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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

IE7 vs Firefox 1.5 (Part 2)

IE7 vs Firefox

Support for Web standards

It's hard to believe this is often an overlooked part of browser review, at least from a end-user point of view. After all, most users just assume the internet looks how it looks (given they use one browser consistently). For developers, who use multiple browsers however, is not simple for them." Fact is, the way it looks from IE6 may or may not be how it looks through Firefox or another browser.

IE6 has been the poster-child for years of how NOT to develop a web engine in regards to web standards. Developers have to utilize countless unnecessary hacks and workarounds. This is why the site runs so much faster in Firefox for most users; IE6 has to compute all the "work around" codes so it'll look right. IE7 is a god-send for developers, as it promises to fix the most critical bugs and generally do a better job of following those all important web standards (it's about time Microsoft; how about making FrontPage do this too?). Granted IE7 still is a little quirky, but all-in-all favors much better in regards to web standards. Ultimately Firefox still provides the best support for web standards however. That may or may not change by the final release of IE7.

Support of Web Standards Advantage: Currently, Firefox

Managing Tabs Inside the Browser

When I first switched to Firefox the idea of tabs amused me but didn't seem that useful. As time has gone on I've realized these are the greatest tools in the world, and now I can't live without them. Microsoft too has noticed this popular feature and has added it to IE7. But it's what Microsoft did that really makes them shine here. They didn't just add Tabbed browsing to IE7, they made it easy to use and they made it better than anyone before them (score for Microsoft).

IE7's controls for opening, closing, and managing tabbed windows are noticeably simpler than those in Firefox, with a button on the tab bar to open a new window and a red X to close the active Web page.

Open Tap Close Tap

Open Tap & Close Tap

If there is one feature I absolutely love about IE7 in regards to tabs, it's the fact you can click the "Quick Tabs" button to view thumbnails of all the open tabbed pages . This is where IE7 really puts the nails in the coffin for Firefox in regards to tabbed browsing. Firefox's ability to handle multiple tabs at once is very poor. While you can manage two or three open pages easily enough, opening a dozen or more pages the tabbed interface becomes essentially unusable.

Firefox Tap

IE Tap

IE7 vs Firefox

Compared to Firefox, IE7 is much simpler to use in regards to tabs, especially closing them. Firefox may eventually change how it utilizes tabs, but for now IE7 has it beat.

Tab Management Advantage: Undoubtedly, IE7

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