back to article Firefox 91 introduces cookie clearing, clutter-free printing, Microsoft single sign-on... so where are all the users?

Mozilla has released Firefox 91, with single sign-on for Microsoft 365, improved cookie clearing, automatic switch to HTTPS in private windows, and more, but the browser's market share remains small despite a redesign. Microsoft single sign-on means that on Windows, if a PC is either joined to Azure AD (the directory used by …

  1. Binraider Silver badge

    I've said this before, but if Market Share is an important metric, then they must target corporate demands. Every business PC in the land gets Chrome on it, and most businesses don't want to have to have their IT department package and/or support multiple browsers.

    Still take firefox myself any day of the week, particularly with a few choice adblock plugins.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      People get Chrome mainly to navigate their Gmails since there is no native app and other Google apps.

      Perhaps Firefox could use that to their advantage and do messaging that actual web browsing is an afterthought in Chrome and position Firefox as a browser for the web and leave Chrome to be just a Google apps client.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "People get Chrome mainly to navigate their Gmails since there is no native app"

        Gmail is still just mail isn't it? Any of the regular native mail clients will handle it including Thunderbird and its Seamonkey relative.

        1. davidp231

          "Any of the regular native mail clients will handle it including Thunderbird and its Seamonkey relative."

          Oh they will quite happily. But you have to turn on "insecure access mode" in Gmail preferences to use them. And then suffer with being badgered by Google to turn it off again.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Do you? I have a gmail address used as the end point of a contact page on a web site and I don't remember setting up anything like that. They have thrown a few emails with "helpful" hints as about security and meaningless critical alerts but on a quick look there doesn't seem to have been anything since the end of 2019.

            1. Yes Me Silver badge
              Coffee/keyboard

              Gmail hissy fits

              Try using Thunderbird to access gmail on travel. Gmail will throw a hissy fit when your IP address changes, and treat you as an impostor, until you click on the magic link (https://www.google.com/accounts/DisplayUnlockCaptcha). It seems to be based on geolocation, not on your precise address.

              OTOH you do *not* need to use Chrome to access gmail/webmail. Any competent browser will do; I use an oldish Firefox.

            2. ThatOne Silver badge
              Devil

              > Do you?

              You apparently don't if you check it regularly. Like most people, I have a Gmail account solely because of Android's Play Store. I don't use it for anything, but I've set up my phone's mail client (not the Gmail app!) to check it along with the rest, and Google has been accepting that for years now.

              Now when I tried to set up a person of my family with the same system, Gmail did indeed start to throw hissy fits: Turns up that person didn't check her mail often enough, and the grace period during which Google accepts you use something else than the official Gmail app ran out. Don't recall the exact time span, but IIRC it was around 14 days.

              I guess you started doing that before Google decided to clamp down on mail clients' use, like me, and checked mail regularly enough to never be bothered, like me. Now if you stop checking your Gmail account for a couple weeks you'll be blocked, and have to jump through hoops to re-enable that feature Google clearly wants to see disappear: "One Gmail app to rule them all (and in the darkness bind them, in the land of Google where the PR people lie)".

          2. Smirnov

            But you have to turn on "insecure access mode" in Gmail preferences to use them

            That's has been the case until a couple of years ago but today most email clients including Outlook, Thunderbird and Evolution support Google's OAuth implementation, so there's no need to enable insecure applications (which is essentially generating app passwords which circumvent 2FA).

          3. roytrubshaw
            Linux

            "But you have to turn on "insecure access mode" in Gmail preferences to use them."

            I don't remember doing that when I set up Thunderbird to access my Gmail account (nor my Yahoo account for that matter).

            YMMV

          4. Beeblebrox

            "badgered by Google"

            ... and repeated "Critical security alert for ... Sign-in attempt was blocked" emails when I use an android phone running k9 mail or fair email to access a gmail account.

            Since I popped a new sim into a phone I get this every time the phone leaves a known wifi network and is on the cellular network / other wifi.

      2. DJO Silver badge

        People get Chrome mainly to...

        Also some programs like Avast install Chrome as part of their installation or update. Avast does have a tiny opt out check box but you need to know to look for it.

      3. DrXym Silver badge

        Any browser can read GMail and you can hook GMail into thick clients like Outlook Express, Thunderbird etc.

        The more obvious reason Firefox is dwindling is because Google can recommend their own browser instead of it and default to Chrome in their OS(es). And of course Microsoft will do the same through Bing and through their OS.

        In fact you'd have to go explicitly looking for Firefox to get it and I suspect in this day and age many people are content to use the browser they get on their laptop / device. I still think Firefox is the best browser there is but when the default is "good enough" it's still a hard sell.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "I still think Firefox is the best browser there is"

          Despite its UI going steadily down hill? I prefer to use its derivatives.

          1. DrXym Silver badge

            I've had my gripes about the UI and some are questionable but honestly I've gotten used to the changes. Far more important to me is the actual quality of rendering, the add-on ecosystem and Mozilla's emphasis on privacy that is lacking in other browsers. Without exaggeration I've saved man months of download / scrolling / nuisance time just from blocking ads and other crap because of Firefox.

            Google & Microsoft obviously make money through advertising and everything they enable or disable in their browser has to be seen through that lens. The add ons they allow, the privacy defaults, the settings you can change. And in the future you will get things that will erode privacy even further whether you like it or not - FLoC for example.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Honestly I've not been a fan of some of the UI changes but they really haven't been as bad as people seem to make out which would imply its become unusable.

            In fact the only change that has caused me a genuine real issue as opposed to being a preference was the recent changes to tabs which removed the obvious colour difference between active and inactive tabs. This is an issue because I have some vision issues which made it difficult for me, however a bit of googling around userchrome CSS eventually allowed me to fix that plus a few minor preference based gripes.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              There's just so many stupid changes

              Tabs aren't attached to their content anymore, colour schemes have become indistinct, hiding and moving stuff around for no reason...

              I like Firefox, but they keep breaking the UX - in many cases it seems like they're trying to copy Chrome.

              I still use it, but it's much harder to like than in the past.

        2. NerryTutkins

          I really like Firefox, and used it as my main browser up until a year or two ago. I was a user since way back when it was Firebird. I am that old.

          Sometime after the quantum update, it started to become really unstable for me, with multiple crashes per day. I have 16 GB RAM but it seemed to keep running out, every with nothing else open and only 4 or 5 tabs open.

          There is an overhead in switching which kept me on Firefox after that probably longer than I should have stayed. I eventually switched to Vivaldi, which I found was more stable and offered many of the Firefox features and customizability which Chrome didn't.

          I really want Firefox to succeed, and I think Microsoft missed an opportunity by not basing their new Edge on it instead of Chrome. That would have strengthened a true Chrome alternative so there would be more choice.

          Sadly I cannot see Firefox surviving on its dwindling market share, with Google, Microsoft and Apple all backing effectively the same rival code. I know I am using Vivaldi, but I think it's a bad thing for the web if we end up with only one core codebase, even if that is open source.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Unhappy

            > multiple crashes per day

            Did it occur to you that your computer might have a problem? It would be known if Firefox couldn't handle 4-5 tabs without crashing... For the record, on an old (Linux) laptop with only 4 GB of RAM I can run dozens of tabs in Firefox without problem or even slowdown.

