back to article Firefox 3.1 vs IE8: 'Alpha, beta testers step forward, please'

Microsoft is looking for additional testers for the second beta of its upcoming Internet Explorer 8 browser, while Mozilla has reached the first developer milestone of the next release of Firefox. The two firms have been feverishly pitting their browsers against one another over the past few months. On Wednesday, Microsoft …


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  1. Zygyk

    FF rules. IE8 really has to come up with a big suprise - under 25MB, at least

    Seriously, that should be under 10MB, but if I was a betting man, I'd say 30MB plus. Everything you dont really need in a browser, including the kitchen sink

  2. Anonymous Coward

    great beta tester?

    "Somewhat creepily, the company’s IE8 program manager Allison Burnett wants you to tell Microsoft “a little about yourself including why you’d be a great beta tester”. Presumably to qualify you’ll need to have some kind of MS-endorsed developer-ish jiggery-pokery up your sleeve."

    So, if I tell her that I'm a Web 2.0 developer who loaths the hoops and shit that IE6/7 makes us jump through to get stuff working on those cruddy pieces of crap, even though the sites in question work fine on Firefox, Opera and Safari, and that I will thrash IE8b2 into the ground when (not if) I find the sort of bugs* I've already reported for IE8b1 then do you think I might not be accepted into the "great beta tester" ranks?

    *which I'm willing to bet are NOT fixed in IE8b2.

  3. V.Srikrishnan

    FF 3.1

    I am not impressed by the new firefox. it becomes abnormally slow on certain websites, notably Also, there are random crashes. Opera is even worse and crashes promptly when I open the mail. Seamonkey is just fine and i hope it stays out of the mad race for looks while losing out on stability and usability. maybe its time to switch to elinks which is just fine....

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Re: FF 3.1

    Nice try Srikrishnan. NOT.

    Don't look at the link he posted, it's a stupid SPAM-filled page!


  5. Anonymous Coward

    Acid Test 3?

    Either of these plan to pass it?

    Didn't think so...

  6. Anonymous Coward

    FF vs IE

    When I switched to FF in the dim and distant past it was actually for 1 very simple reason. FF had a faster render speed for web pages than IE in my crude tests on the machines I was using at the time. I liked the tabbed browsing and not having to install a google toolbar, but they weren't the reason I switched. In the last 2 years though, FF has done a very poor job of impressing me. The product has stagnated, whilst IE has improved by orders of magnitude. The biggest issue though is that FF is buggy and crashes all the time. And when it crashes it takes down every FF window you have open, whereas different IE window run as separate processes so they survive a crash. I've almost given up and gone back to IE on a number of occasions. The only things that have prevented me doing it to date are:

    1) The inability to customise the main toolbar in IE - oh and the current order of icons on that toolbar is just silly. Why would next and back not be right next to home, stop and refresh on the left side of the screen like they should be.

    2) The fact that you can't middle click next and back (or home for that matter).

    3) The completely ridiculous replacement for menus.

    4) It still seems to be slower to render - especially when opening a new tab.

    Other than those points, from a user perspective it's a better browser.

    Now, the first one of the 2 browsers that either allows me to split the window (to see 2 web-pages at the same time), or drag tabs from one window to another, will have me switching in no time at all.

  7. Brian Whittle
    Thumb Down

    Wish list for IE

    Ditch the active-x . Its really a good idea to let web sites have access to your pc..not

    Get rid of the run from web sites

    Use google to do the phishing filter IE7 version slows down the browser too much

    wait thats firefox I will just use that

  8. Diogenies

    @FF vs IE

    AC Try opera - its has a loverly tile function so you can see as many pages as your resolution/eyesight will allow

  9. Stuart
    Paris Hilton

    @ AC

    "In the last 2 years though, FF has done a very poor job of impressing me. ..The biggest issue though is that FF is buggy and crashes all the time. And when it crashes it takes down every FF window you have open,"

    I've noticed this too. FF3 has fixed the insane memory leak problem of older releases, but now seems to crash without warning on a whim. Very annoying. It is a rare day for me when FF3 doesn't go down at least twice.

    Paris, since she could probably relate to that last sentence.

  10. Orochimaru_Sannin


    ever since i've updated to ff3.01 it's been pretty fast and no crashes. the crash that you're experiencing could probably be from an unclean install. download the new ff3.1 and back-up your bookmarks. uninstall ff2 or ff3 that you have now. delete any old file directories of ff in your profile. install the new ff3.1 and it's as stable as an aircraft carrier out in the big blue ocean.

    if you're using xp updating to sp3 might help or maybe the windows registry is quite messy and needs a clean installation.

  11. Kevin Eastman

    @ Stuart

    "I've noticed this too. FF3 has fixed the insane memory leak problem of older releases, but now seems to crash without warning on a whim. Very annoying. It is a rare day for me when FF3 doesn't go down at least twice."

    I have used Firefox for Windows since version 1. I am currently running 3.01 with the following Add Ons; Adblock Plus, AVG Safe Search, Canadian English Dictionary, DownloadThemAll and NoScript. I can happily say that I have yet to have Firefox crash on me. The only time it has, it's been my own fault (like accidentally clicking on the BIG red X in the upper right hand corner).

    I am just at starting to play with Ubuntu, so will not be able to use IE there. I am hoping there is an IE Add on though that will work in Linux, as my work website and email only works with IE.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @Kevin: You *can* run IE in Ubuntu

    With wine, and you can have the job done for you with .

    Meanwhile, give your stupid sysadmins a kick.

  13. William Old
    Gates Horns

    @Kevin Eastman

    > "as my work website and email only works with IE."


    (With apologies to Nelson Muntz...)

  14. David Simpson
    Thumb Up

    No crashes ever.......

