Firefox 3 actually resolved a few small issues I had with 2, and has given me no errors whatsoever so far... and it seems faster so far. So, if anyone is hesitant about trying it, I'd recommend checking it out. Most of my favorite addons, like piclens, were already compatible with Firefox 3 as well.
I sort of feel sorry for people still using IE6 or IE7. Microsoft has had an inferior browser for years.
Any good reason why Opera didn't get a mention? It was after all the fastest browser before Firefox 3 came out and it could be interesting to see how it messures up today. However if you cover the final release of Opera 9.5 with a speed test you're forgiven
Browser speed comparisons if quite often subjective, and very dependent upon external factors:
- Safari enjoys a lot of speed gains on Mac OS X because it uses undocumented APIs; these APIs are not stable, thus the only way to really gain from them is to keep the browser in flux. The Mozilla team is at a disadvantage here because it aims at delivering a stable browser that doesn't rely on tricks; moreover, Firefox releases are extensively tested by the whole community, while Safari is tested by... Apple. Which delivered a heavily unsafe browser release no later than last week. A 'good' way to compare the browsers is by running both on a 'neutral' platform: Windows (nice, as it puts IE8 to shame), or Linux (where both development teams have access to all APIs indiscriminately).
As for Opera, well, it is... Special. Don't take it negatively, but it actually is the odd one out there. Yes, it's fast, stable, and filled with nice features; it's standards-compliant; it's available on multiple platforms. Yet, you hardly can follow its development (it's better than IE, sure; compared with Minefield and Webkit nightly releases, though...) and it's not big enough to shake things with its not too frequent releases. It also lacks powerful developer tools (Firebug, which is a deal breaker for Firefox, but also the Netscape legacy), doesn't have a shiny UI (where Safari, well, shines) and is distributed with... er... nothing (IE keeps existing because of Windows, Safari is force-fed through iTunes and Mac OS X, Firefox has a community of enthusiasts).
Firefox 3 supposedly has a lot more in place to clear down memory, and remove the 'hogging'.
The problem will most likely come in two forms: lots of tabs, or running Linux.
Lots of tabs=lots of memory - no way around this EVER.
Running on Linux=ext3 disk writing 'bug', which can freeze it up for a few seconds/minutes.. Simply uses too many fsync() calls.