Comparing Mozilla Firebird with other browsers

In: Mozilla

15 Oct 2003

I don’t think this page existed before today’s major releases. Interesting to see Mozilla 1.5 in the comparison chart. I haven’t used the web browser in the Mozilla suite since Phoenix 0.4 and it surprises me that it doesn’t have configurable toolbars and the bookmark panel already.

Anyway, gimmicky as that chart may seem, there really is no reason to use IE in this day and age unless you’re forced to, either by circumstances at work or just because you were born a masochistic Microsoft crony, or because some of the following reasons:

  • You’ve never heard of Mozilla Firebird – “The Best Browser, Bar None”. Yes it may sound corny and somewhat unbelievable, but take my word for it – it’s true.
  • You think it’s cool and “in” to use IE because everyone you know is using it – hint: it’s not cool, it’s definitely not “in”, and you’re probably mixing with the wrong people. Unless, of course, you’re one of the following people: Microsoft employees, politicians, lawyers, masochists.
  • You like getting those popup or pop-under ads because you actually click them. Maybe you find them exciting. Like how you find any new advertisements with David Beckham in it exciting :p. Popup blocking? No thanks, I like my popups fast and pornographic.
  • You find that having many IE windows open makes you look busy. Your boss sometimes looks over your shoulder.
  • You prefer obscure error messages when the JavaScript for a website has errors. Who needs a JavaScript console that actually spews out helpful error messages? In fact, you must think fellow web developers wusses when they use Venkman – the JavaScript debugger for Mozilla-based browsers to debug their JavaScript. I’ll just use my extreme debugging skillz of being able to guess what is wrong by looking at every line of code, thank you.
  • You welcome websites which install a new toolbar for you, or set your homepage to their site without asking you. You believe that is the Ultimate user experience a website can provide. Anything which deprives you of that experience should never ever be installed on your system. Non-invasive surfing is an alien concept to you.
  • You think tabbed-browsing is just some kind of weird anti-Microsoft “web-browsing paradigm” that actually makes you lose productivity instead of gain any. Why would I want tabbed browsing for anyway? One webpage, one new window is your philosophy. After all, I have lots of RAM.
  • You haven’t heard of “find as you type“. Ctrl-F, type in search term, click “Find next” is all you know, and you’re reluctant to try any of that new-fangled stuff that oh they say would speed up your searching.
  • You enjoy getting Windows updates (that is, if you use Windows). Getting the latest security patches for IE vulnerabilities makes you feel like a geek superior.
  • You are a new computer user and don’t know how to install programs – your son/daughter showed you how to use IE the first time you got on the Internet.

Anyone reading this has any other reasons please to speak up so I can add to this list :).

33 Responses to Comparing Mozilla Firebird with other browsers



October 16th, 2003 at 7am

Another reason to use use IE:

  • Your life is stale and you love the mystery of obscure CSS.


Phil Wilson

October 16th, 2003 at 10am

That comparison page no longer exists! I don’t suppose that by chance you took a screengrab or something?



October 16th, 2003 at 7pm

Nice reasons there! I’m a Firebird user, but tend to have IE windows open at work anyway; some for testing and some to make me look busy ;).


Dennis Pallett

October 18th, 2003 at 11pm

The new url of the comparison page is


Phil Wilson

October 20th, 2003 at 11am

Cool, cheers!



October 24th, 2003 at 1am

Well, what are you supposed to do if you use AOL and like the AOL service? I have Mozilla installed and as far as I know I cannot configure it to my AOL account. By the way AOL 8.0 has a built in pop-up blocker and an option to finish URLs for you [and quite a few other helpful features]. 8.0 really is pretty nifty. I would really appreciate it if you could help me to be apart of the “IN” crowd, LOL!



October 24th, 2003 at 6pm

I tend to look out for masochistic Mozilla cronies, myself.



October 25th, 2003 at 12am

Another reason: You are a new computer user and don’t know how to install programs and your son/daughter showed you how to use IE the first time you got on the internet.



February 18th, 2004 at 2pm

Another reason is that IE6 is a memory hog and it’s broken. Try viewing my blog with IE and then open it in Firefox. I have spent hours tweaking stuff so that IE would display things (kinda) right.