    Yep same here, no crashes at all, I work as a repair engineer and so many people blame "bugs" on certain programs when really it's the other crap on their PC and the fucked up state of their registry.

    FF2 on mac was a pile of shit that crashed a lot but 3 is silky smooth and seems faster than safari.

    Why would anyone use anything else, the sheer amount of plug ins makes it perfect, my present favorite is pic lens, amazing 3D browsing !

  15. Telic

    @ Kevin Eastman

    ""I am hoping there is an IE Add on though that will work in Linux, as my work website and email only works with IE.""

    Have a look-see at IEs4Linux to run IE on Linux...


  16. MaxRock

    Re: FF vs IE

    I'm probably misunderstanding you but you can actually drag a tab from one FF window to the other. Actually you can drag and drop them pretty much where ever you want, although IE opens them all in the same tab.

    Oh, and thanks for the 'middle click on back/next/home.' Didn't know that one.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    FF crashes

    I've only had a few, but every time it has warned of the problem, closed down and auto-restarted, re-opening multiple pages exactly as before. So, a minor inconvenience and much better than most other programs.

    I'm not sure whether its firefox or session manager that's responsible for that behaviour, but together with all its addons I'm very satisfied with firefox.

    I can't stand distracting animations, so without NOSCRIPT and FLASHBLOCK, most current web pages would be completely unviewable.

  18. Keith Smith

    Crash, Crash

    Must agree with the stability issues on FF prior to current. I use opera a bit, and IE when forced. However with the latest FF3 on Ubuntu I've noticed very little in the way of instability. The thing I like so much about FF is the plethora of stuff you can pick and choose from to make it more interesting. Most of the older "add-on"s I installed by default are now part of the standard. Nothing annoys me more than to turn on a new dell and deal with ie's yahoo/google/whatever "helpers". I still haven't figure out what half of the sh*t even does. . .

    I also know that several of the stability problems I've had were more related to Flashplayer than the browser, though again the latest incantations for linux seem to have corrected the issues. Flashblock is the greatest thing since sliced bread. YMMV.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I don't understand

    i use IE when i have to, tbh from a user perspective IE7 isn't all that bad, Firefox on the other hand is very poor imho, i can't understand why people bother with it i'd go for Oprera every time it's so much faster and it has a quality feel the FF and IE can't match.

  20. Stuart

    @ FF3 stability

    To all the helpful correspondents who suggested doing a clean install, thanks. Since FF3 went on to my PC when I'd had the PC for barely a fortnight, the registry was practically empty, and there was nothing to corrupt FF. I will try Flashblock, in case that's the problem.

  21. Kevin Eastman

    Re: IE on Linux

    Thanks for the suggestions. I will look into them.

  22. James O'Brien

    @David Simpson

    "FF2 on mac was a pile of shit that crashed a lot but 3 is silky smooth and seems faster than safari."

    Only SEEMS faster? Not *IS* faster? Fanboi

  23. Liam

    i find this odd....

    the massive amounts of MS bashing that goes on yet we are told to do a clean install to get a browser working properly.. i wonder what the comments would be like if bill's s/w made you do that eh?

    personally i dont like FF - looks shite, runs slower than IE on this machine and i dont see a button for creating new tabs... also how many updates in such a short time? to be honest i use IE for browsing as its much faster to load and most websites work fine... unlike FF and opera (not the browsers fault tho)... and only use opera, safari and FF for testing my webapps on.

    was using opera last week and found a display bug but cant remember what it was now lol...

  24. Paul Mitchell


    To have a new tab button, go to the "View" menu, choose "Toolbars" and the "Customise", you'll find it there

  25. Baldychap

    Who needs buttons?

    for a new tab CTRL+T works fine for me. I think firefox is great and use the IE Tab extension to render crappy pages that only work in IE.

  26. Liam

    thanks Paul

    but why isnt it on there by default? seems odd to me...

  27. mark jacobs
    Gates Halo

    What's all the fuss about?

    The majority of people on planet earth, are still using the extremely dangerous version 6 of Internet Explorer, laying themselves open to the risk of visiting the wrong URL and infecting their PCs. This is certainly true of developing countries like China! At least IE7 and 8 are more secure. And IE7 benefits greatly from applying XP SP3! Every modern browser I've tried still has some problem or other - Firefox 3.01, Safari 3.1.2, Opera 9.51 and IE8 Beta 1, but I like IE the best because it loads up fast and works with most websites. Anyway, there's some cud to chew on.

  28. Paul Talbot


    If it was there by default, I for one would be looking for a way to turn it off. It's fully customisable (that includes the look and feel if you don't like it - I think it looks better than IE, but there's plenty of themes you can download), but obviously the default settings for any program won't appeal to everyone.

    Also, why are you and so many others so hung up on the number of updates for Firefox? You get a similar number for IE, but probably don't notice them because they're supplied with the Windows updates. Wouldn't you rather have problems fixed when they're found rather than waiting for a schedule?

    Also add me to the club of people who've been using FF for years (since it was called Phoenix, v0.4) and I've never had problems. Currently running v3.01, never had it crash and it has the nice habit of asking me whether I want to save the current state when I close it.

  29. Hans


    I do most of my work in a browser, filling in forms etc. I have 20 to 30 tabs open, the only way I can have that many is by using FF without using loads of mem. Occasionally, when I open a site with big flash movies, ff tends to grind to a halt, I am sure if I wait a bit it will display it, but I am not the patient guy, so I just kill it and manage close the last tab before it loads when it restarts.

    FF 3.0? The password manager sucks, I have not tried recent version, though. Rich text field editing also sucks on the mac version of ff3, since the MAC OS "jump to beginning of line" keyboard shortcut is mapped to "back" in browser history. very frustrating!

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