            If I were you, I'd start by uninstalling-reinstalling Firefox, and if that doesn't help, check the OS and the hardware (memory chip failing? Very easy to test.).

            .

            > I know I am using Vivaldi, but I think it's a bad thing for the web

            Well, what can I say, you are clearly conscious you're part of the problem. Most people do like you, and before we know it it's Chrome or nothing. With the compulsory ads and "telemetry"...

            (Didn't downvote you though.)

          2. Ian 55

            I have twice the RAM, but erm four or five thousand tabs open, and Firefox remains as stable as it's always* been.

            * Nearly always - there was a 2.x or so release that was a bit dodgy, in my experience.

      4. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Go

        Brave is a much better alternative. The built in ad blocker is wonderful at keeping out the garbage.

        1. Kaki

          I don't know what's the hate for brave, I've been using it for a while, and though it's based on chrome, it works pretty good, and blocks most ads.

          1. sev.monster Bronze badge

            Brave phones home consistently, and they are as much focused on marketing and ads as Google is for Chrome, just in a different way and with different funding sources. People arguing it's somehow superior to Chrome need to look into what the browser actually does, and the privacy policies of their various partners (eg. to make their BAT work). The few features Brave has over stock Chrome can be solved just as well if not better by extensions.

            The problem I personally have with it is the same problem I have with Mozilla: positing themselves as pro-free-web, anti-tracking, bastions of free speech, and significant market disruptors, while not actually doing any of it [well].

            Sure it "works pretty good" but so does Chrome. And I say this as somone that doesn't like Chrome. What is it even do that makes it so impressive over, say, Chrome with uMatrix/uBO/etc? Or The Kitchen Sink Master known as Vivaldi? What besides the malnourished BAT does Brave bring to the table that other browsers and extensions do not?

      5. NATTtrash
        Facepalm

        As others mention here too, it also comes down to plain old dirty marketing. I do notice more and more that "helpdesks" for customer conveniences (e.g. banks, stores, healthcare, gov info sites) started giving "advice", if you report an issue with the operation of their site, "that you should install Google Chrome".

        If this makes the greybeards here feel like a return of the browser wars and "This website is viewed best with NetScape at 1024x786"... Well... Nobody said intelligence or quality had anything to do with it... As we have seen before...

        1. toejam++

          There is some suspicion that it goes beyond marketing or UI changes. From time to time, Google sites start glitching with Firefox but not Chrome or Safari. It has happened to me five or six times over the years with Google Maps. Try the same page in Chrome and it works flawlessly. After such events, Firefox market share tends to take a dip and never really recovers.

          Folks at Mozilla are wondering if it is due to sloppy testing of site changes or if something more nefarious is going on. But since Google is a major donor to the Firefox foundation, I suspect that they're rather unwilling to voice their complaints too loudly.

          1. sev.monster Bronze badge

            The issue here is an obvious conflict of interest. Why would Google, who is heavily financially invested in Chrome as a product and platform, waste time on developing compatibility with the implementation details for their rival? Additionally, developing the browser and the webapp means you get to use the latest and greatest technologies in both by coordinating feature roll-outs, while the competition must either scramble to become compatible or suffer. This is why Google owns such a significant stake and power over the direction the Internet is going, because they have so much control over every significant sector: maps/navigation, browser, email, search, smartphones/apps, forums/lists [yes people still use and prefer Google Groups], video conferencing, social media, video sharing, etc...

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Chome's market share has come about because of Google's incessant marketing for more than a decade. Pushed on desktop with installers. Pushed on the search website. Pushed on YouTube by using Chrome's own standards that don't work with other non-Blink browsers. Pushed by sync. Default on Android which badgers you if you don't get a Google account. Default on school Chromebooks. And so on and so fourth. The miracle is Firefox's market share has held up so well.

      1. Zimmer

        ...Market share

        "The miracle is Firefox's market share has held up so well."

        Quite possibly the reason for that could be that Firefox seems to be the default browser for most Linux distributions.

        (sometimes accompanied by Chromium, but you are free to uninstall either or both).

        As for 'Browser Wars' .. most wars are won by the biggest armies with the deepest pockets...

        I can't remember the reason I dumped IE for Firefox sometime around the beginning of the century; might have been features, might have been security concerns - but having switched to Linux as my main OS in 2004 you get curious and try the new names you find in the repositories or stumble across Opera and subsequently , Vivaldi etc.

        Chrome is baked into Android phones so market share is assured... so, yes, a miracle indeed.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: ...Market share

          > reason for that could be that Firefox seems to be the default browser for most Linux distributions

          Not wanting to diss Linux (using it myself right now), but I hardly think Linux influences the browser market a lot. How many Windows/Apple computers are there for every Linux (desktop!) computer?

          IMHO it's just that after MSIE killed Netscape, there were only two browsers left to chose from: MSIE and Mozilla. All the cool kids used Mozilla back then, and thus many of them still do. Partly out of habit, partly because it's not a bad browser after all, and it has that really essential "add-ons" feature. Now Internet has become a hostile place to be, I can't imagine using a browser without my favorite half-dozen add-ons.

    3. RegGuy1 Silver badge

      The advice is simple

      Never, ever[1] use Google's spyware browser Chrome.

      [1] Ever, ever, ever.

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Firefox for too long under Windows used its own certificate store and could not configured via AD policies. That made it hard to deploy and use in any corporate environment - which kept on using IE and then Chrome when it became ubiquitous - despite the privacy concerns.

      Had they targeted better the enterprise user and their Windows desktops, and not only the home market, probably they would have had a better foothold. Now they have those features, but they may have come too late.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Exactly what I was going to say. As much as I hate Chrome, it's compliance with Group Policies mean it has been either the primary or secondary browser on pretty much every desktop refresh project I've worked on in the last 4-5 years. I can't say put Firefox on 2000 desktops if there's no automatic way to set proxies, home pages, corporate bookmarks etc.

        (The primary browser has often been IE, and then only because of legacy intranets and/or LOB apps that require ActiveX plugins)

        1. Mr Humbug

          Erm.. Firefox has had group policies for several years

          https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/customizing-firefox-using-group-policy-windows

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Group Policy support was added only in Firefox 60 in 2018 AFAIK. It was a bit late, I believe - Active Directory and GPO had been around for a while, well before 2018, and the Windows Certificate Store as well.

            https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/60.0/releasenotes/

          2. Franco Silver badge

            "Several", not 4-5 as I stated and Chrome probably had support even before that.

            Plus most people have exposure to Chrome, either because they use Android or have got it by accident via a drive-by download or it was preinstalled on their PC. IME developers and IT Pros are the only ones who want/ask for Firefox, and again often the developers only want it for testing purposes rather than using it all the time.

    5. Mr Humbug

      > Every business PC in the land gets Chrome on it,

      The ones here don't. They have Chromium-based Edge and they get Firefox. Most people just use Edge (it was hard enough to get them to stop using IE)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...not on my networks they don't. You Firefox as your primary and Chromium as your secondary. I never install Chrome for any of my clients.

