Firefox to Internet Explorer: Bring it on!

Yesterday, the Beta 1 version of Internet Explorer 8 was released for download. According to Microsoft, IE 8 is loaded with tons of exciting new features such as:

Activities are contextual services to quickly access a service from any webpage. Users typically copy and paste from one webpage to another. Internet Explorer 8 Activities make this common pattern easier to do.

WebSlices is a new feature for websites to connect to their users by subscribing to content directly within a webpage. WebSlices behave just like feeds where clients can subscribe to get updates and notify the user of changes.

*Favorites Bar
In Internet Explorer 7, the Links bar provided users with one-click access to their favorite sites.

*Automatic Crash Recovery

*Improved Phishing Filter

Meanwhile, Mozilla Firefox Beta 3 was released last February with great new features of its own. Here are some of the important changes and features in Firefox 3:

*Cairo used as a graphics backend.

*Cocoa Widgets included in OS X builds.

*API's implemented from WHATWG specs.

*Changes to how DOM events are dispatched, how HTML object elements are loaded, and how web pages are painted.

*New SVG elements and filters, and improved SVG specification compliance.

*Acid2 test compliant.

*New UI improvements, including default themes for different operating systems and new download manager.

* integration in the Add-ons window.

And the browser wars continue...

According to a recent report by Net Applications, Firefox is still slowly but surely eating precious usage share of Internet Explorer (see graph below):

Browser Version Market Share for February, 2008

Here are some addititional graphs to see the whole picture:

Usage share of Internet Explorer, 1994–2008

Usage share of Mozilla Firefox, 2004-2008

O' Oh, I smell a sense of urgency from Microsoft. But, let's not get too excited about this yet. IE could still bounce back if the new version can make wonders and can deliver some really killer features. However, I can only say that Firefox's response to IE 8 is clear, and that's to “Bring it on!


  1. I find it hard to believe that more people use IE7 than IE6. However, I don't use Windows. Did Microsoft actually force the IE7 upgrade on Windows XP users?

  2. @hussam al-tayeb:
    MS has MSIE7 as an automatic update. It was recently allowed to be installed on non-validated copies of Windows.