IE 7’s Effect On Firefox Market Share

rebron’s IE 7 Competitive Analysis is worth a read. I’m glad that printing has been picked out as an area where Firefox needs future work.

It’s nice to think, as rebron suggests, that IE 7 won’t take away share from Firefox. Perhaps it won’t by converting users back directly. But it could have indirect effects; where today, if people get a new computer with IE 6, they think “Ick! Install Firefox now!”, if it comes with IE 7, they may just live with it. Also, people often install Firefox for their relatives or friends – will they be as eager to do so when the feature/usability gap is smaller?

I guess the answer to that is, let’s keep that gap wide :-)

13 thoughts on “IE 7’s Effect On Firefox Market Share

  1. Yes, printing indeed needs lots of work in Mozilla. It has so many problems that for some people it is close to unusable, even some really simple webpages have problems to get printed correctly. Just a few examples are 1. pictures are printed repeatedly, 2. pictures get squeezed vertically, 3. printing only page three may erratically give you page four and five or some other random selection, and so on. And it has been like this for years now, and there is hardly any work going on in that area that I can see.

    My suggestion would be that with all the people that get hired by Mozilla to do various stuff they should at least employ one person to _exclusively_ work on printing, full time. Not sure where to address that point.

  2. It also doesn’t help if people don’t discover Firefox’s features either, potentially seeing IE7 as a more feature filled browser.

    Why doesn’t Firefox have a new-tab button on the UI by default? Get with the times! Unless I place a button on the toolbar and explain it, with every install I do, tabs never ever get used by the users. Opera, and now IE7 has you licked Mozilla, do something about it, and don’t be blaz´┐Ż about your feature set.

  3. One thing I do afar as printing is concerned is to open the page with SeaMonkey, press Ctrl-E, then remove all elements I don’t need and then print a much cleaner and nice version than with any other method.

    Recent progress have made that a lot more convenient and very efficient recently : I can click anywhere on the page see down the editor the hierarchy of elements, and use that to go up step by step until all what I want to remove is selected, the table elements selection is very clear, etc.

  4. Hmm. Could we build something like that into the Print Preview? Use a DOM-Inspector-like red border around elements, where you double-click or press Delete to remove them from the printed result? That would be great for eliminating sidebars and ads from pages which don’t have print-friendly displays.

  5. Gerv: That’d be a lovely idea, and a real selling point, being able to pick chunks away to get a tidy print.

  6. Yeah, that’s an excellent idea. I hate when sites don’t offer a decent printable version/stylesheet, this would help quite a bit.

  7. It’d be even better if we could just drag a big rectangle around the stuff we do want to print.

  8. db48x: That might actually not be as easy. Say you have a ten page document with a header and a sidebar. Is it easier to select all ten pages, or delete the header and sidebar? Also, it will take people a while to get used to this, and a workflow which is Delete, Check, Delete, Check, Oops, Undo, Delete, Check will allow people to explore much better.

    Deletion could be accomplished with a simple display:none;, so we can maintain an Undo stack.

  9. The code for doing the selection and element tracking is in Firebug. This wouldn’t be too hard to do, I don’t think…

  10. Keeping the capability gap wide, sure. Getting into a feature war doesn’t benefit anyone, as software developers race to develop new technologies without worry or thought to actually solving existing user problems. Reliable, simple, capable software will always win over new marketing bullet points.

  11. MSIE 7 is still far away from having Safari’s, Opera’s, or Firefox’s features … MSIE 7 needs a lot of improvements, it’s another MicroShit pseudo-software.

    Learn to use correctly FF before saying “it has lacks on this and that” …