Firefox vs. IE 7 (IE7 having trouble with Google sites?)

Chris Messina, who used to work on Flock (an open source browser based on the same code that runs Firefox), says the beast has woken up. Beast being Microsoft.

But IE7 does have some challenges ahead of it. Some sites in it render very slow. Most notably for me, Google Reader (that’s now my most used Web site because I’m reading all my feeds there and building my link blog with it). I’m also using the new Firefox 2 and Firefox is a LOT faster. IE7 is frustratingly slow on Google Reader. It seems to hang whenever new stuff is being downloaded in the background via AJAX. To be fair, Google is probably pushing the browser in all sorts of ways, even the MSN team decided to back off on its use of AJAX due to speed problems, though (Live.com used to have an infinite scroll capability, which I really loved but they got rid of it after speed complaints came in).

I haven’t yet visited enough sites with both browsers to know whether this is a single site problem, or an experience that I’ll have overall, but Firefox 2 does seem faster.

UPDATE: I just went to Google Maps with both browsers too. Same results. Firefox 2 is a LOT faster on AJAX (dragging the map around feels a lot better on Firefox 2).

On Local.live.com, though, both browsers behaved almost exactly the same (both were fast).

I wonder what the difference in AJAX calls are between the two mapping sites. That might demonstrate that Web 2 sites might need to do some homework to get their sites to be performant in both IE7 and Firefox.

By the way, I just did a little “start up test” of both browsers. I set both browsers home page to TechMeme. Then I started both up. Then I closed both. Then I started them both up again. Both times Firefox noticeably beat IE7 on completing the page load.

So, my #1 wish for IE8 is already “more speed please.”

What have your experiences been?

226 thoughts on “Firefox vs. IE 7 (IE7 having trouble with Google sites?)

  1. I downloaded IE7 and can no longer get into my Internet Options. This is a bunch of bull__! Can't even delete it!!! This makes me really mad!!!!!

  2. I downloaded IE7 and can no longer get into my Internet Options. This is a bunch of bull__! Can't even delete it!!! This makes me really mad!!!!!

  3. I downloaded IE7 and can no longer get into my Internet Options. This is a bunch of bull__! Can't even delete it!!! This makes me really mad!!!!!

  4. I beg to differ – “shrink to fit” is a nightmare. Instead of one-click printing now, our clients have to use the menu and go into the dialog box to select 100% size. Our pages are properly styled (via CSS) to wrap print w/o cut off at 100%. IE7 does shrink to fit and you need a magnifying glass to read. You cannot right click and print an iframe without selecting everything in it. Then you still need to go into preview and choose your scale. You cannot set the scaling to 100% in javascript (only a registry hack) before calling window.print(). I have frustrated customers and wasted thousands of dollars researching a work around (none found yet). Microsoft calls this a feature? If this is how Microsoft thinks they are improving usablity they are seriously mistaken.

  5. I beg to differ – “shrink to fit” is a nightmare. Instead of one-click printing now, our clients have to use the menu and go into the dialog box to select 100% size. Our pages are properly styled (via CSS) to wrap print w/o cut off at 100%. IE7 does shrink to fit and you need a magnifying glass to read. You cannot right click and print an iframe without selecting everything in it. Then you still need to go into preview and choose your scale. You cannot set the scaling to 100% in javascript (only a registry hack) before calling window.print(). I have frustrated customers and wasted thousands of dollars researching a work around (none found yet). Microsoft calls this a feature? If this is how Microsoft thinks they are improving usablity they are seriously mistaken.

  6. I completely disagree. And I don’t want to! But the fact of the matter is that FireFox is NOT faster than Internet Explorer, and as I said, I really wish it were, becuase I’d love more than anything to stop using any Microsoft/Windows products, so I’m always on the lookout.
    I’ve got IE6, and have now had Firefox 2.0.0.12 for about two weeks. IE6 continues to load pages faster for me than does Firefox, though I’ve noticed that Firefox has improved steadily over time, so I think the day will come. People can hem and haw and all of that, claiming I must be doing something wrong, but this is simply my experience.

  7. I completely disagree. And I don’t want to! But the fact of the matter is that FireFox is NOT faster than Internet Explorer, and as I said, I really wish it were, becuase I’d love more than anything to stop using any Microsoft/Windows products, so I’m always on the lookout.
    I’ve got IE6, and have now had Firefox 2.0.0.12 for about two weeks. IE6 continues to load pages faster for me than does Firefox, though I’ve noticed that Firefox has improved steadily over time, so I think the day will come. People can hem and haw and all of that, claiming I must be doing something wrong, but this is simply my experience.

