features in IE
I used to religously use firefox as my faithful browserfor close to knocking on ten years. I'd tried Opera, and while it had some nice features (and some very gimmicky) I found it struggled to render some pages.
I, like a great many reading/posting on this article, had settled into a comfortable groove. After all, if it ain't broke, why fix it? Then my 7yr old OS install started to crumble. I had literally hundreds of programs installed, and a mixed graphics card setup that made reinstalling nigh impossible.
First Firefox stopped working, despite several hours trying to coax it back to life. Months later, Opera flaked out.
I only give you the backstory because it took this much preassure to to force me to fire up the old blue e. Never been updated, it only took a few minutes of fighting with v6 before I downloaded 8.
Yes, it was slow. Yes it was clunky. There was feature that immediately jumped out, though. The ease at which you could add your own custom search providers.
I filed it away in my favourites with the intent of having another look when I had some genuine time to waste.
IE changed all that. When you click the add search provider, there's a link at the bottom called "Create Your Own Search Provider". It's so easy to use, (search your target website with the word TEST, copy the resultant URL, paste in the box and give it a name) that I began to add websites which I wouldn't have originally considered worth the effort.
The real game-changer though, is using them through the internet accelerator. Highlight a bit of text on any given website, click the accelerator icon, choose a search from the list, and it opens that website with the search results from the text you selected in a new tab.
This sounds medicore, until you spend a few seconds creating a set of search providers customised to your browsing. Then you begin to realise your getting through the web faster and in fewer clicks than ever before.
I've no doubt FF4 will improve on things. They're claiming even better JS engine, and the tab management feature looks amazing. On the flipside, Mozilla update mechanism is nothing short of retarded. Not only does the self-update break every security rule of the WIndows OS set out since XP, but it does this on startup of the application?!?
Either way, this is all healthy competition, and is spurring the market forwards