- It’s the add-ons. Firefox has tons more add ons than IE and I can find most of them in one place.
- Foxmarks – the ability to have all my bookmarks on every machine (including a portable version) and on the web makes this one of my favorite add ons.
- FireFTP – Easy FTP for the light FTP work I need. I’ve never been happy with IE’s FTP implementation.
- ScribeFire – This Firefox blogging engine is quickly luring me away from Live Writer. It’s light, fast and feature rich.
- Forecast fox and Twitterfox. Both of these are more nice to have than necessity but they are nice to have. Weather and Twitter in the browser is pretty nice some days.
- IETab – The ability to have IE inside of Firefox for IE only sites is pretty cool.
- Portability – Firefox portable means I can take all my settings with me on a USB key.
I don’t see any real improvements in these areas in the IE8 beta. In defense of the IE team:
- I find IE to be slightly faster than Firefox
- Adding specialize search engines to the search bar is easier in IE unless you stumble across the Add to Search Bar add on to Firefox and it’s not easy to find.
- Some sites only work with IE obviously.
- IE is better at providing more screen space for browsing. You can do more with the menus hidden.
The thing is, I can still get most of the IE benefits inside of Firefox with IETab. There is a Foxmarks like application for IE but they want $$ and Foxmarks is free.
Google is getting some press for it’s upcoming Chrome browser but I still don’t see a compelling reason to switch from Firefox.
So to the IE team, I’m glad you’re building a new and better browser but I don’t see the things that are compelling to me in it yet.