written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/23/2011
Is Mozilla Firefox good or not? The popularity of Firefox may not be a reliable way to answer the question, because poor products have been popular in the past. Here we answer your questions about Mozilla Firefox and help you decide for yourself.
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Good Things About Mozilla Firefox
Although Mozilla Firefox has yet to become the most popular Web browser in the world, it continues to build a following as more people become willing to try it. Here are some of the reasons people come to like Firefox.
It's not Microsoft. One of the largest tech firms in the world, Microsoft is known for buggy, bloated products that run slowly and crash, so it is understandably unpopular.
Online security. Internet Explorer is known for having exploitable flaws in its code that result in malicious users injecting code into your computer and either taking control of it or at least taking your data.
Cross platform compatibility. Because Firefox has versions that work on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and other operating systems, users in a mixed environment can share a similar Web experience.
Mozilla Firefox is good because it is open source. As an open source product, Firefox has benefited from the contributions of a large number of developers who have helped identify and resolve bugs and create new features and add ons. This openness has resulted in a very stable browser that has led the industry in innovation and has thousands of ways to customize it to individual needs.
Is Mozilla Firefox good? Based on its habit of releasing frequent updates, you find that new versions come out faster with more features and fewer bugs than Internet Explorer.
Innovation. Without Firefox, we would all still be in an online stone age. Features like tabbed browsing for example, have revolutionized the way we use the Web. The latest innovation, Tab Candy (aka Panorama), is expected to bring more of an operating feel to the broswer, making it easier to multi-task and store your open pages for later reference. Tab Candy can store organized groups of tabs and even share them between Firefox users on different platforms.
Firefox usually has a long beta testing period for its upcoming versions. Because these beta testing periods are open and because they give users that chance to experience new features early and even get their voice heard by making suggestions, identifying bugs, or writing enhancements.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Sertion
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Bad Things About Mozilla Firefox
If you are going to ask, "Is Microsoft Firefox good?" you will have to consider the bad things about the browser as well as the good things. To be sure, some people will find that Mozilla Firefox isn't for them. Here are some of the common complaints.
Compatibility. Although all Web browsers are supposedly compatible, and most Web sites are supposed to work with them, the truth is that compatibility remains an issue: some Web sites do not work properly in Mozilla Firefox. Although Web developers should test how their sites function in all the popular browers, the truth is that some don't bother. Buttons might not work, video might not display, and a host of other issues could interfere with your Web experience. Because of this, many people find it easier to stick with Microsoft Internet Explorer: it's buggy, but it works almost all the time.
Stagnation. Although Firefox still has a huge following, it is rapidly losing market share to new competitors like Google Chrome. If the trend continues, those who stick with Firefox will seem like the dinosaur loyalists who stayed with Internet Explorer years ago. If you must always have the most popular browser on the market, you should hesitate adopting Firefox right now.
Speed. When Mozilla had only Internet Explorer to compete against, it could win the speed contest hands down. Nowadays, Apple Safari and Google Chrome compete for bragging rights as the fastest browser on the market. Although many of your favorite extensions won't work, you will likely appreciate the performance benefit.
Security. Although Firefox continues to rate higher in terms of security than does Internet Explorer, its long term exposure to the market and the availability of its source code has led to several notorious compromises. Hacking isn't just for Mircosoft products anymore.
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Final Thoughts: Mozilla Firefox is a Good Web Browser
When the arguments are over and the dust settles down, Mozilla Firefox is good. In spite of its weakness in the wake of new competition from Safari and Chrome. Although it may never overtake Microsoft to gain the top spot in the industry, expect continued development, innovation, and customization to continue well into the future.