Firefox 2.0 Released

So Firefox 2.0 went and got itself released.
I knew about this a couple of days ago, when someone else (was it Tim Bray? I don’t remember) posted up a link to the final beta. I downloaded it, installed it, and thought to myself “it can’t get any worse” while I fired up the application icon.
Well, fortunately, it looks like the folks at Mozilla have finally, finally, finally grown a clue. The interface is *significantly* improved. Fantastic. Short cut keys? They work. It’s incredible. Speed? Yup, it’s way faster. Seems as fast as Safari now, or at least really close.
My biggest gripe, and biggest headache, in Firefox was the “close window” button. For some (unknown) reason, that little “x” was all the way on the right side. This means that if I select a new tab, I have to travel allll the way over to the right side of the window to close that tab, and then alll the way back to keep surfing, select a new tab, whatever. It’s frustrating. Dealing with interfaces is something I don’t want to have to do – it’s why I switched away from Windows. This improved Firefox moves the “x” to the place it ought to be… right in the tab. Safari got this right from the beginning, and it’s something Firefox really should have had. Maybe not right off the bat, but *learn* from your competition.
Internet Explorer 7 has been released, and look what happens when you don’t pay attention: you release a brand new toy, and it still lags years behind all the competition. I mean, kudos to IE7 for sort of/kinda figuring out CSS a little better, but seriously, why must it be the *only* non-standards-compliant browser out there? I understand that Microsoft has to be A Giant Among Men at all times, but people are getting smarter and much more educated, and Micro$oft’s reputation is reaching new lows in a variety of arenas. It’s a lost cause.
So Safari gets put away now, and I can finally commit to using Firefox without giving myself a headache. I love it. Lifehacker has a great article on additional ways to tweak out Firefox, by the way, that I think everyone should read. There’s at least two tweaks in there that will help performance and usability (the memory allocation tweak and the tooltips removal), but there’s some seriously useful stuff there. Go see.

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