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Has IE7 Caught Firefox?

The NWC Daily Spin

The new Beta 2 version of Internet Explorer 7.0 is the first pitched not at developers but at the general Web user. As our reviewer found, it's stable enough for every day use, and feature-rich enough to at least consider swapping in for Firefox.

But should you?

In a recent Daily Spin column, my colleague Tom Lasusa wondered if Firefox wasn't becoming as big a target for viruses and bugs as Internet Explorer. More serious Firefox bugs emerged this week. Tom stated a fair and balanced case, I think, but that didn't stop him from getting some strong reaction from Firefox backers.

The newest IE build will likely invoke some even stronger reactions. Superficially, at least, IE has caught up to Firefox in most respects. It sports a clean, uncluttered UI; has improved its standards support; finally supports tabbed browsing (and does it well right off the bat, without requiring an extension to tweak it as does Firefox); does a nice job handling RSS; and more. Perhaps most importantly, it has a new security story to tell; whether virus-makers and phishers find a way around it remains to be seen.

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