      A lot of machines come pre-installed with Chrome...or rather a shortcut to the bootstrap file which installs Chrome on first run...but I doubt any Sysadmins, given a choice in the matter would prefer Chrome.

      Chrome is the chunkiest web browser on Earth and given the meagre specs that most IT budgets afford, it's career suicide to deploy Chrome.

      I think you'll find Chrome wins over Firefox because it can be installed easily without admin rights. Whereas Firefox is that much trickier.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We install both Firefox and Chrome on our deployments, but most everyone just uses Chrome anyway. If I had my choice, we would use Ungoogled Chromium (or at least Chromium) due to its superior GPs and ease of deployment. Despite making things better lately, Firefox GPs and automated configurability is still behind the curve. Hell, I would take Edge over Firefox.

    7. Fred Daggy

      Firefox was very late to the party with a native MSI installer, rather than just an EXE installer file. However, it has a bug (after more than 3 years, https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1505436) and doesn't pass the detection rule without some fudging. Google created an MSI installer, that just works, and Group Policies for managing Chrome for years.***

      Firefox aren't alone in this, in the GPL/FOSS realm. If success is measured by bums on seats (Or in this case devices installed), then one needs to have a good MSI installer, and ideally some manageable parameters. And anything beyond an "accept" button on first run is too much for some end users, so needs to be hidden behind some deployment parameter, ideally no scary dialog boxes on start.

      Chicken and Egg here. Some users in the enterprise want 'software x' because they use it at home/recommended by family or friends, others will use 'software y' at home because they use it at work.

      MSI installer is key to making it easier for mass deployment in the enterprise. Most medium to large enterprises will be using either Intune or MECM (nee SCCM), or similar for managing desktops. Native MSI support means its easy deployment for overworked administrators. More corporate deployments is a quick win, if install and use statistics count.

      If it wasn't for a core group of privacy minded German users, then I could never justify providing Firefox for our users workstations. However, outside of that group and IT, every man, woman and dog uses Chrome.

      We need Firefox as a viable alternative. We need it for the same reasons it was created. Lest the walls start to cave in a second time.

      *** Also, let us no forget that Chrome was one of the first pieces of software outside of viruses to install itself to the user's application data folder in windows, bypassing restrictions on users ability to install software. Since copied even by Microsoft.

  2. Snake Silver badge

    Cookie clearing

    "A more practical option for the privacy-conscious, perhaps, is to set Firefox to delete all cookies and site data when the browser closes, and to add exceptions for sites that are trusted."

    Yes, exactly. I have been recommending this for years, on El Reg as well, but people do not seem to want to be bothered [to take a significant level of personal privacy into their own hands].

    Ah, well. A touch of inconvenience for greater privacy seems a step too far for a good number of people.

    1. jason_derp Silver badge

      Re: Cookie clearing

      "Ah, well. A touch of inconvenience for greater privacy seems a step too far for a good number of people."

      And thank the stars for that! I don't want to have to learn whole new methods of blocking my government and corporate overlords from tracking me on the internet. If most people block the methods of tracking, and there's no legislation to stop corpos and govs from tracking, they're going to invent new tracking methods. It's another arms race to have to contend with on the front I'm not paid to manage: my home devices.

      The moment the plebs start figuring out tracking and doing something about it, the quicker I have to start worrying about the newest methods of hunting down my info. I just learned about having to sanitize hyperlinks (thanks el Reg), and that was astounding to me. I can't imagine what new and insidious bullshit Google and Comcast would begin planning if people learned half of what they should.

      And we all know that we'll never get adequate legislation to protect something valuable once it's begun being exploited for profit, so that's out the window.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      That's not a very useful option

      How many of us still start up a browser, use it, and then close the browser? What is this, 1998? I open Firefox immediately after rebooting my PC, and leave it running for a couple months on average with a couple dozen tabs opened across a half dozen windows. I only shut it down because I want to install patches that will require a reboot, or have a power outage longer than the hour my UPS will last.

      It would be far more useful to have an option to clear cookies from a site when all tabs pointing at that site are closed. If I'm going to do a google search (I usually use DDG, but let's say I can't find what I'm looking for there) I will open a tab or window for it, then visit one or more links from that search to find what I'm looking for, then close those tabs. It would be awesome if those cookies were removed immediately, not sticking around for weeks and weeks when they aren't needed or wanted. Getting rid of the Facebook, doubleclick and other useless third party cookies related to those sites would make it even sweeter.

      Sure, I could get into the habit of reopening my browser daily I suppose, but why should I do that when the browser could take it for me? And why should I wait to have those cookies cleared, when they could be immediately cleared when a tab is closed?

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: That's not a very useful option

        I too keep my browser open. But several times a day I delete ALL cookies. It's no big deal. But it severs their flow of tracking and makes it harder for the big boys, and disrupts the analysis of smaller players.

        If you are searching for a new subject delete all cookies first. Then the links are more difficult to reconnect.

        I mean, come on guys, at least make life more difficult for the trackers.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: That's not a very useful option

          But why should I need to manually do such steps? If computers have a reason for existence at all it is to automate things and free up time for higher pursuits. The browser should be able to handle deleting cookies by itself without you digging through menus several times a day.

          1. jason_derp Silver badge

            Re: That's not a very useful option

            I think firefox has a mobile solution that does that, actually. I agree though, this should be a standard thing now, even though I believe it should be opt-in.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: That's not a very useful option

        Mostly I use Seamonkey and that gets closed at least every time I turn the laptop off - which might be several times a day. But there are very few sites which get a free pass on NoScript (or Cookies Exterminator).

        For the intersect of those that really require Javascript and those I feel I need - which is quite a smal setl - I fire up Palemoon set to be amnesiac - and then close it down again once I've finished. It's fast - no more than about 4 seconds* and most of that is slewing the cursor to the menu and selecting it - so why not? I'm then happy to select all cookies with a mental "and much good may it do you". Why Palemoon? Because its got a saner UI than Firefox.

        * I just tested that by counting and I was probably counting a bit too fast.

        1. Beeblebrox

          Seamonkey

          I also use Seamonkey in an "open, visit site, close" manner for sites that are too bothersome to fix noscript permissions temporarily for (I try to avoid permanent) on firefox. I have noticed recently that less plugins work on seamonkey (ublock?) which is annoying.

      3. Nairda

        Re: That's not a very useful option

        The add-on Cookieautodelete will do just what you want.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: That's not a very useful option

          Didn't know about that, wish I could upvote you more than once!

      4. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: That's not a very useful option

        > It would be awesome if those cookies were removed immediately

        "Cookie AutoDelete": https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/cookie-autodelete

        Tell it for every website if it should keep cookies, delete them as soon as you close the window/tab, or just when you close Firefox. Have been using it for years.

        Disclaimer: Not in any way related to that add-on's developer(s).

      5. chroot

        Re: That's not a very useful option

        That is the Cookie AutoDelete extension.

      6. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: That's not a very useful option

        Surely you shut your PC down at night?

        What kind of monster leaves their computer running when they're not going to be using it for hours, burning electricity for no reason whatsoever.

        This is why we can't have nice things!

      7. Dave559 Silver badge

        Re: That's not a very useful option

        @DS999 You want the Firefox Cookie AutoDelete add-on, then!

