I downloaded Firefox 3 yesterday afternoon to try it out. At first, I couldn’t get to the site. After a couple of minutes, I was then able to download it at full speed via DSL. It took only a few minutes, but note that the Mac version was around 17MB compared to the Windows and Linux versions (this is probably because Firefox 3 on the Mac is a Universal Binary).
Running Firefox 3 for the first time went smoothly. The third-party add-ons I loaded using the Beta and Release Candidate versions of Firefox 3 worked fine. I was relieved to find the Web Developer Toolbar working since I use it when I build web pages.
Browsing seems faster than before, even compared to the release candidate versions of Firefox 3. Memory usage is nominal but less than Firefox 2. The so-called Awesome Bar (i.e. the URL navigation bar) is handy and much faster now than in the beta and release candidate versions.
I have browsed the usual web sites I visit each week (e.g. shopping sites, news sites, e-commerce sites, etc.) and have so far found no problems. I like the new security features of Firefox 3 — the browser alerts you to suspicious or malicious web sites. (Note: I’ll update this entry as I experience more stuff using this browser.)
It’s good to know that a solid web browser available for free exists to keep the web sane. Firefox 3 does support most web standards and is a worthy competitor to other browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.
The last time I checked, about 8 million downloads have been counted so far since the start of Firefox 3’s Download Day. It exceeded their estimate of 5 million downloads, which is a good thing. Some are still wary about downloading and using a newly released version of the software, but I can say that this is a solid release. No one should be scared to download and use this piece of software.