Firefox 2.0, which I finally upgraded to this week, offers two standout advantages relative to 1.5.
- It’s faster. Pages load noticeably quicker — in some cases, as little as 50% of the time they took under 1.5, judging by the performance I’ve seen on Bloglines, Gmail, and an assortment of websites.
- Links that ordinarily pop up in a new window get sent to a new tab instead. This is surprisingly useful. One of the most annoying things a web designer can do is add “target = _blank” tags to every link on their site, so that the simple act of clicking on a few links turns your desktop into a cluttered mess. I’d gotten in the habit of right-clicking and choosing “open link in a new tab” but this new feature saves me having to do that. It’s useful enough that I’ve even switched Google‘s default behavior to “open links in a new window” — which, in Firefox 2.0, opens them in a new tab.
It’s also got a spiffier, more Aero-like set of buttons (or more OS X-like, if you prefer) and fixes some security problems with earlier releases. And it’s a painless, easy upgrade. Do it.