That’s right 10 years ago today, a Blog was Born! Honestly, I am surprised it has last this long (and I am not just talking about the blog). A lot has happened in the last 10 years in the browser ‘market’. While Internet Explorer is still around (and sadly not by choice for some users who are stuck using IE for certain essential websites), there is a lot more choice in web browsers now. Even Microsoft introduced a new (and crippled) browser with Windows 10. Microsoft Edge, a browser so useless it pushes users over the edge. Netscape is long gone, though it did hang on for a while longer than most people had expected. Ironic considering in the late 90’s while attending Arizona State University, Netscape was the default browsers on both the Mac’s AND PC’s (running Windows NT 4.0). You could still use Internet Explorer, you just had to find it in the Start Menu.
So what made Firefox so great 10-year ago. Three things come to mind that users now just take for granted as pretty much every browser nowadays comes standard with these:
- Tabs. Gone are the days of having multiple browser windows open. Honestly, I didn’t get tabs at first as was so used to having multiple browser windows. Tabs took a little getting use to, but now it is one of those things how did we ever live without it?
- Add-ons. This was the biggest ‘selling point’ of Firefox, being able to customize not only how the browser looked, but behaved. Extensions added functionality (such as Ad-Blocking) that were not native to the browser). Sadly, Microsoft didn’t think extensions were all that important when they released their successor to Internet Exploiter, Edge last year. This is something that is suppose to change this summer.
- Pop-Up blocking. While there were third-party pop-up blockers for Internet Explorer, they were standalone programs that needed to be installed and not part of the browser itself. Nothing more annoying than going to a site and getting bombarded with pop-up ads. Unfortunately, web developers have found a way to get around this lately as users are getting bombard with subscribe pop-ups when they visit certain sites.
Yes, I still use Firefox…mainly at work along with Chrome (Lenovo/IBM Corp warranty processing sites work best with Chrome) and Internet Exploiter (our web based inventory system can work in Firefox, but it doesn’t render nicely). I no longer use Firefox for Android as I could never get it to correctly sync (heck I couldn’t even get Firefox to correctly sync between two computers). Ironically, I have yet to try Pale Moon which is a stripped down (as in removing all the unwanted bloat and UI changes) independent build of Firefox.
Sadly, it is this bloat and drastic UI changes that has driven many former Firefox users away to other browsers. The current Mozilla (many of the original Mozilla developers left after Firefox 4 was released), still does not seem to understand this and keeps finding new ways to make the browser even more bloated. Plus, Mozilla had turned into Apple when it comes to what extensions it will allow users to install in Firefox. Time will tell, what will happen in the next 10-years with Firefox.