        Edit: oops, I see others have already mentioned this. Well, at least I linkified it nicely…

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cookie clearing

      Cookie clearing?

      I'd love to see an option to just stuff a pile of random data into the cookies and see how many website go mammaries skywards when they're fed data they weren't expecting.

      Websites won't play nicely, why should browsers.

      1. DS999 Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Cookie clearing

        That's very evil, I like it! Bonus points if you make Google's entire ad tech network crash!

      2. Steve Graham

        Re: Cookie clearing

        I already use a tiny user script to re-create the Google consent cookie, so that I don't have to enable javascript on non-essential Google servers. It would be trivial to extend that to put random data into the tracking cookies. But I clear them all at least once a day anyway.

        1. julian.smith
          Happy

          Re: Cookie clearing

          What is the script? .... asking for a friend

      3. veti Silver badge

        Re: Cookie clearing

        A cookie is just a text file, and it's stored on your disc. The source code for its creation is interpreted and run in your browser.

        You want to write junk into it, everything you need is right there in front of you.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: Cookie clearing

      I don't understand why people don't do this. I've done it (with no exceptions) essentially since I've been using Firefox, which is since Firefox has existed (in fact since slightly before it's existed): essentially I tell it to turn all cookies into session cookies. The result is that when I (relatively infrequently: ~weekly, perhaps) I need to log in again to various places,which requires at least a few seconds while Firefox suggest the credentials (for a very few sites like banks, I don't let it know them but keep them somewhere I trust more). It costs me basically no time to do this, and I have no long-term cookies as a result. This isn't the same as knowing that I'm not being tracked of course, but it is making their job harder, which is a good thing.

    5. Al fazed
      Meh

      Re: Cookie clearing

      Two Windose 10 boxen bearing a Firefox each, same version no.

      On one, I configure the beast to never remember History and the beast remembers this. On the other machine, I configure the beast to never remember History and it simply forgets to never remember, every time.

      I have re installed Firefox, it has been scanned by Sophos et al, it simply doesn't want to forget my browsing history automatically - on this machine........... is it the machine, or is it me ?

      I am a long time Firefox enthusiast and I have promoted the browser amongst clients, friends and family for many years, but it is getting harder........ not easier

      ALF

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Bold move

    I think Firefox should do a bold move and include Ad Blocker enabled by default.

    Millions of people will suddenly start to feel their computers work better and they'll stop being distracted by manipulative ads trying to sell them things they don't want or need.

    1. wintergirl

      Re: Bold move

      Vivaldi already does this, to an extent - it asks the user on first run whether they wish to "Block Trackers and Ads". It's not quite the same as an on-by-default, but it's pretty close.

    2. vektorweg

      Re: Bold move

      Baffles me every time when I ask, but most people are just not that bothered from ads than us. Otherwise they would use ad block already.

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: Bold move

        The part that really confuses me is that most people clearly are that bothered about adverts. They complain about having adverts scattered all over the screen, they complain about them never being relevant, they complain about pages loading slowly. But when you say that all they need to do is install a single little extension, easily done through the browser in basically the same way as any app store, and it will never need touching or faffing around with settings or anything*... suddenly it's all too much work or too complicated and they can't be bothered. It's not that they don't care about adverts, they just seem to prefer having something to complain about than taking even just a few seconds to fix the problem.

        * I'd recommend Noscript as well, but that actually does break a lot of websites if you're not happy faffing around with settings and permissions. I've only found a couple of sites that don't work with adblockers, so they're fairly safe to get people using at least as a first step.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Bold move

      Good idea, but uBlock Origin not Adblock. Firefox should position itself as the privacy enhancing alternative to Chrome, and play up Google's control over both the browser and many of the most popular destinations as well as most of the web based advertising as the negative it is.

      Make it so you don't need to install privacy focused extensions - they are all built in and you just need to tweak the settings to balance privacy/security with usability (i.e. you can't have it completely disable Javascript by default, but that should be an option)

      1. HandleAlreadyTaken

        Re: Bold move

        play up Google's control over both the browser and many of the most popular destinations as well as most of the web based advertising as the negative it is.

        Given that Mozilla still suckles at Google's tit for financing, I doubt they'd be willing to go with such an adversarial approach.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Bold move

          Which is a perfect example of why Google should be forced to divest Chrome and Android, at the very least.

        2. ThatOne Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Bold move

          > Mozilla still suckles at Google's tit for financing

          I guess Firefox is Google's defense against Chrome monopoly claims, so they have to keep it alive. Not necessarily successful or even usable, but it has to legally remain an option.

          (Cue dumbing down, removing features and generally trying to piss off users (Android version...) so they leave for some flavor of Chrome.)

      2. Zenubi

        Re: Bold move

        I like Ghostery - does the tracking cookies and ad-block

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Bold move

      I'd rather they just put the UI back to what it was *BEFORE* *AUSTRALIS*

      That would be BOLD *AND* SMART!!!

      (But I guess they don't wanna disappoint the 2D FLATTY FAN zoomer kids that would be screaming about it on tw[a,i]tter like they're a big majority of people but are really only 11 or so very loud cyber bullies...)

      and maybe THAT is why REAL USAGE does not match the predictive model quite so much.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Bold move

        Yep, the updated interface is such a retarded backward step in usability it's staggering that anyone still uses Firefox as a result. The *only* reason I do still is that I looked up and found how to undo the clusterfuck UI changes.

        There's a very big difference between a browser running on a 4K display with a single fucking tab open (which is about the only way thing that new UI appears to have been designed for) and a regular user on a non-4K display with multiple tabs open.

        1. ovation1357

          Re: Bold move

          The latest UI update (at least on Developer Edition) has changed the tabs from being actual tabs to being rounded edge rectangles, which just looks stupid and I can't find a way to undo it!

          E.g instead of the bottom edge of the tab being connected to the panel containing the page, it's detached by a small gap.

          They've also done something in dark mode which means the text of my menu bar is black on a dark gray background! Extra annoying given that I loathe the hamburger menu and choose Firefox for the reason it can still use proper title and menu bars.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bold move

        Why are you TYPING THAT way?

        Don't be offended, don't know a better word for this... But Bob, are you retarded?

    5. jgarbo

      Re: Bold move

      Opera, my daily drive, automatically blocks ads, and throws in a VPS (proxie). Brave, my #2, is aggressive on ads and scripts by default. Both use less memory than FF. I run Kubuntu, so maybe it's different on MS.

      1. Ian 55

        Re: Bold move

        Brave, the "we have a history of rewriting affiliate links to benefit us" browser...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strange. I would have thought their "simplified printing" feature formatted the page in a similar way to their Reader View - keeping the body and removing all the cruft. Yet, The Register DOES work with their Reader View, so presumably they're being detected by a different method.

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "browser is still struggling for market share"

    One possible reason might be the rapidity of releases. Not many users (other than pure tech enthusiasts) want their applications to change every few weeks. I guess most of us would probably prefer stable tools that don't force us onto a permanent learning curve.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "browser is still struggling for market share"

      You could say the same about Windows 10, and that doesn't seem to be struggling for market share.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "browser is still struggling for market share"

        Windows 10 isn't the product. Its users are.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: "browser is still struggling for market share"

      Chrome has a similar release schedule but a far greater market share, so it obviously can't be that.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: "browser is still struggling for market share"

      Making regular updates isn't the problem, it is making the big bang sort of updates that make major UI changes that people don't like.

