Firefox 3

So, Internet Explorer 8 is supposed to ship with a compatibility mode defaulted to on, which is a big step in the right direction. I figured Firefox 3 would have to be pretty darn shiny to keep up. And it is.

Security was given a lot of thought, it seems, both from the user's perspective and the developers'. The warning messages aren't cryptic anymore; broken SSL certificates, for example, have warning messages designed for more of a layman. Malware sites are blocked via blacklist. It integrates smoothly with an external antivirus.

All of the extensions I use work just fine, with quick reinstalls of a few. The Add-On management is much, much slicker; no more going to a separate website to find and install things, and restarting Firefox is *fast* to get new Add-Ons up and running.

Full screen zoom (everything gets larger for my old eyes). Vista integration is slick. OS/X integration with Growl for notifications. OS/X forms feel more like something in Safari, which is an interesting choice.

Bookmarks can be tagged, instead of foldered. (Read that last one again!) You can use a webmail client (Gmail) as the handler for a mailto: link.

Last and largest, they plugged the terrible problem with memory leaks, and it runs noticeably faster on my laptop. I'm saying install this one immediately if you're a Firefox user, and possibly consider migrating to Firefox if you're not. A++.

The only thing missing is a sync between instances of Firefox on different machines, which is something under development with Mozilla Weave. So far, mostly good with that, but that's a full other post, and a currently open problem in Bugzilla.

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