What is so special about Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4? Well they both have a very short release duration between them. IE9 was released on 14th March 2011, while Firefox 4 on 22nd March 2011… and are presently running almost neck to neck in the browser market.
Internet Explorer vs Firefox
With more than 400 million active users, Firefox aims to increase this number considerably by introducing Firefox 4, its gen-next browser where the market is dominated by Internet Explorer and now its latest version, IE9. What makes these browsers successfully demand their own user share in the market? Let’s find out!
1. User Interface: Microsoft says that IE9 has got more that 80% of the browser area for the websites whereas Firefox is a notch higher with more than 86% of the browser area for the websites. Both have them have got a polished new interface with much less complexity compared to their previous versions.
2. Playing with Tabs: IE9 surely wins over this by introducing ‘Tearing-of-tabs’ where you can make a tab come out as a new browser window simply by dragging and releasing it a few millimeters outside the browser window, ‘Pinning of websites’ where any website works as an app after dragging its tab and releasing it onto the taskbar. In Firefox 4, Tabs are on top of the screen now, and you can pin tabs to the Tab Bar as “app tabs”. A notable feature is the Tab Groups, a useful idea that enables you to organize open tabs into groups and switch over to any tab group when desired.
3. Add-ons Manager: IE9 has got a very simple feel for its small but efficient Add-ons manager which actually does detect malicious add-ons which can be disabled if desired. Whereas the Firefox Add-ons manager achieves a perfect user-friendly interface with striking clarity as to what is disabled and what is running.
5. Other important features: The new ‘Do-not-track’ feature in Firefox 4 supports a header on Web sites that tells sites and advertisers not to track you, so you don’t see targeted ads as often. Internet Explorer 9 also supports the header, and it includes robust, configurable support for blocking ad trackers. While IE9 achieves seamless integration with Windows Phone 7 OS, Sync is that feature in Firefox 4 where you synchronize your data across traditional PC versions of Firefox and also you can sync your bookmarks, passwords, preferences, history, and tabs with your Android or Maemo-running phone or tablet. Both support HTML5, CSS3 and Direct 3D hardware acceleration. IE9 gives tabs individual processes while in Firefox 4, everything runs in a single session.
The Verdict: Internet Explorer 9 is amazingly cool to use and has improved extra-ordinarily compared to its previous versions. It is now back in the reckoning and is right in the battleground with Chrome and Firefox; and with its upcoming updates and additions, it may well surge ahead and be the winner.