      It is like how GNOME thinks they need to completely redesign their way their desktop works every now and then. Not sure if that's because they believe people want something "fresh" or because someone new takes over and wants to piss on a few trees to mark their territory, but it is annoying and counterproductive.

    4. naive Silver badge

      Re: "browser is still struggling for market share"

      Firefox is not strong on mobile devices which hold the largest share in browser usage.

      The market share of Chrome is a questionable number, since the Android and Windows versions are different beasts with the same name.

      The market share of Firefox on desktop might be way higher, perhaps in the 30% range.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chrome is a big problem

    People install it because it comes from Google so can't be bad. Well, that's what my member of my family said until I showed them the spying that it does 24/7

    Then when I ger visitors, they say that their Internet has speeded up. That's because I have blocked all of the google domains that I can and still have a working browser. That's several hundred domains by the way.

    The pro google trolls here can downvote this post all you like but it won't make me use google or anything of theirs.

    1. devin3782

      Re: Chrome is a big problem

      Are you going to share that list?

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        This is mine

        127.0.0.1 google-analytics.com

        127.0.0.1 googletagmanager.com

        127.0.0.1 securepubads.g.doubleclick.net

        127.0.0.1 www.google-analytics.com

        127.0.0.1 www.googletagmanager.com

        127.0.0.1 fonts.googleapis.com

        1. Beeblebrox

          Re: This is mine

          Is that enough? Six domains?

          I tend to go with the pi-hole type approach - i.e. a far larger number of blocked domains, updated automatically, for various devices.

          Obviously still need an adblocker in firefox. Doesn't work against lots of mobile ads: avoid apps where possible, and use the browser instead; many apps aren't really necessary.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Chrome is a big problem

      Are there really "pro Google trolls"? If there are they haven't showed up yet because I don't see any downvotes on your post. Maybe they have started keeping later hours after a year plus of work from home in Mountain View lol!

      1. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Chrome is a big problem

        Are there really "pro Google trolls"?

        There were... I believe that they have slunk off into obscurity upon the vast majority of El Reg forum posters realising that Google was worse than Microsoft ever were.

        I'm not naming names as last time I ended up with zapped posts...

  7. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    I really am not surprised that they re losing market share. Their new version is truly dreadful. It no longer crashes on me at least twice a day as it did when it come out, but ever day I encounter at least one website with which it simply does not work at all. Chrome invariable does the trick. This is under Xubuntu, by the way.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Same here with MacOs, unfortunately. I like FF and use it most of the time, mainly cos it has a couple of add-ons that I find really useful. The downside is that a couple of times a week I have to drop out into Safari to get a website to display. Running FF in troubleshoot mode and turning off tracking blocking doesn't work. I've spent a while trying to find out what's going on, but no luck so far. It's annoying.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We do a lot of CSS testing - and I mean an awful lot. And while I can't speak for the rest of the browser, after several years our general policy when the browsers disagree is "Firefox layout is probably correct". Although these days it's mostly edge cases, Firefox definitely has the superior layout engine.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        I can't think of any websites that haved forced me to switch to Safari over the last few years. Normally when I hit problems, it affects all my browsers.

    2. mark l 2 Silver badge

      If your getting daily crashes I suspect you are using some bugging add on or have some other issue. As I use FF on Linux Mint as my main browser and can count on one hand the times its crashed on me in 12 months.

      Have you tried making a new FF profile or running it in safe mode with no add ons and seeing it that resolves the crashes problem?

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Yup, tried that. They seem to have introduced some serious buggery when they did the big (UI-changing) update recently. To be fair, that seems to be resolved now, mostly ... though I did have one crash this morning, it was the first for a while.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "ever day I encounter at least one website with which it simply does not work at all"

      I find that frequently with different browsers but that's because they won't display at all without a shedload of javascript servers being allowed.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        The reason doesn't matter. Latest discovery: the system for booking an appointment at a Clarks shoe shop doesn't work at all on FF but works fine on Chrome.

    4. elaar

      I can't recall Firefox ever crashing on me to be honest.

      Like the article hinted on, if websites are created with Chromium in mind, it's hardly Firefox's fault if W3C standards weren't properly implemented and it doesn't work properly on FF.

      The expenses website our company uses strangely only works properly in FF and is buggy in anything else.

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        Facepalm

        ... the lovely Firefox developers, who are undoubtedly dedicated to their cause, could focus a little less on UI/UX trendiness and instead concentrate on privacy/security, they might be able to make this world a one heck of a better place.

        Indeed ...

        I left FF many iterations ago, probably was when I could no longer get rid of their newfound round corneriness ...

        I finally got fed up with all the trendiness crappiness they subjected their quite useful UI to.

        I have tried the last one, just to see: no, not going back.

        Now I'm using Pale Moon.

        O.

    5. bofh1961

      I'm increasingly finding websites that don't want to play with Firefox but work fine on a Chromium-based browser. I don't think it's intentional, I suspect that web designers only test their sites on Chrome these days. I use Mint, Firefox and the dev version of Edge.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "web designers only test their sites on Chrome these days"

        Web designers test their sites? Who knew?

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Well, when marketing allows them to.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only ...

    ... the lovely Firefox developers, who are undoubtedly dedicated to their cause, could focus a little less on UI/UX trendiness and instead concentrate on privacy/security, they might be able to make this world a one heck of a better place.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: If only ...

      ... instead concentrate on privacy/security,

      Uhm they do. In fact, they are the best at it.

      1. Pinjata

        Re: If only ...

        They changed tabs into buttons... That developer could have spent their time on something useful.

    2. Adelio Silver badge

      Re: If only ...

      How about reverting firefox so that it is more compact. Bookmarks dropdown shows half what it used to do... Why???

  9. Golgafrinch
    Mushroom

    If only ...

    ... the lovely Firefox developers, who are undoubtedly dedicated to their cause, could focus a little less on UI/UX trendiness and instead concentrate on privacy/security, they might be able to make this world a one heck of a better place.

    1. elaar

      Re: If only ...

      Consider that Mozilla get most of their funding from Google...

  10. devin3782

    To Firefox Developers:

    Please just leave the UI alone now, you've done enough with each change you make you turn off your users much like what the Gnome developers are constantly doing, there's joy in things remaining where you left them

    Instead please focus on: bugs, privacy, security, your exemplary implementations of the web specs and performance. PS (chuck in an adblock there's a goodun). Oh and in the development tools allow me to select the layout based on the responsive design mode :)

    Regards

    A very long time user

    (does anyone think if enough of us make these points they'll listen?)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "does anyone think if enough of us make these points they'll listen?"

      No. UX designers have much in common with marketroids. None of them listen.

      1. Beeblebrox

        UX designers

        Perhaps if they didn't update the UX they'd be redundant.

