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The reviews are in, and Firefox is a winner:

InformationWeek, November 19, 2004

Firefox 1.0 is the first Web browser since October, 1997, that deserves serious consideration by the entire world of desktop computer users... I'm not going back to Internet Explorer 6.0."


eWeek, November 9, 2004

"...the free, open-source Firefox is the best stand-alone Web browser option available today and is generations ahead of Microsoft's IE."


CNET, November 12, 2004

"Mozilla Firefox 1.0 is the dream Internet browser you've been looking for."


Wired News, November 11, 2004

"The browser is an absolute joy to use—smart, fast and very user-friendly..."


Firefox was officially released in early November 2004, but even before that, the word was out: this was a web browser that was definitely worth downloading and investigating. Now that Firefox has reached 1.0, the world can use it, and people are finding out that Firefox benefits just about everyone:

Everyday users

As I discuss in the first chapter of this book, Internet Explorer just doesn't cut it any more. It's buggy, insecure, and out of date, and it lacks features that Firefox has had since its beginning. Firefox is well-coded: if bugs are found, they're fixed at an incredible rate of speed. Firefox is secure: it doesn't engage in the risky behaviors that make IE so dangerous. Firefox is fresh, new, and hip: since it's an open source project, it's constantly being updated and improved by a team of developers all over the world. Firefox is feature-rich: it's probably the easiest browser in the world to use, but if you want to add a feature that you think is missing, it's incredibly easy to do so (as you'll see in Chapter 4).

Power users

If you're a member of this exalted group, you're in luck—you get all the benefits listed above, and more. Power users will find that Firefox is amazingly customizable, with all sorts of hidden extra goodies that are available to those who know where to look. Want to get to the good stuff? Jump ahead to Chapters Chapter 4 and Chapter 5—they're going to make you very, very happy.


Maybe they haven't told you yet, but trust me, your IT people are sick of having to deal with IE. The constant updates for the security issue du jour, the general flakiness, the spyware deposited on employee PCs every day—it all adds up to a never-ending headache. Your IT department can't just get rid of IE completely—Microsoft has seen to that—but by switching to Firefox, they'll definitely reduce the problems they have to face with IE, so they can go back to dealing with Bob in Accounting.

Web developers

Firefox is the browser of choice for most web developers. It has features that make web work fun and easy, and its ability to render correctly HTML, CSS, and other web technologies is a boon when creating web pages.


A recent article on CNET (http://news.com.com/Firefox+fortune+hunters/2100-1032_3-5455173.html) discussed how many programmers are starting to make good livings creating custom software that is based on Firefox. Why? Firefox has an architecture that makes it easy to add features, or even base whole programs on it; the installed base of users is constantly growing; and the browser is cross-platform, running on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. This is great news for developers.

The Internet

Thanks to Firefox, there's competition in the web browser space again, which is a good thing, even for people who don't use Firefox. Now that Microsoft is starting to feel some heat from Firefox, they'll (hopefully) start improving their moribund browser. Meanwhile, AOL is using Firefox as the basis for a new, rejuvenated Netscape. Web developers are being encouraged to create web sites not just for IE, but for a wider variety of web users. Firefox is helping to make the Web and the Internet a better place, and that alone is one heck of a benefit.

This book is a guide to using Firefox and a celebration of all the wonderful things it can do. I know Firefox isn't perfect, but it's the best web browser available today—and, more importantly, the people behind Firefox are working to make it better every day.

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