Firefox: Now Important Enough To Hate

Mozilla's free web browser Firefox is a big hit. It's won over a substantial  market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer users, and it's growing all the time. But Wired reports that it's running into a problem now.  It's no longer the little upstart fighting the mighty Redmond beast. The pesky underdog. The little guy. In short, it's big enough to hate. And users are starting to hate its code bloat, instability, and slow performance. Welcome to the adult's table.

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.

Firefox users are starting to talk like people who like bands until they get popular. I only liked Def Leppard when the drummer had two arms.  Full disclosure: I read the article using Firefox. What do you browse the internet with?
Tags:  Firefox, Fire, fox, port, RT, now, IM