First of all, I’d like to point out that I use Firefox exclusively. It’s great software. It’s small and its fast. And it’s open source.
In this post, I chose to use ‘better’ rather than ‘secure’ or ‘faster’ because this is my opinion. This is not a test on security or whatever. This is my two cents worth.
The Mozilla Foundation was founded in 1998. Since then, the Mozilla Suite has just reached version 1.8.x and Firefox has reached a glacial 1.0.3. needless to say, deveopment has been slow.
The question whether open source software is more secure is debatable. I wouldn’t say Firefox is more secure. It is more standards compliant, but hardly anymore secure than IE. For example, while Firefox does not support vbscript or activeX, it does support extensions. A lot of people install extensions from unknown sites. Also, most of the extensions are not signed. Hypothetically, this means that if you install extensions regardless of the source, you could get screwed. Besides, IE has allowed control over vbscript and activeX for a while through Internet Zones. Its a pity people don’t/haven’t use(d) them (Win XP SP2 removes this problem alltogether). IE also features much better cookie management.
Firefox’s security is an illision. The only reason, it feels secure, is because it doesn’t have enough market share to warrant significant spyware development. Given time, I’m sure Firefox will have just as many problems as IE.
People have always been quick to blame Microsoft for not rolling out patches on time. I’m sure the Firefox users are going to face the same problem sooner or later, with the increasing popularity of the ‘fox.
Note 1 : I wrote this post a while ago. While I still like Firefox, I’ve noticed that it seems to have memory leaks. One window, with no other tabs open uses about 44MB RAM and 86MB virtual memory. Since then I’ve been using Opera more and more.
Note 2 : As always, this post is mirrored on my blog at http://trenchier2.blogspot.com/2005/03/is-firefox-really-better-than-ie.htmlPowered by Sidelines