Dan Gillmore blogs about switching his default browser to Mozilla Firebird 0.7, then switching back to Safari. I’ve been using Firebird happily for several months now. I enjoy its speed, tabbed windows and popup blocker, but my favorite feature is quick search. I use the dictionary.com quick search several times a day.
Unfortunately, some web sites do not play nicely inside Firebird. This is most problematic when trying to purchase something online. The last thing anyone wants to see at the end of a transaction is some sort of error. This has happened to me on more than one occasion when using Firebird on a site that is apparently optimized for IE. So, for now Firebird is my default browser and I use it for just about everything except sites that I have had problems on in the past. In those cased I have to revert back to IE.
This also makes Firebird kind of a hard sell to many users. Why should they use Firebird if some sites won’t work very well in it and they don’t care about the features I mentioned above? I guess the short answer is they shouldn’t use it if they are happy with IE. Perhaps the most frustrating thing here is that if a site doesn’t work with Firebird, it is probably not going to work very well with any other standards compliant browser.
I’d be interested in knowing if Macintosh users can get away with using Safari all the time, or if they need to load up the Mac version of IE for some sites.