Firefox for Everyone Else

By Nicholas Rougeux, posted on March 1, 2005 in Browsers

Ever since I discovered Firefox and learned of its benefits over other browsers, I've been an advocate and spreading the word to whoever will listen—sometimes to those who won't as well. The reactions are an even mix of "Why, what's wrong with IE?" and "Interesting...maybe I'll give it a try."

Over this past weekend, I was extolling the virtues of Firefox once again to my mother who, foolishly enough, somehow got me on the topic. (Not hard to do.) After mentioning that I hadn't seen almost any ads for quite some time with it, she perked up and asked why. I told her that thanks to a small extention called Adblock, I could block the ads that were in the pages in addition to the built-in pop-up blocker from Firefox. Once I said that, she was sold.

You see, my mother, while a genius with grammer and all things of the like due to a career as a financial editor for longer than I've been alive, isn't quite as technologically literate as some others in the world—but she knows how to find great games on the Internet. This is not to say that she doesn't know anything about computers. On the contrary, she knows Microsoft Word and Excel inside and out and can do just about any basic task on a computer.

Usually, the people to which I remmend Firefox are Web developers like myself, people who have at least some experience with building Web pages, or those who are simpley curious. The challenge comes in explaining why it's better to someone who really doesn't care about all the fun extensions and security but just wants to do the simple stuff…like play their favorite games. When my mother plays some of her favorite games, there are ads all over the pages and because her laptop isn't the newest thing on the block, these hyperactive Flash ads can seriously slow down the performance and sometimes make the game unplayable unless she resizes her browser so that they're not visible. She loved the idea of simply eliminating them altogether and never having to resize her browser window ever again for her games. After a little while, we had Firefox and Adblock installed with all the appropriate filters to block the ads and she was ready to enjoy her games.

Why am I posting this? Maybe others have had a hard time explaining why it is benefitial to switch to Firefox to others who don't care one way or the other. This is one reason you can give them: virtually no ads. It's easy to explain it for those who are technologically advanced but there seems to be a lack of reasons for the average user who doesn't know that the Internet is not that "big blue E" on the screen. I'm open to more reasons if you have them.

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