Duplicate IE 8 Features in FireFox 3

The proverbial 800-pound gorilla known as Microsoft had a monopoly on web browsing with Internet Explorer, until Mozilla released Firefox.  Over the last few years Firefox slowly and not so quietly is taking over as the more favored browser for Mac and Windows users alike.  One of the features that make Firefox so appealing is that it is easily customizable with add-ons, enriching the end users experience.  Microsoft’s latest release of Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8), does have a few new features that are interesting.

  • Accelerators allow you to map directions, translate words and other various tasks with the click of a mouse
  • InPrivate browsing allows you to browse websites with saving sites to the history
  • Web Slices keep portions of websites updated so you don’t have to keep going back to check on them
  • Search suggestions enable smarter searching and suggest what you might be looking for
  • SmartScreen Filter aims to help protect you against deceptive and malicious websites.

Great set of new features, but Firefox is still a better browser, even if it is not as fast, in my opinion.  Luckily, most of these new features are available as extensions in Firefox, allowing you to replicate them easily.

IE8 Activities (Accelerators) for Firefox 0.7.4 is a near direct replication of Accelerators.

Private Browsing 1.2.0 enables not only private no history browsing, but the ability to clear certain, part or all of your browsing history when closing Firefox.  This will work in Firefox 3.0.8, however the Beta build of Firefox 3.1 has Private Browsing built right in.

While there is no direct add-on for IE8’s Web Slices, Firefox’s Live RSS feeds and Live Bookmarks already allow you to keep up to date on your favorite websites as new content is added.

Firefox has also been using a smarter search option called the Awesome Bar that has been enabled for a few revisions now.  Seems like Microsoft is just now catching up to this feature.

To complete the ensemble, install the Ie8fox 1.4 theme to get a near identical appearance in Firefox to Internet Explorer 8 ( so you can trick your relatives into thinking they are using IE 8 ) and install IE Tab for those pesky IE only sites.

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