I've been using Firefox for a little over a year (since FF 0.9) and I'm not considering changing to anything else right now. Tabs, improved searching (although that's irrelevant if you install a Google-based searchbar), easy switch-over to IE when necessary, ease of adjustment, stability and security (a biggie, even if FF isn't perfect) have been mentioned.
I would emphasize the plug-ins, known as extensions, which are third-party customizations to FF. They are essential to the FF experience, which isn't as install 'n' go as other browsers. It assumes some degree of computer savvy on the part of the user and a willingness to take the time to cull and install the list of extensions that best suit the user. I suppose that's FF's biggest drawback, if you want to call it that.
To give you a head-start, I've listed my favorite extensions below with explanations of their functionality, mostly as given by their authors.
Adblock Plus is a hugely popular ad-blocking module. It comes without filters, so installing the Adblock Filterset.G Updater extension, which creates and automatically updates the ad filters in Adblock Plus, is mandatory. Other AdBlock updaters exist, if you want to experiment.
Almost Full Screen supplements View>Full Screen (F11) by preserving the Windows taskbar in Full Screen mode.
Bookmarks Links Checker detects updated, redirected and broken links in your bookmarks list.
Clone Window clones the current tab’s address and history into a new tab when the New Tab command is used or a new window when the New Window command is used. It's controlled from the extensions list in Firefox, as are many extensions.
Configuration Mania Tools menu item allows you to easily configure various hidden preferences and to uninstall extensions which have no uninstaller.
Download Manager Tweak improves the appearance of Firefox’s download manager (if you don’t use FlashGot) and allows it to be opened in a separate window, new tab or sidebar.
FlashGot enables Mozilla and Firefox to handle single and massive (“all” and “selection”) downloads using the most popular external download managers, such as Free Download Manager, FlashGet 1.65 (www.flashget.com), GetRight (www.getright.com), LeechGet (www.leechget.net) and Net Transport (www.xi-soft.com). FlashGot also offers a Build Gallery functionality which helps to synthesize full media galleries in one page from serial contents previously scattered on several pages, for easy and fast “download all”.
FLST shifts the focus upon closing a tab to the last selected tab, rather than the one to the left of it.
gMap It! allows you to find directions from Google Maps based on publicly listed phone numbers.
Google Bar emulates all of the basic search functionality of the Google toolbar.
Google Toolbar—official version from Google—functions same as IE Google Toolbar.
IE View adds “View page in Internet Explorer” links to the content and link context menu.
Image Zoom allows you to right-click on an image and select a zoom option from the popup menu or hold down the right mouse button in combination with the mouse wheel to zoom in or out on an image (text isn’t expanded, that's done by other means).
InfoRSS is a lightweight RSS, ATOM, NNTP and HTML reader. It installs a small icon (looks like an earth) in the status bar. Headlines are displayed in the status bar or in a separate bar (top or bottom of the screen). The interface is simple to use: drag and drop URL of feed onto the extension icon to add a new feed or click on the extension icon to select a specific feed to read. RSS feeds can be grouped to allow multi-feed fetch; filters can be used to limit the number of headlines.
Jump Link allows you to skip through redirect links and jump directly to the target link. It works on many Google hits that otherwise run afoul of FF's "no redirects" feature, mainly the paid placement hits.
ListZilla outputs, as HTML or text, an alphabetical list of extensions or themes.
MR Tech Local Install automatically sorts Extensions and Bookmarks alphabetically.
OpenBook automatically opens the bookmarks tree in the Add Bookmark dialog. Nice.
PermitCookies sets cookie permissions for any website you are viewing.
PlainOldFavorites allows storing Bookmarks directly in the IE Favorites folder without needing to import or synchronize them first. A link to Favorites can be found in several places throughout Windows, which makes it a convenient place for storing links.
Preferences ToolBar 2 adds preference checkboxes, utility buttons, user agent spoofing, web links and more on a customizable toolbar.
PrintIt! adds Print and PrintPreview to the context menu.
SaveWithURL modifies Save Page As to always include URL.
Superscroll gives you more control over scrolling behavior in the browser.
Tab Sidebar replaces the main tab bar and displays a continually updated preview of the page on the tab; provides navigation options for each tab including history, stop and reload; and allows you to move tabs around with drag and drop.
Tab Clicking Options sets various actions to different clicking events on the tab bar or a tab in the Firefox browser.
Tab X adds a close button to each tab and removes the close button at the end of the bar.
Undoclosetab will, of course, Undo Close Tab. Nice.
Windows Update adds Windows Update to the FF Tools menu; that is, it opens IE and goes to MS’s WindowsUpdate Web site because Microsoft requires using IE for updates.
Edited by dpb, 02 January 2006 - 05:31 PM.