For several years now, the “browser wars” have largely been over. Years ago, there was Netscape, and then Microsoft’s Internet Explorer came along and rendered Netscape moot, largely because Netscape had been a paid product and Internet Explorer was free.
Netscape went away, but members of their development team created Firefox. Firefox made a good alternative to Internet Explorer, and avoided some of IE’s serious security flaws.
Then Google decided to get into the browser business, and thanks to attaching it to numerous pieces of free software, they’ve managed to get Chrome installed on enough computers to qualify as the world’s most popular browser.
Some of us who have no interest in using Chrome have long waited for some browser that would do what Firefox used to do before it became cluttered, bloated, and slow.
There’s a new browser that does that, and more, and it’s called – Firefox. Well, Firefox Quantum, to be precise.
Firefox Quantum is the new, and truly improved version of the browser, that more or less represents a from-the-ground-up rewrite of the entire code. The result is a browser that is more configurable, easier to use, and lightning fast.
Not only that, but Firefox Quantum doesn’t have the memory problems that the older versions had. I’d occasionally find that my browser was using several gigabytes of memory and this often came at times when I only had a couple of tabs opened.
The new version is far more memory-friendly and just as configurable, if not more so, than its predecessor.
Not all is good, however. Like a lot of long-time users, I had a number of extensions installed in order to increase the functionality of the browser. As the entire structure of the software has changed, many of the extensions that I used to use no longer work.
Some do, and they are labeled as “legacy” extensions in my browser options. Others no longer work at all, as they require access to parts of the program that Firefox has deemed off limits for security or performance reasons.
For many of the extensions, there are suitable substitutes that work just fine. In a few cases, the developers will simply need to update their extensions to allow them to work with Firefox Quantum.
For a few others, however, they simply will not be able to work anymore, as the functionality has been disabled. I had a couple of those, including an extension that would let me run a piece of downloadable software directly from the browser, as Internet Explorer does, without having to save it first.
That, according to the developer, isn’t possible anymore.
Still, I’ve found the new version of the browser to be fast, and easy to use. Each tab runs as a separate process in Windows, and it’s far easier on my system memory than the old version.