  8. Try this script in IE and Firefox and see the difference between them.
    Firefox takes about 1 sec to finish it, while IE takes over a minute.

    function testing(){
    }
    function buttonClick(){
    var longString = “”;
    for (var i = 0; i < 100000; i++){
    if (i%100 == 0){
    longString += “\n”;
    }
    longString += i;
    }
    alert(longString);
    }

  9. Try this script in IE and Firefox and see the difference between them.
    Firefox takes about 1 sec to finish it, while IE takes over a minute.

    function testing(){
    }
    function buttonClick(){
    var longString = “”;
    for (var i = 0; i < 100000; i++){
    if (i%100 == 0){
    longString += “n”;
    }
    longString += i;
    }
    alert(longString);
    }

  10. I used IE 6 for a long time and it worked fine. Then I heard everyone tell me that IE 7 is much better, so I decided to try it out. Once I had it installed, it works fine on most sites, except for the one site that I visit most which is Myspace. Every time I load the Myspace homepage, it works fine, but when I put in my password and click “Log In”, IE 7 crashes every time. No idea why. Any help or suggestions? Thanks

  11. I used IE 6 for a long time and it worked fine. Then I heard everyone tell me that IE 7 is much better, so I decided to try it out. Once I had it installed, it works fine on most sites, except for the one site that I visit most which is Myspace. Every time I load the Myspace homepage, it works fine, but when I put in my password and click “Log In”, IE 7 crashes every time. No idea why. Any help or suggestions? Thanks

  12. I am constantly having problems with FF 2 and Gmail, of all sites. I will always get the “taking longer than normal to load” message with the option of basic view. This works, but then there are a lot less usable options.
    No problems at all with IE7.
    This may be caused by Ad Muncher, rather than the browser though.
    Interesting, considering the affiliation between Google and Firefox.

  13. I am constantly having problems with FF 2 and Gmail, of all sites. I will always get the “taking longer than normal to load” message with the option of basic view. This works, but then there are a lot less usable options.
    No problems at all with IE7.
    This may be caused by Ad Muncher, rather than the browser though.
    Interesting, considering the affiliation between Google and Firefox.

  14. What about cpu utilization…
    I use firefox and sometimes open many tabs while browsing, which makes it slow, and that is understandable. After ie7 was update from beta thru microsoft update I thought of giving it a try and it to my surprise it seemed faster. To compare properly I opened firefox and ie side by side. Opened same sites and browsed to same pages on both and this time firefox was faster. Puzzeled, I opened up task manager to see what’s going on. Firefox seems to take lot more cpu cycles. I disabled all the add ons in both browsers and restarted to do an accurate test. Firefox does take about 70% more cpu cycles than ie7 when browsing the same sites/pages. And that is why firefox seemingly runs faster side-by-side with ie7 but when running separately ie7 is faster. E.g. if something takes 11 secs in firefox and 10 in ie, the same thing takes 12 secs in firefox when both browsers are running and 13 in ie, apparently because firefox tries to consume more resources and leaves rest for other apps including ie.
    As I said before I am a firefox user and still am after this test (for pop-ups and security). Please do the test yourself and let everybody know.

  15. What about cpu utilization…
    I use firefox and sometimes open many tabs while browsing, which makes it slow, and that is understandable. After ie7 was update from beta thru microsoft update I thought of giving it a try and it to my surprise it seemed faster. To compare properly I opened firefox and ie side by side. Opened same sites and browsed to same pages on both and this time firefox was faster. Puzzeled, I opened up task manager to see what’s going on. Firefox seems to take lot more cpu cycles. I disabled all the add ons in both browsers and restarted to do an accurate test. Firefox does take about 70% more cpu cycles than ie7 when browsing the same sites/pages. And that is why firefox seemingly runs faster side-by-side with ie7 but when running separately ie7 is faster. E.g. if something takes 11 secs in firefox and 10 in ie, the same thing takes 12 secs in firefox when both browsers are running and 13 in ie, apparently because firefox tries to consume more resources and leaves rest for other apps including ie.
    As I said before I am a firefox user and still am after this test (for pop-ups and security). Please do the test yourself and let everybody know.

  16. I have been using IE7 and FF2 simultaneously for a month now… I have to admit FF2 is faster but IE7 is better at all the other things. The interface is great. The RSS reader is excellent. It takes some time to learn but it is useful nontheless.

    I also used FF 1.x and IE6 once upon a time. Back then FF 1.x was better.

    My opinion, for the present try out IE7, bother with FF2 after you get tired of IE7. [Which I guess, is not happening anytime soon.]

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