Tuesday, January 31st, 2006
The final beta before release of IE 7.0 is out today for public consumption. I think we can pretty much write Firefox off for now – this IE release is solid, I haven’t found a single issue with it yet. A few things I’m totally digging:
1) In general, feature for feature, IE is now on par with Firefox. The big difference, IE’s user interface blows Firefox out of the water in terms of look and feel.
2) Built in search toolbar – took a while, but I finally have built in search without having to install one of the many search engine search toolbars which use up way too much screen real-estate.
3) Favorites – In terms usability, the new favorites management drop-down panel in IE surpasses Firefox’s traditional favorites side panel by a mile.
4) Toolbar and Menu screen usage – a picture says it all:
IE provides more space for browsing, even with toolbars installed since the toolbars land up in the open space above the links. Firefox requires toolbars to band up below the address bar. That’s so old school.
Microsoft also managed to combine two menu bars into one, and through new user interface widgets, render the traditional file menu obsolete. Slick. Of course you can still bring the old file menu up to access advanced features, through a neat Alt show and hide feature. I dig this feature the most.
In general, I’m not convinced Firefox is more secure than Internet Explorer, so that selling point isn’t going to fly on this blog. With IE 7.0 now matching and in some cases surpassing Firefox’s current features, combined with a slick new user interface, I’m not seeing any compelling reasons for keeping Firefox around on my desktop.
Microsoft Monitor has a good review as well. I’m surprised though, in reading all of the reviews, how nobody has picked up on the new screen space. PC World even criticized them for doing it. DOH!