For at least six years, I’ve been telling friends and family one of the smartest moves they can make is stop using Microsoft Internet Explorer. There’s just no reason to get caught using a shoddy and unstable browser. Microsoft basically allowed IE to languish once it reached 90% market share. But then Firefox came along earning a strong reputation on the backs of the digerati and taking market share from IE. It become a wonderful and well deserved counter story to the Redmond behemoth.
Firefox has been my browser of choice for many years now. I’ve convinced many friends to use it instead of IE. I loved the early versions of Firefox that were small, fast and stable. It didn’t try to do everything, but what it did, it did very well. No built in email program or news reader. But over time Firefox has become more like IE by adding more and more features to the point where it now feels as bloated and slow.
Over time I’ve become more frustrated with Firefox yet continued to use it. No way am I going back to IE. Safari feels weird and reminds me too much of iTunes. Google Chrome feels like those early Firefox versions but doesn’t support plugins.
That brings me to Opera. I’ve tried versions here and was impressed with its speed. But it just didn’t feel quite right.
I’ve been using Opera 10 for a few weeks at home and work and I freaking love it. It combines the speed of Chrome with the features of Firefox while tossing in a dose of personality. I love Speed Dial (pictured above) and the included Mouse Gestures. It’s stable and clean.
But that speed! Not only is it more responsive than Firefox, but it feels so dang fast. This is a product created by a team who loves the web. Everything feels right. That’s the best complement I can give it.