What about Firefox?

Is there a place for the plucky underdog browser any longer?
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Yesterday, I looked at some reasons why we might want to drop Google Chrome as the default browser and some of the benefits gained from whatever the operating system's default browser happens to be.

At the top of that list was power saving, something that matters more and more as we moved from fixed systems to mobile devices.

I received a lot of commentary on this, as was expected. The browser ecosystem is weirdly and amusingly contentious, and suggesting that people might see benefits by switching to a different browser upsets some people.

I received a lot of thought-provoking commentary, and I want to pick up on one of the points raised now.

What about Firefox?

Popular now: Google Chrome: It's time to ditch the browser

Firefox is a very competent browser. Performance-wise, it's up there with the rest, including some solid security and privacy features. In terms of battery usage on laptops and mobile devices, I don't find it to be terrible, but it's also not the best.

It's also a solid browser on mobile, especially Android.

But there are also concerns about the future of Firefox.

Big concerns.

Market share continues to plummet, the Mozilla Foundation continues to shed workforce, and the company is highly dependent on a lucrative search deal with Google, which has historically accounted for between 75% and 95% of the organization's entire yearly budget since 2006 when the deal was struck (between 2014 and 2017, Mozilla Foundation had a similar deal with Yahoo).

Another point raised was that it's a good idea to have another web engine, especially since much of the competition consists of Google Chrome or Chromium-based browsers.

I agree wholeheartedly, but none of this changes Firefox's position in the world.

Oh, and people who don't have better things to do are also up in arms about the new Firefox logo, which the company had to address.

As with all the other browsers, if you like Firefox, carry on using it. It's a solid browser with a decent add-on ecosystem.

But it also doesn't hurt to try something else.

After years of using Google Chrome, I'm actually finding Edge on Windows and Safari on the Mac to be a refreshing change, and with the added bonus of better battery life on portable systems.

Do you use Firefox? What are your reasons for using the browser? Let me know!

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