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Sunday, December 07, 2003

Breaking the Microsoft Jones

Yesterday I decided to take a radical step: I downloaded Mozilla and installed its browser and e-mail client.

I've used Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook for years now, and I've been pretty happy with both overall. Lately, though, I've been frustrated with the security holes in Outlook and its mail interface, and pop-up ads in IE have been driving me nuts. I'd heard that Mozilla addressed both of these problems, so I'm giving it a try.

So far, I'm impressed. The mail client isn't as feature rich as full-blown Outlook, but it matches up well with Outlook Express. I wish it managed signatures; right now you have an option to assign just one to an account, rather than being able to insert from a selection of signatures. It alerts you when new e-mail is on the server but it doesn't automatically download it for you. That may be an option, but I haven't played with it enough to know yet.

The browser isn't too bad either, and has a couple of nice features. First and foremost, it allows you to block pop-up windows. No more lock-ups from badly programmed ads (take that, Orbitz! mwa-hahahahaha!). Instead of opening multiple sessions of the browser, you have the option of opening tabs in one session instead. This is nice when you want to go clean out of your browser when you alt-tab on your desktop. Java scripts seem to run a bit better, too.

On the other hand, the browser doesn't always display sites as well as IE. For instance, your comrade and mine at the Politburo Diktat has done a great job designing his site as a two-column blog. For some reason, Mozilla displays the right column below the left column. I'm assuming that the problem is one of resizing columns that are hard-coded to a certain width. IE must be able to override the hard coding, where Mozilla doesn't, or at least that's my guess. Also, I still have the normal upgrade issues of remembering all my passwords that I've allowed IE to manage for me, but that's hardly Mozilla's fault.

If anyone has any insight into these issues -- or any others I may come across -- drop me a comment. I'll report back as I find more out about Mozilla.

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09:56 AM in Web/Tech | Permalink


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It's worth mentioning (before I vanish into the cloud of obscurity from whence I came) that Mozilla will display a website correctly. This means that if a site looks ok in IE but broken in Moz it is actually broken / poorly coded.

Posted by: Rob at Dec 8, 2003 11:53:42 AM