I installed Firefox 1.5 at work this afternoon. It’s nice so far, and the upgrade was much less painful than past versions. I did get one weird installer warning message complaining about some chrome option but other incompatibilities were handled smoothly. I’m hopeful that this release will fix some of the memory leaks and other nagging problems that have plagued version 1.0.
The only problem was the massive server load. While the main getfirefox.com servers seemed to be humming along just fine (good) the mozdev servers where the extensions reside were getting hammered all afternoon, making it very hard to update my extensions. You’d think they’d have anticipated that problem. Fortunately things got a little better later in the day.
There are some commenters over on Dean’s World who touch on corporate users and the potential problems with unofficial installs. I personally think that such users are usually doing the company a favor by finding problems that will have to be fixed sooner or later. But I don’t have to clean up after those users, either, so can get away with being a rebel like that. 🙂
Over at work we’re officially an IE shop, but as a web developer I have to keep a bunch of other browsers installed. Other IT folks have the same freedom. Many of us in the IT department have quietly switched our default browsers to Firefox because it’s much easier to secure and far more pleasant to use. That’s given us all an incentive to fix problems with our internal applications as we’ve encountered them. There are a few things (including Outlook Web Access) that work signifigantly better under IE but they’re the exception now, and getting fewer every day.
What the Mozilla project really needs to provide now is an easy corporate solution for standardizing Firefox installations and rolling out patches as needed. Microsoft has had that for a long time and it’s expected now from any enterprise software vendor. I suspect that this lack of professional-level administrative tools is one of the big reasons why some large companies are wary of moving away from IE.