Also, look at using IE and Firefox. Note how IE ignores the .first-character styling. Notice how Firfox displays it. (Hint, look at the “C” in “Communication” in the page heading.

The Mozilla folks have turned out an excellent product, that in it’s pre-release stage beats Microsoft hands-down.



February 24th, 2004 at 2pm

I use IE because I don’t like Mozilla, in any form, ever. Because it’s bloated. And buggy. Haven’t you Mozilla lamers ever heard of Avant for IE? It has all the features “that only Mozilla has”.

Besides, there aren’t only 2 browsers in the world today. Have you ever even used Opera 7?


Cheah Chu Yeow

February 24th, 2004 at 4pm

Well, I have used Opera. In fact, I’m using Opera 7.23 to write this comment right now. Opera would be my favorite browser if not because I have to pay for it (or suffer the ads). I like Opera simply because it’s fast (and I mean fast!) and doesn’t have as many bugs and vulnerabilities as IE. I just thought I was comparing Mozilla Firebird with other browsers. The lack of complaints about Opera purely goes to show how much I like this browser as well.

I’ve heard of AvantBrowser, of course, but I don’t think that protects you from any of IE’s security flaws nor it’s poor CSS implementation. I’m a web designer. I care about web standards. IE is not good for web standards. It doesn’t help that MS refuses to update IE6. I guess we have to wait for Longhorn.

Btw, I think you mistake the Mozilla suite with Mozilla Firebird (now Mozilla Firefox). The Mozilla suite is bloated because that’s what it’s meant to be – a suite of applications. I don’t use the Mozilla suite, preferring the standalone browser (Mozilla Firefox).



February 26th, 2004 at 5pm

I used to be like “The_Assimilator”… about 3 years ago, when IE was the only choice, and Mozilla in any form was slow and bloated… but, if you read the article and all the comments, I think we can all agree that times have changed.

Mozilla Firefox is the way to go, no matter who you are or what silly reasons you have to keep using IE. Just try it once and you’ll never go back.



March 1st, 2004 at 1pm

cause I have nothing going on in my life and getting my browser hijacked makes my life exciting … NOT … I LOVE FIREFOX … especially the tab extensions and the web developer extensions (it is so cool to click and outline all div’s or table cells for example)


Ford Prefect

March 11th, 2004 at 1pm

I am baffled as to why Opera is never even considered among the top browsers. It innovated features such as mdi, mouse gestures, sessions, integrated search, and a reverse chronological history. Some or all of these are included in Firefox either out-of-the-box or in extensions. Yet I compared Firefox out-of-the-box to Opera and loaded some random pages, including this one. All of the pages loaded noticeable faster in Opera, even with Firefox bereft of the functionality of the comparable extensions. There is no placebo effect at work, the speed difference is obvious.

In regards to not being free, I used Opera with the ads on for a year before buying because the advantages outweighed the drawback of the small ad in the corner. It was worth the price and I hope that they continue to innovate. A recent feature that they added was the use of Ctl-z to reopen a tab that was accidentally closed. Being a total klutz, I use it all the time.


Jeff W

March 16th, 2004 at 5am

Or, stick with MSIE if you enjoy downloading all the security patches… or just enjoy all that time you get to spend rebuilding your machine every time it gets hacked or gets a new virus… ;-)

A good reason to keep using MS Outlook too!


Bright Eyes

April 9th, 2004 at 4am

the worst thing is that IE incorrectly displays boxes and so you have to edit it to allow the majority of the uninitiated to view it, causing it to look slightly off in firefox. it makes me spend precious minutes nudging boxes in css.


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May 24th, 2004 at 7am

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May 28th, 2004 at 2am

One reason to use IE is that some net programmers haven’t included Firefox in their list of allowable browsers. For example, the code might work just fine, but is not allowed to, as the Javascript detects your browser version and “nicely asks” you to go load the latest version of IE.


CSS support is still flaky under Firefox. I’ve managed to break their implementation of CSS in a couple different ways. Mainly, it has to do with aligning divisions, and things that automatically extend the breadth of their division (like clicking on an anchor within a limited CSS division … always scrolls the div all the way to the right).

That said, I still use Firefox for 99.999% of my daily surfing.




June 20th, 2004 at 8pm

Doccus, I thought you could get a Mozilla FireFox plug-in to change which browser you are identified as… or is that not for JavaScript?

