Recently, Steven Taylor recommended several Microsoft-alternative software solutions, notably Mozilla’s Firefox browser and Thunderbird e-mail program. Given the clunkiness of the Microsoft standards–IE and Outlook–I thought I’d give them a shot, which I finally did this morning.
- Firefox is indeed faster than Internet Explorer
- Thunderbird doesn’t seem that much worse than Outlook Express and would likely be preferable during one of those worm/trojan attacks that seem to target Outlook
- I still like the Microsoft products better
I’ll likely give Firefox a little more time, simply because of the speed. But it comes at the cost of substantial functionality. For one thing, the Google toolbar–which I love–only works with IE. The Autofill button alone makes it worth having. Also, I rather like IE’s Links toolbar, which I use for my most frequently visited (i.e., blog-related) sites and various right click applets I’ve installed that, again, only work with IE.
Like anything else, inertia is a big advantage for the status quo. The metric system is, by almost any standard, preferable to the English system. Yet the U.S. has all but given up on making the transition for everyday use. I’ve already got all my passwords stored where IE will recognize them, have Favorites organized the way I like them, have various folders set up for my e-mail messages, etc. A program has to be demonstably better than the status quo to make the transition worthwhile–and having several quickly discovered deficits isn’t a good start.