    2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

      Well they could put the menu back for a start. That's the first thing I always do with a new install. Then I install Adblockplus, and finally no script. Then I get a coffee knowing life's just got better again.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        I do this and also I now change the settings to undo the disgusting clusterfuck that is the new UI.

    3. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      > Please just leave the UI alone now

      UI changes are easy to code I guess, just slightly change a color and move a widget, and here is a brand new "exciting" UI!

      Features on the other hand are complicated, tedious, and need testing.

      For the same salary, which option would you pick?...

    4. Old Handle
      Mushroom

      I disagree. Put it back how it was.

  11. sharpwolverine

    Cool. What I wanted. A way to clear cookies that an add on prolly already does, and something that isn't the OS print dialog so I get to waste more time trying to print.

  12. MJI Silver badge

    New UI looks like shit

    I really hate it, I detest proton.

    It may be the final push to abandon FF after many years.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: New UI looks like shit

      And the fckers made it so that if you dare disable proton you'll get no checkmarks in the options. Bastads!

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: New UI looks like shit

      The only reason that I've managed to keep anyone using Firefox is through showing them how to disable proton. Without that option more users would, very understandably, have buggered off. It's such a retarded, unbelievably dumb change.

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "linked to a Microsoft account (as are almost all consumer PCs)"

    That stopped me in my tracks. Quite true no doubt. It's as if the monopoly investigation never happened and a clear indication that it's well past time there was another.

  14. Graham 32

    Nice fonts

    My employer, an MS shop, forced the MS SSO stuff on us a few months ago. I tried Chrome, Edge and Vivaldi and all suck at font rendering. ClearType settings are ignored. Many pages (but strangely not all) use greyscale anti-aliasing with many lines being two pixels of grey and others being one pixel of black. Slack being a big offender. El Reg looks good though. Maybe if I had a 4K screen I wouldn't care but at 2K it's a mess. Thought it was just me until I saw a screenshot from a colleague and their fonts were awful too. Edge has an experimental option to improve things a bit, so MS sees room for improvement.

    I may have to put up with the stupid buttons-for-tabs UI Firefox has cooked up, but at least my eyes can have a rest as I'm back on Firefox.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Nice fonts

      Try Palemoon or Waterfox.

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Nice fonts

      Open about:config and search for "proton". Disable every proton option and you'll find that Firefox is usable again. Regular users really shouldn't have to do such things to undo retarded user interface changes that make an application considerably harder to use.

      1. Graham 32

        Re: Nice fonts

        They removed the ability to disable proton in this release. All it does for me is change the background colour of the tab/title bar. It's less annoying in the "Compact (not supported)" mode.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Nice fonts

          I know that was coming... it basically means that Firefox will stop being used. Retarded UI vs a different browser? Bye bye firefox. The last moron still using it will be the idiot who thought Proton was fit for anything other than derision and scorn.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  15. tiggity Silver badge

    "Mozilla may be concerned that despite a redesign its market share continues to falter. "

    It's because of the redesigns its share has dropped, keep modelling your browser on Chrome so it looks like a chrome clone ... no surprise users jump ship to chrome..

    FF has lots of useful security features, but more & more they get hidden away so about:config gets hammered a lot to do stuff

  16. MajorDoubt

    Most people are to stupid to know they need firefox, because they haven't a clue, and never will

    Well, firefox would be number one, if they used the virus like tactics of getting onto peoples machines via 3rd party crap ware, that installed google chrome in addition to the free crap it installed, I first noticed google doing this over 15 years ago. That's how google got to be "top" browser, 90% of the chrome users don't even know what a web browser is, much less picking a default one. And google won using crap tactics like that to get out there. I think anyone who has a clue will use something like firefox with it's army of plug-ins, along with other means (pi-hole, sandboxie, IP block lists etc..) to "help" protect their machines and what little privacy they have left

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Clutter-free?" So what?

    Can't come back to Firefox until Mozilla ditches that abominable print engine: .pdfs run from the browser deadens all hotlinks in the page you printed, even home-rolled local HTML files, even with links to local resources. And Mozilla doesn't care: "Mozilla's print engine is intended to render images to paper pages, so what do you need links for?"

    Well, what if you run .pdfs of HTML pages BECAUSE you want to keep (portable) the links that are in them? Is hotlinking not the very predicate of the Internet Age?

    Not a fan of the Chromiums, but one will have to do.

  18. Gene Cash Silver badge

    So what features did they drop?

    So every time they do a Firefox release, they drop more features than they add.

    What did they drop this time?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: So what features did they drop?

      Usability? :(

  19. Daniel von Asmuth
    Facepalm

    firefag

    Twenty years of Mozilla and they have neither removed the bloat nor fixed the bugs, only added features. The biggest nail in the coffin of Open Source.

  20. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Google $$$

    Long term FF user, but may not be for much longer.

    On the desktop, each recent release has meant having to go and override ever more settings due to them fiddling the UI. On Android, it was possible to download the apk directly from the mozilla site. Now even the nightly builds need the Play Store. The not for profit Mozilla Foundation is addicted to the flow of millions of Google $$$

  21. gzgweilo

    Brave anyone?

    With all the comments above I am surprised i have not seen any mention of Brave?

    Blocks ads by default and there is a fairly simple option to block java script completely (an earlier poster was complaining about these)

    I use in preference to FF as a secondary browser but maybe I am missing something......

    1. Shalghar

      Re: Brave anyone?

      Brave is not as perfect as you seem to think if i may share my experiences. I tried it on Android and it was unable to stop a series of site autoclicks from ADnoyance malware. Actual count of opened sites was 41 before i disabled wifi. Duckduckgo browser stopped that chain of inconvenience at the first window and asked if i actually wanted to open that site.

      While i may or may not accept affiliates, Braves affection for crypto uncurrent is something i find suspicious.

      On Firefox...

      Sorry but syncing my bookmarks, trying to find working addons or substitutes with the same functionality and all the little tedious "not quite like on the other system" discrepancies and annoyances, Android Firefox happily presents me, i just cannot be bothered to wade though that moving target of "not how i want it".

      Apart from the regular (which means subjectively: nearly each update) UI atrocities, mutations, mutilations and force marches on the way to total unuseability, the also regular bookmark apocalypse, auto-unsort and "i just bookmarked that, where the f-bomb did it put the entry" events, i really, really hate the approach on Mint (19/Cinnamon upwards) compared to Windows 7.

      Download the update in the background, thats OK, but do not interrupt my sessions and force me to quit, then fail at restoring the sessions and tabs. Windows Firefox also downloads in the background but will wait until you restart FF whenever you decide it.

      Several DRM issues also appeared out of nowhere. Widevine DRM is especionally apalling here, as that thing does not even generate any kind of error message apart from "you´ve got a problem, i wont work". Linux only, as far as systems go, the windows version still works.

      So yeah, FireFox has lost a lot of credit with me, be it the unpolite "we force a new UI onto you that has not half the options you regularly use", be it the issues mentioned above, real "user experience" and useability are not of interest to the developers anymore.

      If it gets so annoying that even my not at all technically inclined mother in law wants another browser that does not regularly mutate, Mozilla should really, really rethink their arrogant mic-ro-soft-y approach of" we know best" at least in the UI sections.

