I used to use Avant, but I gave that up a while ago, and now only use Firefox .8
Here’s why (in no order whatsoever);
1. I can query search engines – several of them – from within the browser toolbar. Right now, I have google, google uk, a lyrics directory, metafilter and google images. There are over 500 you could use believe it or not – including one for ebay if that’s your bag.
2. Firefox is written to obey web standards. Unlike IE which does not handle code correctly, this does. Good code should be viewed correctly, and IE is not up to the job.
3. Security. Firefox is less prone to hijacking and similar stuff. My girls also now use it, and they do not see any popup ads for porn. This is a “Good Thing”.
4. It’s not written by m$. (This requires no further explanation surely ?)
5. It’s fast. Okay, so to start up it may be a fraction slower, but then IE is already halfway loaded due to it’s integration with the rest of the Windows OS, so any comparison there is not fair to any 3rd party browser.
6. Tabbed browsing.
7. Plugins. Lots and lots of extensions (as they are called). Go see — Firefox Extensions
8. RSS Reader. Is available as a plugin.
9. CSS. I can edit, in realtime, the css of any page, and see the effect there and then (that’s anyone’s page, not just mine). This is cool when trying to track down errors on other’s pages. It’s a plugin.
10. I can open multiple pages on startup.
11. Mouse gestures are fully supported – better actually than Avant.
12. I can customise the display in numerous ways should I wish.
13. Clearing the history and cache actually does do precisely that. In IE, all sorts of tracks are made (hence so many ‘Eraser’ programs), and while I have nothing to hide, I never liked that ‘feature’ (something which m$ keep very quiet about) and using Firefox, I don’t need to.
14. It’s open source (like WordPress) so anyone can hack at it. Okay, so I can’t, but the point is that they are looking to improve the program, yet do not want to take money for it. It’s not a crippled release, it’s not a free trial, it’s not something that will break parts of your computer that you have no idea about – it’s free, it works, and it will stay that way.
Okay, so it bugs out every so often – but so did IE and Avant for me anyway. It’s hardly a huge issue, and it’s never caused a full reset.
I have tried before – when creating the screenshots for the WP css tutorial – to compare the screens of IE, Opera and Firefox. When 2 of those consistently agreed, it was obvious the 3rd had to be dumped.
You know it makes sense 😉