Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 on March 15. Faster, more secure, and far less cluttered than ever before, IE 9 is getting good reviews.  IE 9 can be installed on Windows 7 and Vista only; XP users are out of luck. It's really time to change from XP.

Internet Explorer 9 can be downloaded from Microsoft or any number of download sites. For best performance use the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer. That goes for version 8, as well. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/products/ie/home

Mozilla released Firefox 4 on March 22, with the same goals (see last post http://cathycom.blogspot.com/2011/03/firefox-4-now-ready-for-download.html).

The Browser Wars have been going on so long the various contenders seem to be merging. The Big Three (no, not Ford, Chrysler and GM) are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. The new versions seem pretty much interchangeable. More than ever, personal preference will decide your default browser.

It's still a good idea to have at least two browsers installed, and running all three is quite acceptable. There are many web sites that perform differently in different browsers. One, two, three or more browsers of the same maker or different can be open at the same time, given enough system resources.


Mozilla released Firefox 4 (the Final Version) today, March 22. It's been in beta so long we've mostly forgotten about it.  Do we want to install it now, or wait until the initial bugs are repaired?

Install now if you like adventure and aren't disturbed by change. Wait a few days or weeks if you'd like someone else to pick out the bugs and the fixed versions to appear.

To install, open Firefox, then click on Help - Check for updates. You'll be prompted to download version 4; follow the prompts to do so.  Or go directly to the web site and download fresh, then install over your current version. 

Below is a link to a good early review of the major changes. For me, Firefox 4 brings new meaning to the term "minimalist". Fewer buttons, fewer toolbars (initially), fewer controls. It looks a lot more like Google's Chrome browser. Once you find your way around, it will be as simple as using whatever you're using today.

You should upgrade Firefox to version 4 at some point. Besides the new interface, there are always security improvements. Anyone who's ever been affected by malware will appreciate the efforts.