      Oh well, i might be clicking it wrong....

  22. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    I am mostly browser agnostic. So long as it works and doesn't require me to manually maintain it I'll use it. Every time I have tried FF in recent years it was a ball-ache of manual management, crashes, website rendering issues and generally poor performance. No, I haven't tried it for a couple of years, nor have I tried Brave, or any of the other niche browsers recently as every time I test one I spend more time fiddling with the browser than I do browsing the websites.

    Chrome has market share because it mostly just works. Yes, it undoubtedly tracks everything I do, but I really don't give a crap about any of that as I never buy anything from their ads. Their "targeted" ads are a joke mostly containing ads for stuff I have already bought, or ads for companies I already rejected when searching for what I want.

    Before Chrome I used FF in the early to mid noughties, IE in the late nineties, and Netscape before that. At work I use Chrome and IE (yes, we still have some internal systems that require IE <sigh>). If FF want to take market share away from Google, then they need to produce a browser that is better than Chrome, easier to use than Chrome, more reliable than Chrome, and then they need to keep it that way for long enough for people to switch to it.

  23. Adelio Silver badge

    Linked to a Micrisift Account?????

    Never had one (at home) and never plan to have one...

    Have never seen a need for them....

  24. Silny Ogor

    "so where are all the users?"

    They use the new Edge now. I'm glad I could help.

  25. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Monopoly abuse...

    ... so where are all the users?

    Simple: whenever anyone goes onto Google search, Gmail, Youtube or any other of the various highly-trafficked services Google... sorry, "Alphabet" offer, they have the capacity to detect what browser is in use and display a call to action in a prominent place advising the user to download Chrome - which is exactly how Chrome rose to it's current market position.

    If Mozilla were the defacto provider of a service that wasused on a day-to-day basis by vast number of people then perhaps they could funnel people towards Firefox... but given Google and Microsoft's iron grip on the most common web services and operating systems respectively, I don't see how they could achieve this, unfortunately...

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Monopoly abuse...

      Oh, they could. There's always room for more websites. But it's not something they've ever bothered about, so they'd be starting from scratch.

      They could maybe make a deal with Facebook. How would you like to see them, instead of Google, calling the shots at Mozilla?

  26. Al fazed

    It's all relative

    Firefox has been my browser of choice for decades (if it's been around that long) Unfortnuately I still have to use other browsers when Firefox says no.

    I am so used to Firefox saying no to a page it has been saying yes to for ages, and I know that I must dig into the ever changing UI in order to make Firefox work once more with my favourite sites, as it did last time I used it.

    SHEESH, it's only 'cos I geek, and yes it still infuriates me when I canna find the configuration in the ever changing Settings UI that will allow me to continue with my choice of reverie, research, entertainment, et al.

    As someone already pointed out, normal folks don't even know what make of car they drive, only it's colour and if it's petrol, deisel, or electric. Normal folks do not want to start playing under the hood when they just got dressed up to go out to dinner.

    So Firefox is cool for developers, but for the rest of the Internet Users, it's is far too often a bridge too far, one that will never be completed. So why bother ?

    Sad days I know, but normal people's eyes still glaze over as soon as I mention anything to do with fixing the problem they are experiencing .........................

    ALF

  27. Steve Graham

    I stopped using Firefox when it stopped supporting the standard Linux sound infrastructure (ALSA) in favour of PulseAudio (Poettering droppings) which isn't installed on any of my systems.

    However, I've just tried the most recent ESR in my distro, and it played a video on the BBC News site, with sound, so that seems to be fixed.

  28. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    I would also be grateful if the Firefox developers could implement a user friend update system, instead of the current one which updates in the background without asking, starts messing up opened tabs, finally says it needs to restart and then simply closes. Losing any work on open tabs without at any stage offering a chance to avoid this.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Alert

      It exists since the very beginning. In Settings/General, just check the option "Check for updates but let you choose to install them". It will pop up a message a new version is available and you can decide what and when to do something about that.

      1. Shalghar

        Now where have they moved the settings button and what does it look like in this version ? And why does one (Win7) version of FireFox behave different than another (Linux Mint/Debian/Raspbian) - especially in this aspect ?

        Yes, i know, i exxaggerate a bit but frankly, such invasive behaviour should generally be opt in and not opt out, even if its just to accept the fact that the majority of users might not have fun digging through the not so same browser after each and every update that contains yet another "great idea" (TM) from "designers" so out of touch that i might have to use the concept of parallel universes to somewhat get close to describing their distance to users.

        Additionally,never ever implement such invasive behaviour if your software is unable to actually really "restore the session" it interrupted.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          > Now where have they moved the settings button

          Where it always was? At least that's where it (still) is on mine (v.91), YMMV.

          .

          > why does one (Win7) version of FireFox behave different than another

          Don't know for sure and can't check it, but I could imagine your Win7 Firefox might be much older, the latest Firefox version not having been backported to Win7. I know they eventually stopped making WinXP versions of Firefox, but I don't know if they have already stopped making Win7 versions. Just a hunch.

          .

          For the rest, I quite agree with you, Firefox has unfortunately fallen in the corporate hole where stuff is made to justify/help careers and salary increases, rather than to improve anything. Ah yes, and sugar daddy Google doesn't want them to be overzealous either, Firefox only exists as an excuse against monopoly claims, people should use Chrome, period.

  29. Alan Bourke

    According to StatCounter

    Edge is now neck and neck if not overtaking it for desktop browsers.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    redesign

    "Mozilla may be concerned that despite a redesign its market share continues to falter."

    Well, I've binned FF years ago after the 20th time they "redesigned" the favorites, aka, put it in a dark place with a sign "beware the tiger".

    I really cannot spend 15 mins to look at favs each and every new version comes.

    Using Chrome personally and professionally and so far, it's doing really good. Edge have been out of the window for long.

    Why is it people want to change the UI, ribbon-style all of the time ?

    /rant

  31. Trigun Bronze badge

    Firefox is my go-to privately and I always recommend it to friends & family, but on a business & educational level it's Chrome all the way. It's understandable as so many suckle at the teet of google cloud service these days, so control is made much easier.

    One thing which would probably increae use in the business side of things is decent admx templates. Last time I looked (admittedly a while go), it wasn't the best on this front. Decent MSI/deplyment and configuration would be good.

  32. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Glad it's there

    Glad it's there -- I like firefox better than chrome in both appearance and functionality. I turned back on the traditional menu bar (I can deal with a hamburger, but in this case prefer the old way) and away I go. Don't get me wrong, I won't get into some fit and leave computing if firefox went away, but it doesn't look like it's there yet. Having multiple browser implementations keeps Google "honest" (they must more-or-less follow the specifications.. not a criticism, Google does aim for 100% compliance... not just do whatever they'd like with Chrome and say that's what a browser is.) Microsoft tried that with IE a few decades back (putting in ActiveX, pushing for IE and Windows-only cack being what web sites should use..), but it was Firefox and Opera back then too that kept them from just claiming whatever IE does is the standard.

