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Thursday January 20 12:00 AM ET

Browser Showdown
Firefox vs. Internet Explorer

By Brian Briggs

Other tech sites will bore you with in-depth "technical details" and performance specs in their product analysis.  At BBspot we pull back from the boring benchmarks to compare the superficialities, and we do it all on a single page. Now that Firefox is gaining ground on Internet Explorer it is time to compare the two face to face.

Names

FirefoxInternet Explorer - Microsoft leaves no doubt what their products are. If they made toilet paper it would be called Butt Wiper. Internet Explorer isn't a bad name, but it's not spectacular.

Firefox - On the other end of the spectrum, the name Firefox gives no clue to what it is. Could be a car? 80s video game? Lame comic book superhero? Flaming dish at a wild game restaurant? A browser would probably be your last guess. No matter, it is a much cooler name than the utilitarian Internet Explorer.

Advantage - Firefox

Domain Names

FirefoxFirefox - firefox.com Some kind soul donated the domain to the Mozilla Foundation. At least they own their own domain name.

Internet Explorer - internetexplorer.com Microsoft doesn't even own this one. It's one of those generic search portals masquerading as an IE site.

Advantage - Firefox

Mascots

Internet ExplorerInternet Explorer - The big blue e with a swirly around it. A nice simple graphic, but not necessarily a mascot. However, with Microsoft's history of mascots (Clippy, Bob), maybe it's better they just stick with a letter.

FirefoxFirefox - A giant fox with his tail on fire attacking the earth. That's the stuff of nightmares. Not as scary as a communist Godzilla but close. It's a cool graphic but Internet Explorer has to win something doesn't it?

Advantage - Internet Explorer

Google Fights

Why does Internet Explorer crash all the time? - 2.57 million results

Vs.

Why does Firefox crash all the time? - 218,000 results

Next...

Internet Explorer - 22.8 million results

Vs.

Firefox - 23 million results

That one is definitely a surprise.

Next...

Internet Explorer will help me get laid - 1.34 million results

Vs.

Firefox will help me get laid - 75,700 results

A much better chance of getting lucky with IE.

Next...

Internet Explorer came with my computer - 6.9 million results

Vs.

Firefox came with my computer - 659,000 results

Tie breaker...

Internet ExplorerInternet Explorer is the best browser ever - 2,110,000 results

Vs.

Firefox is the best browser ever - 474,000 results

Advantage: Internet Explorer

Coin Flip - Best of 7

The coin flip was conducted using a 2000 Sacajawea dollar.

FirefoxInternet Explorer - Heads

Firefox - Tails

Results: H-T-T-T-T-H-T

Advantage - Firefox

Stereotypical User

Internet Explorer - Brain dead newbie. Loves pop-ups, viruses, and spyware. Just wants to "surf the Internet and check my email." Oblivious to alternative lifestyles. Seeks help from "computer smart" nephew.

Firefox - Proselytizing ubergeek. Loves freedom, choice, and tabbed browsing. Just wants to "improve mankind with Open Source Software." Oblivious to market forces and the power of money. Seeks other geeks to join in on the evangelism.

Both are equally annoying.

Advantage - Even

Conclusions

It was a close battle, but Firefox edges out a victory against the Internet Explorer by a score of 3-2 with 1 tie and wins our Technical Award of Excellence.

See our other showdowns.

Bush Vs. Kerry

Radeon X800 Vs. GeFORCE 6800

and

Windows 2000 Vs. Linux

More Tech News

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