While the tech media were busy swooning over Google Chrome this past week, I’ve been busy trying out Firefox’s newest browser version – Firefox 3.1, the curiously-dubbed Shiretoko. And I give this, still buggy (Shiretoko is still in Alpha 2, after all) and newest web browser from Mozilla, top marks.
Firstly, it is faster than Chrome on my system – an old Dell Pentium M XP laptopn with 1GB RAM (Disclaimer: I don’t use tons of open tabs, and my version of Shiretoko had only one add-on, an AVG security widget, and it is conceivable that as you add more compatible plug-ins in future, performance could be gradually hit).
It is also faster than Microsoft’s latest IE 8, which this TechRadar article concurred.
It must be said that the speed differences between the three aren’t immediately discernable in practice. I measured by timing them opening webpages with a stopwatch.
Shiretoko lacked IE 8′s and Chrome’s multi-tasking capabilities, but like IE 8, it has a proper zoom feature. This means all content in a webpage are magnified, or shrunk, when the zoom command is invoked. With Chrome, like Firefox 2, only texts are zoomed, not the graphics.
But as I said earlier, Shiretoko is still buggy.
For instance, web pages in different tabs refuse to stay magnified if you toggle them. And it seems to crash more often than Chrome on my laptop. IE 8 seems to be the most stable of the trio of browsers.
The three browsers are a definite improvement over their predecessors, and they appear pretty evenly matched with each other. So I am going to toggle bewteen them until a favourite emerges. Hmm, maybe I should try Safari and Opera too.