“User Agent Toolbar Widget” and “User Agent Switcher” seem to both do something similar to what you want.



June 23rd, 2004 at 7pm

THis is the first place i have seen where ppl have come up on their own and supported Opera. A good thing should get the appreciation it deserves notwithstanding the small ad in the free version or the fact that it isnt open source.
ALso why are ppl sooo crazy abt mozilla, is it because it is open source? Is it that bugs due to fellow volunteering developers ought to be neglected compared to those from a corporate conglomorate. It is not the fastest, or completely bug free.



July 9th, 2004 at 2am

I just downloaded Firefox. Opening it to its default page I open up task manager an see its exe is taking 44meg. Opening the exact same web location in IE I see it take 25meg. Is this supposed to be the lightweight browser I keep reading about…



July 9th, 2004 at 2am

I desperately want to stop using IE but I don’t for the following reason:

Mozilla FireFox has, in my opinion, a significant bug… The status bar doesn’t always say “Done” (or at least go blank) when the webpage is done loading. Instead, it gets stuck with a message “transferring data from (website name)…”. To me, it looks like the browser is inferior/incomplete. Also, it interferes with using the website where the statusbar gets stuck.

So if you can figure out a way to get the developers to focus on that prominent bug that they think is so insignificant, I’d love to switch to it. It’s a cool browser otherwise.


eddy de boer

July 24th, 2004 at 2am

I like Mozilla, but will still use IE because:

  1. Mozilla doesnt support internet-banking
  2. I use Google. Also can do that with Mozilla, but the keywords are not shown in the Google-bar, because there is no Google toolbar

Apart from these crucial points I would use Mozilla.

Eddy de Boer
The Netherlands



July 24th, 2004 at 2am

I like Mozilla, but will still use IE because:

  1. Mozilla doesnt support internet-banking
  2. I use Google. Also can do that with Mozilla, but the keywords are not shown in the Google-bar, because there is no Google toolbar
  3. Because of the Google Toolbar in IE, i dont have any pop-ups, so thats no reason for me to switch.

Apart from these crucial points I would use Mozilla.

Eddy de Boer
The Netherlands



July 29th, 2004 at 5am

I used Mozilla suite since 2002, then tried Opera for some time, than returned to Mozilla -> Firefox and Thunderbird. The only reason I see for people not to use this great browser is being lazy to learn something new or having no info on it. Many websites when talking about browsers mention usually IE, sometimes Opera or Mozilla, so people think IE is better :(



July 30th, 2004 at 7am

To eddy:

>> I like Mozilla, but will still use IE because:

>> 1. Mozilla doesnt support internet-banking

Solution #1: You should complain to your bank, telling them that IE is too insecure according to US CERT and other security auditing companies to be used for the purpose on online banking and they should make their page standard complaint and activex-less so that users can do their banking using other browsers (esp. firefox).

Solution #2:A page where users can report broken pages that don’t work with firefox etc. have been designed and will be up and running some time later

Solution #3: Don’t do your banking online: even telephone is much more secure and the most secure way is probably to go to a branch yourself. On windows machines, you face keyloggers and other threats as well, thus it is not that smart to bank online.

>> 2. I use Google. Also can do that with Mozilla, but the keywords are not shown in the Google-bar, because there is no Google toolbar

There is a third party one on, although I don’t know about its details. Also, various googlebar features have been implemented as extensions (ie. autofill)


Operation Codemuffin

October 19th, 2003 at 6pm

Moz, Moz, Moz!
I downloaded Mozilla Firebird 0.7the other day. So far, I really like it. Hmm. Maybe if I turn into hao2lian, I’ll create a category on here specifically for all things Moz* (that includes Firebird!). I should do that anyway. :)


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April 11th, 2004 at 3pm

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June 21st, 2004 at 8pm
Cheah Chu Yeow listet in Comparing Mozilla Firebird with other browsers fast ein Dutzend Gründe gegen den MSIE auf. Die Kommentare sind ebenfalls lesenswert.



October 27th, 2004 at 8pm

try Maxthon – its based on IE`s engine but with a myriad of improvements, extras and cofigurability that surpasses firefox by quite a long shot. and its free. I`ll stop now before I start sounding even more like an infomercial! :-)


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