This week not one, but two big browsers made major upgrades. I’ve gotten a change to play with both and I think everyone is on the right track, some just a wee bit behind.

IE7 has been a long time coming. I think they said IE6 was released 5 years ago or so? Anyways, the new IE seems to be better. I’ve been running it on my Mac (via Parallels) and it seems to be on the right track. It’s got transparent PNG support (finally), RSS support, tabs and I think it seems to work with the CSS :hover property too! All steps in the right direction but it seems like it could make things worse before it makes them better.

The reason I say this is because things never look the same in IE and any other browser. IE always needs special code and thankfully !important was created and works well. However, with IE7, things that looked right in IE6 don’t look so great any more. So, when creating websites, we may need to choose between designing for IE6 or IE7 as it seems that both are different enough to render different code. I really wish there were standards. Ohh wait, there are. Now why can’t all browsers just follow them??!!

Firefox 2 on the other hand has no rendering oddities that I’ve seen. So that’s good. I’ll admit though, when I first tried Firefox 2 release client 2 a while back I was less than impressed. I felt like there weren’t many updates. However, them more I use it, the better I realize it is.

It seems to load faster, has better built in tab abilities, more security, session savers, better RSS integration, spell check and it just seems more polished. I’m really enjoying the new theme too and, overall, I am impressed. Plus, the bookmarks must have gotten a back end makeover as some extensions, like del.icio.us, completely takeover your bookmarks and I think that’s a fantastic idea.

Both browsers are making strides to do more and be all around better browsers. But, in my book, Firefox has IE beat hands down. It’s cross platform, standards complaint, up-to-date on all technologies (like CSS & JS) and has the ability to add extensions so that the browser can be whatever you want it to be.

Which do you prefer? Or are you a Safari or Opera fan? 🙂

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