From the very first day that I started using Windows 7, which was the day after it was generally available [viz., October 23, 2009], FireFox has been my default browser, without exception.
During the last three months I have used IE 8 a very few times and I can safely say that my total exposure to it has been for less than 1/2 hour — TOPS. When I started I think I was at FireFox 3.5.6. Might have had a few hangs with 3.5.6 but on the whole, given the volume and intensity of my use, it wasn’t too bad. Had more problems with 3.5.7. I switched to FireFox 3.6 RC1 on January 11, 2010 (9 days ago). Had some hangs with rc1. RC1 had issues, on Windows 7. Updated to FireFox 3.6 rc2 two days ago. RC2 seems more stable and rugged.
Folks tell me that IE 8, on Windows 7, is faster than FireFox. I don’t but that. FireFox 3.6 seems agile enough.
You may have missed it, but this week, the Government agencies in France, Germany and Australia responsible for ‘cyber security’ recommended that users stop using IE! Search on ‘Internet Explorer’ on Google NEWS. To be fair, these agencies are talking about IE 6. It has now been confirmed that the much publicized attacks on Google, in China, were realized using a vulnerability in IE 6. Yes, MSFT is going to provide a patch. One of the reasons I stopped using IE, about 4 years ago, was security. FireFox has served me well.
Though Windows 7 has IE 8 rather than IE 6, I really don’t see a valid justification for using any flavor of IE. Yes, I gather there is a TAB PREVIEW capability. Yippity Do Da. I would rather no that my PC is secure than be able to see thumbnails of my tabs. But that is me.
But for today, I will go on record. FireFox 3.6 rc2 [i.e., post January 18, 2010 FireFox] works quite well with Windows 7 and can be used by even power users as a competent, nimble alternative to IE 8.
Thanks. Good Luck.
P.S. Google, in some overseas countries, is including the free Avast antivirus as a part of its free software PACK. That is a nice plug for Avast, the antivirus I use, despite the devastating ‘false positive’ in December 2009. Avast has also stated that its free antivirus, v5.0, is Windows 7 compatible (though I am willing to bet that Windows 7 Action Center, though supporting Avast, will refuse to acknowledge that it is a Windows 7 ‘approved’ piece of software. Check my Window 7 Bug List. Item #5.