Firefox Outtrots IE

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The Mozilla Foundation's new Firefox 0.8 Web browser, once known as Firebird, is a great alternative for those who long for a change of pace from Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

I tried out a free preview release of the browser (Firefox 0.8) and was impressed by such improvements as a download manager, offline viewing of previously downloaded Web pages, and support for a growing assortment of Extensions--browser add-ons such as a full-featured calendar and an automatic Web form filler. Also included: easy-to-understand privacy controls, a tabbed browsing feature for keeping multiple Web pages open, a customizable search box, and a banner-ad blocker.

However, Firefox remains too geeky for nontechies: Customizing some features isn't intuitive (it took me half an hour to master toolbar adjustments). Still, look to Mozilla to take chances on innovative tools for Firefox that Microsoft won't risk developing for IE.

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