There was a time when Firefox was the Web browsers for the cool kids who knew their tech. Most would still agree that it’s better than Internet Explorer, but that’s damning it with faint praise. Over the last year or so, Firefox have become better known in tech. Savvy circles for its relatively poor performance and mediocre memory management. Chrome’s insane speed and Internet Explorer 8’s overall improvement have also dinged Firefox’s reputation. But now, Firefox 3.5 is almost ready to go. Does it have what it takes?
I downloaded the latest beta, Firefox 3.5 beta 4, to find out for myself. I used it on two different PCs. The first was my workhouse Windows XP SP3 system, and the other was my Fedora 10 computer. The XP box was a Dell Inspiron 530S with a 2.2-GHz Intel Pentium E2200 dual-core processor, 4GBs of RAM, a 500GB SATA drive and an Integrated Intel 3100 GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator). For Fedora, I used a Gateway GT5622 desktop with a 1.8GHz Intel Pentium E2160 dual-core CPU, 3GBs of RAM, a 400GB SATA drive, and an Intel 950 GMA.
On both systems, installing the browser took no more than five minutes. Once installed, I found that my two must-have Firefox extensions the Google Toolbar and XMarks were both working.