Firefox 3.5 Review

I usually do not review software, but I am a computer buff, so I may as well. Firefox is the free browser made by the Mozilla Foundation based on the old Netscape browser.

It is now starting to seriously rival Microsoft’s Internet Exploder, especially in Northern and Eastern Europe. Finland and the Baltic states have gone over in a big way. Internet Exploiter is still huge in China and Korea, with over 95% penetration in both places. In China, there are many IE clones which are widely used, complicating matters further for Firefox.

I upgraded from 3.0.1x a while back, and the early 3.5 was really terrible, so I’ve been avoiding it ever since. Nevertheless, someone put it on the other computer I use, and I noticed the other day that it was quite nice. So I finally got up the nerve to put it on this one.

What a surprise! It’s not often that a browser upgrade really slaps you across the face with its sudden and dramatic improvement.

One annoyance about earlier Firefox was the extremely bad use of resources such that the browser quickly pigs out and is sucking a good GB or so of RAM and on this box, I’m then into virtual memory territory, which on Windows just sucks. Also many webpages, especially this WordPress, are slow as mud in the Colorado River. I always figured it was the sucky WordPress platform, but whatever’s causing it, the new 3.5 makes WordPress positively snappy.

The browser loads very quickly, even with 2 windows and 17 tabs open as I am wont to do. It’s still pretty piggy, but the browser seems to retain snappiness and stability even as it gorges on your RAM, which is nice. I’m waiting to see how it acts in VM territory, but nothing on Windows is stable in VM, so I’m not optimistic.

The earlier stability problems are completely gone now.

If you have not done so already, upgrade to 3.5 right now!

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