Firefox 4 Is Better Than Microsoft Internet Explorer 9: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-03-23 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Firefox 4 is catching on in a big way with Web users. And it's clear why. The updated browser has a number of features that make it better than Internet Explorer 9.

It didn't take long for Mozilla's Firefox 4 to gain immense popularity. As of this writing, millions of people have downloaded the new browser and by the look of things, its appeal to Web users has yet to slow down. By all measures, Firefox 4 seems to be on top of its game, and it's ready to take on its many competitors in the browser market.

But now that Firefox 4 is out to compete against Internet Explorer 9, some people are undoubtedly wondering which browser they should go with. On one hand, Firefox 4 seems to deliver some neat new features and much faster speeds. But Internet Explorer 9 is vastly improved over its predecessor. In other words, at first glance, it's not an easy choice.

However, as people dig more into the differences between Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4, one thing becomes abundantly clear: Mozilla's option is better.

Read on to find out why:

1. A better design

One of the major improvements to both Internet Explorer and Firefox has been better designs. Both browsers feature a slimmed-down interface that will likely appeal to more users. But Firefox 4's design is a little bit better. It looks somewhat similar to Opera 11 and delivers much better menu designs. A change to how tabs are displayed-on top by default-is also a welcome addition. One can easily go on about all the changes made to Firefox 4, but suffice it to say that its interface tops Internet Explorer 9 in usability and aesthetic appeal.

2. Stability

Microsoft has said time and again that Internet Explorer 9 is the most stable browser it has released yet. And that's certainly the case. But so far, Firefox 4 seems to be a tad more stable. One of the key reasons for that is the browser's ability to continue working, even though plug-ins-like Flash, QuickTime or Microsoft's Silverlight-fail. Does that mean Firefox will never crash? Of course not, but in my testing to this point, it has proved more stable than Internet Explorer 9.

3. Multiplatform support

Considering there is a growing number of Mac OS X users out there, those folks should know that Firefox 4, unlike Internet Explorer 9, supports their favored operating system. Mozilla's browser also works with Linux. Perhaps most importantly, Firefox works with Windows XP. Internet Explorer 9, on the other hand, only works with Windows Vista and Windows 7. That's a huge issue for Microsoft, considering XP still is used by the majority of PC users-about 55 percent-around the world. And it's another win for Firefox 4.

4. Microsoft's brand problems

One of the biggest issues Microsoft faces right now is that it's trying to overcome its failures in past versions of Internet Explorer. There are still millions of people around the globe who don't trust that Microsoft's browser can be secure and stable. Mozilla, on the other hand, doesn't face that identity crisis. Thus, it doesn't necessarily need to worry about its brand affecting its decisions when it comes to adding or removing features. If users don't trust Microsoft's ability to keep its browser secure and they're looking for other options, they should go with Firefox 4.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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