  33. the small snake

    Part of the trouble

    is that Google have tentacles in all places and they hate secure browsers. I tried to make an account on a website (this website) which is protected by reCAPTCHA. I use VPN for partly-good reasons, also block third-party cookies, make all cookies session cookies have umatrix and the other other things that are sensible. Was amazingly hard to get reCAPTCHA to decide I was a human being. To do it eventually took spinning up temporary browser with all this turned off, google set as default search engine, do some searches on google so browser becomes infested with their cookies, using phone access (I suppose bots do not use cellular network) and various other things more questionable (rumour is they like it if you are logged in to Google, but I do not have an account). It was hard work. I do not know which of these things is needed, but at least some of them on their own were not sufficient to do this.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FF support = patronizing twats

    Complained about the constant nagging to use "pocket" as that shit is now bundled (FFS why? an optional plugin was fine)

    got a patronizing "we bundled it because we bought them, so F U!" reply.

    Fuck em with that attitude

    "Hey there,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Pocket being a built-in feature in Firefox.

    Now that Pocket, like Firefox, is a Mozilla product, we plan to closely integrate our products.

    We’ve been a part of Mozilla since 2017, but we can understand if Pocket might still feel unnatural within Firefox. Fortunately, it's quite easy to turn off the Pocket features in Firefox on desktop and mobile if you’d rather not use them.

    Click the links below to learn how to disable the Save to Pocket button as well as the recommendations from Pocket on the New Tab page:

    Disable the Save to Pocket features in Firefox

    Hiding Pocket in your Firefox New Tab

    I hope you find these instructions helpful. If there's anything else I can do to help, please don't hesitate to reply!

    "

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: FF support = patronizing twats

      > constant nagging to use "pocket"

      How did you manage to get that? I run Firefox on all my computers and not one has ever even hinted that something called "Pocket" was available. At some point I just noticed the toolbar icon appearing (which I removed immediately), and that was about all the "nagging" I ever got. I only learned what "Pocket" was much later, reading The Register.

      1. Shalghar

        Re: FF support = patronizing twats

        I had that "pocket" forcefed ADnoyance around a year ago on one of the different FireFox versions throughout the family, win7 thinkpad, i believe.

        Every time i opened a new tab or blank page, this "pocket" stuff with the usual not-me-interesting "interest based" topics was shown. Several updates later, it luckily disappeared. The disappearance could also be because i rifled quite aggressively through the settings and about:config/preferences to weed out any "helpful telemetry" and suchlike, but there was such an insane amount of useless trash and security issues in the vast barrens of toomuchtextia that i really cannot remember in detail what i killed off.

        None of the other FireFoxes (Some Win7, one Win10, one Android, some *ix versions and even an antique XP in a VM) even mentioned it and i would have to check if yet another useless button has appeared in yet another useless place.

        But then again, the "personal experience" of the always different "same Version" FF is one of those "features", isnt it ? ;)

      2. Beeblebrox

        > constant nagging to use "pocket" How did you manage to get that?

        Right click on a link.

        In the context menu, between 'save link as' and 'copy link' sits 'save link to pocket'.

        I accidentally choose 'save link to pocket' around 5% of the time, and have to cancel.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: > constant nagging to use "pocket" How did you manage to get that?

          I don't actually have that "Save to Pocket" menu entry. There is literally nothing between 'save link as' and 'copy link' on my Firefox.

          Being somebody with an inquiring mind, I checked and found why I have been spared the Pocket nonsense:

          Go into about:config, filter by "pocket", set "extensions.pocket.enabled" to "false", that should take care of everything Pocket-related.

          One good thing about Firefox is that they often allow you to fix the annoyances they pile upon you. More or less. For a while.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I care about avoiding Google Chromes 24/7 surveillance, so I use Firefox, but boy do they shoot themselves in both feet on a regular basis. It used to have the most and best plug ins, but after repeatedly changing the plug in API in ways that always broke existing plug ins, eventually drove off all the good plug in developers, now the plug in catalog is 99% crap ware.

  36. KSM-AZ
    Stop

    Chrome & Malware

    Chrome is an OS disguised as a browser. To this end. I don't have that many people in my close circle. Yet THREE (3) have had their saved passwords and/or google accounts compromised because of chrome over the last 2 or 3 yrs. I would strongly suggest not using the google/chrome password manager (I use keepassXC). I've also found that chrome even under Linux (which I use for my desktop), can get hacked into from time to time. I've had drive by web pages, install? stuff, start sending data to strange places, etc, etc, etc. We use Crowdstrike here at work, and I have PA firewalls. Some of the stuff I see coming from chrome browsers on various laptops is stunning. C&C channel attempts, etc, kill chrome they stop? Yea, I'd be clearing cookies and cache regularly, and restarting the thing daily. I, in fact, do that for all my browsers. YMMV.

    I stick to Firefox. I trust google about as far as I can throw it.

  37. Dark Avenger

    Spoofed user agent

    FF market share is arguably greater than what's being reported. It's the ever-popular User Agent Spoofer plugins that are skewing the figures downward. Probably

  38. martyn.hare
    FAIL

    Mozilla lost its way

    Firefox needs to regain what it stripped out so that it can compete by having actual functionality other browsers don't have, rather than riding on the coattails of Tor Browser innovations by adding GUI buttons to access about:config knobs every 3-4 releases. Most of the "new" Firefox privacy features came about many moons ago and of those which average users care about, they also exist within other browsers as extensions. Rather than playing to their strengths, they've emulated what Google Chrome does by stripping out key functionality and letting other big corporations dictate new standards.

    I blame a lot of this on Mozilla forcing Brendan Eich to resign for his personal political opinions and replacing him with some rando lawyer with a BA in Sinology. While their former leader had some terrible stances on issues outside of his expert knowledge domain, he at least knew how to develop new technologies for making web browsers competitive. His leadership led to Mozilla killing off Internet Explorer while Mitchell's has led to Chrome killing Firefox.

    Here's a list of key things Mozilla could be doing right now to gain greater market share:

    * Integrating Java Applet and Java Web Start support as a core feature with universal JRE/JDK support (this would make it a must-have for accountants and IT)

    * Working with the Ruffle project to add Flash support back into the browser as native code, rather than by using WASM or JavaScript as an intermediate layer

    * Adding support for client-side language bindings (such as Python) to pave the way towards cleaner, more maintainable websites with lower resource use

    * Native TOTP, HOTP and portable virtual FIDO2 support. Basically, take Windows Hello but make it stateless, adding some additional checks for legacy 2FAs

    * Implementing the functionality of the top 20 extensions in use.by default (ad blocking, video downloading, screenshots, grammar checking, proper dark mode)

    * Fixing the mess with policy enforcement. It's a crap web browser to implement in a corporate environment, which means workers wont use it at home either

    Right now, people only need modern Chrome/crEdge with IE Mode as a fallback. As a sysadmin, I have no need to deploy Firefox any more and it has no killer feature which will convince me to pick it over deploying a Chromium-based browser. In fact, Mozilla uses a terrible system for mandatory policy enforcement which puts me and others off using it. Right now, the systems I look after all have adblocking, phishing protection and password, history, settings syncing by default thanks to simple GPOs, while also providing the old Trident rendering engine for Java and Silverlight support on the few websites which still need it.

    Make people need Firefox for things again. Even if it's only as a secondary browser!

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