My take on whether to upgrade, which to use, and why.
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Hi everyone, this is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some
of the many questions I get at askleo.info.
So the big news this last week was the near simultaneous release of Internet
Explorer version 7, and Firefox version 2. Naturally the tech press is all
a’twitter over the feature sets, the competition, and what each means to the
future of the other.
IE7 has been a long time coming. But I have to say that many of the changes
really have me shaking my head.
For example, the address bar is now above the menu bar – and you can’t move
it. Now I’ll admit, losing the address bar is a frequent problem, but cementing
it to the top of the window in a new and unfamiliar location was not, in my
opinion, the answer.
Example number two: where’s the friggen home button? It’s completely beyond
me why they would move one of the most commonly used buttons to a completely
different, and I’ll say bizarre location.. (Can’t find it? Look sorta off to
the right on the bar that has the new browser tabs. Took me a while too.)
Now, I’m certain … ok, I’m hopefully … that IE 7 includes all of IE 6’s
security updates. There’s also list of new security related features, most
interesting of which might be the anti-phishing trap. Personally I’m looking
forward to learning whether the “Diagnose Connection Problems…” tool actually
helps – that’s another very common problem I hear about here at Ask Leo!.
Firefox 2 is a more subtle upgrade. In fact, unlike IE 6 to 7, about the
only thing you’ll first notice after upgrading is that several of your
extensions won’t work – though those do seem to be getting updated relatively
quickly. Like IE 7, Firefox 2 includes several enhancements – including,
surprise, a new phishing filter.
But upgrading FireFox certainly isn’t as jarring as upgrading IE. In fact,
upgrading from IE 6 to FireFox 2 is probably less of a usage change than an
upgrade to IE 7.
So here’s my recommendation, for IE and Firefox users alike:
Upgrade to IE7. You can do it now, if you like, or you can simply wait for
the expected push through Windows Update. I’m trying it both ways to see how
Also install or update to FireFox 2. I’ve done this on both of my
The bottom line? IE is really a part of Windows and is used by many other
applications. This and future updates should continue to improve the security
of your system. But that doesn’t mean you need to use it as your browser. Go
ahead and use this opportunity to switch and begin using Firefox as your
It’s what I do.
I’d love to hear what you think. Visit ask leo dot info, and enter 10851 in
the go to article number box. Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you.
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