'Houston Chronicle' Raves About Easy, Fun, Fast, Safe, Free Mozilla Firefox

Saturday March 13th, 2004

The Houston Chronicle has an article about Mozilla Firefox, describing the browser as "easy, fun, fast, safe, free". The report highlights Firefox's popup blocking, tabbed browsing, integrated Google search, extensions, download manager, speed and privacy options. Thanks to tityre for telling us about this article.

#20 Why Firefox receives the majority of publicity

by jgraham

Sunday March 14th, 2004 10:26 AM

You are replying to this message

> I prefer Opera

That's fine.

> it can be had for free as well with hardly any screen estate loss for a text-based ad bar via Google

People generally don't like having adverts on their computer. The version of Opera I last used (maybe 7.2 or so) had annoying flashing blinkng banner ads which were quite distracting. There might be a way to customise those away to something less annoying, but it's not obvious. People have also come to expect that software is free; they think of Windows as free because it comes with their computer. Many people "need Office at home so they can work" and so install bring home the Office CD rather than paying out 400 for a copy. Most of the other common programs (mail clients, messenger programs, document viewers) and so on can be had for free. Convincing people to pay real money for software is hard. Partically this iis because software in general is buggy and unreliable and requires constant upgrades.

> Opera's feature-set.

Opera does indeed seem to have a lot of features. Unfortunatley, the side effect of this is that it has a lot of interface to wrap around the features, which makes finding the tiny subset of the features that people actually want to use difficult to impossible. Most users don't care about advanced functionality, they just want to get on with using the program. Even when they would find a particular feature really helpful, they probably won't know that it would help nor take the time to learn to use it. There are lots of people who don't even use bookmarks. Even as a relatively compenent user, I find Opera's default interface to be confusing and difficult to navigate. Maybe it can be skinned to make it simple, but it should be siimple by default rather than complex by default. That's the route Firebird is trying to take, although there are difficulties, as you note.

> With that said, I hope Firefox gets better for its users and for the sake of pushing Opera on to stay ahead of its competition.