Firefox: Now Important Enough To Hate
When Firefox 1.0 arrived in November 2004, it was hailed as one of free software's crowning achievements. A team of far-flung volunteers had created a slimmed-down, standards-compliant web browser that beat the pants off Internet Explorer, which then dominated the market with 90 percent share estimates.
After strong early adoption by zealots and open-source advocates, Firefox started to win over non-geek users. In two years, the browser had carved out a 15 percent share of the market -- a once unthinkable chunk -- and it's still gaining ground.
But it's leaving many of those new users perplexed. Why is the elegant, community-built application suddenly behaving badly?
In our poll, readers rated Firefox's mysterious habit of gobbling up every remaining scrap of a computer's memory their No. 1 gripe about the browser. Complaints of slow performance and instability ranked highly as well.