My name is Chris Gagnon and I’m a liberal studies major at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. From the old ages of the IBM 386 to the super-cheap, super-fast Dell desktops, I have been involved in computer development and construction. Most all of my PC knowledge was self-taught and is mainly hardware specific, so when I come across new software I usually make calls to friends who can offer educated opinions.

Until recently, Microsoft Internet Explorer was the browser of choice for me and most everyone that I knew, with the exception of a few Netscape users on campus. Now, I mainly do research in the political arena, so speed of page loading is important to me because the less time I’m on the computer, the more time I’m on the golf course! During my research I noticed Firefox’s webpage come up in a Google search and saw that it was a new web browser; I downloaded it, since it was free and I was curious.

Upon first use, I noticed that the browser took longer than IE to load up on initial use, so that was an immediate annoyance. However after I loaded the browser, new windows loaded up almost instantly, which was important because I have 3-5 windows open at any given time. When I began browsing web pages, I noticed that Firefox loaded most sites faster than IE, but I was skeptical, so I opened IE and loaded the same webpage on both browsers at different times. Firefox was twice as fast as IE and even faster on second load with the pages stored in the browser cache.

The bottom line for me was that on my machine, pages loaded faster with Mozilla’s Firefox browser. In addition, Firefox transferred all of my bookmarks from IE to my new browser instantly. The structure of Firefox was almost identical to IE so it didn’t take any time to learn new navigation tools. Now, since I’m not a software person; I realize there are going to be techies out there who will write a book about how useless and flawed my method of comparing browsers might be. But the fact remains that in a real life test from an impartial user, Firefox outdid IE by a long shot.

My curiosity now lies in how the people at Mozilla could outdo one of the most wealthy corporations in the world on their center-piece software? Also, it begs the question, “Why hasn’t Microsoft hired the engineer behind the magic of Firefox, or at least stolen his ideas?”