Monday, November 27, 2006

Zune Got Served

[Warning: this post is somewhat technical and highly geeky. Continue reading at your own risk.]

Everyone by now has read the Chicago Sun-Times article slamming Zune. I second what Cali Lewis said today on GeekBrief Tv, "I'm not a Microsoft hater; I'm longing for the release of Windows Vista."

I use Windows XP myself, I have an XBox360, and I admit that I got more than a little excited when someone teased me with the idea that Microsoft was working with Mozilla on an open-source OS.

There's no truth to that rumor, as far as I know, FYI. