If you have visited our site in the last few days, I’m sure you noticed the new Firefox 3 Download Day 2008 logo. On the 17th of June 2008, Mozilla has officially launched the 3rd version of their famous Firefox browser. To celebrate this launch, Mozilla has planned to set the Guinness World Record for Most Software Downloaded in 24 Hours. In order to help them achieve this goal, I would like to share with you some of the reasons for which you should download and install this great piece of software right-away.
I have been using Firefox 3 for almost two months now, when it was available in its beta-versions. Since then, Firefox 3 managed to surprise me in very positive ways even though it was still a work in progress. The final version is a solid product which offers plenty of innovative new features that are useful and accessible both for the regular or new users.
Here are some of the features which I found to be the most useful and/or exciting:
- Location Bar – Even though the location bar looks just the same as in Firefox 2, there is a crucial difference between the two: when you type a word or just a few letters, Firefox 3 automatically searches all your history, bookmarks, tags, etc and displays all the results that match your selection. To return these results, Firefox 3 uses an adaptive learning algorithm that studies your browsing behavior and improves results to match your browsing patterns. After a few days, Firefox will return very accurate results after typing only 2 or 3 letters and will greatly increase your browsing efficiency. Now you won’t even need your bookmarks for most of the time.
- Great Performance – Firefox 3 is really fast. Internet Explorer 7, which is built-in Windows Vista doesn’t even compare to it. All the pages are loaded faster than in Firefox 2 or Internet Explorer 7 and it eats up less memory.
- Good Malware Protection – This browser has filters which announce you if the sites you are visiting are attempting to affect your privacy or system security. A big warning sign shows up each time you visit a site known for trying to install malicious software on your computer. You can also enable an option which informs you if a visited site is one of those knock-off sites (phishing sites) which copy the design of well known internet pages and try to steal private data such as your e-mail logon credentials, credit card numbers, etc.
- Full page zoom – This new feature allows you to zoom in and out of an entire web page. The layout, text and all the images will be automatically scaled. This is useful especially for the elderly people which visit our site quite a lot, but also for when you want to show the content of a page to someone that isn’t very colse to your computer screen. To use this feature you can use the View or press and hold the CTRL key while scrolling up or down.
- Great Password Management – another feature that I love is the new password manager. When accessing a page where you need to type your login details, the password manager box will show up on the upper-right side of your window and stay there until after you have logged in. This way, if you type a wrong password, you can try again until you manage to log in and the password manager will remember only the last one you entered, once you clicked the Remember button. This is a very useful improvement for Firefox, as in the previous versions, when you happened to type the wrong password and choose Firefox to remember it, the action couldn’t have been rolled back.
- Smart Bookmarks & Places Organizer – Organizing your bookmarks (or favorites) is easier than ever. Bookmarks can now be customized both by tags and folders. You will be able to perform detailed searches of your bookmarks and save them as folders for future use, just like in Windows Vista. Just press Ctrl + B and the Bookmark panel will appear on the left side of Firefox, making it easier for you to always take an eye on your saved links.
- Native look for every major operating system – Even though it’s not a crucial feature, it is surely nice to see that Firefox 3 integrates very well with the overall look and feel of Windows Vista. It was about time to take advantage of the new Windows Aero graphical user interface.
There are plenty of other things that you might like about this product. Some of the other ‘small’ but useful features that you might enjoy are: very simple add-on installation and management, a great download manager, integration with Parental Controls in Windows Vista and integration with antivirus solutions.
Firefox 3 is a great product which I’m sure will please most of you if you decide to give it a try. I’ve been using Firefox since the first version was launched and I would never go back to Internet Explorer.