry and I have to walk those arduous 20 feet to the fridge for a fresh one.
In short, I won’t be going back to Internet Explorer anytime soon. I like Firefox so far and it works, which is the most important thing for a geek who makes his living off the Internet. I never thought I would find myself saying this after years of exclusive Internet Explorer use, but you should try Firefox and don’t bother looking out the window for flying pigs.