They said it couldn't be done, but during the first few months of 2005, the Mozilla Organization's Firefox browser carved a sizable dent in Microsoft Internet Explorer's domination over the desktop Internet browser market, and this new release should bring even more converts. Now courting roughly 10 percent of the browser market with versions that run on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, Firefox 1.5 continues to make usability and features a cornerstone of its success. Unlike Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 1.5 offers built-in search, tabbed browsing, and an RSS reader. The new features we see in Firefox 1.5 easily best the bells and whistles we've seen within the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP.
After downloading Firefox 1.5, you'll find that the changes to the interface are subtle. We liked the way you can reorder tabs by simply dragging and dropping them in the order you'd prefer. We also like the search box feature; new to this release is the inclusion of Answers.com in the search bar by default (of course, you can always add other search engines on your own). Want to look up something on the Web? Simply highlight a word or text within a page, then drag and drop it into the search box for an instant search. Most of the changes are beneath the hood, such as improvements to pop-up blocking and better support for Mac OS X. Also new is binary patching, which updates only the sections of code that have changed from version to version, thus automatic updates to the latest version of Firefox are not only possible, but relatively painless (even for dial-up users).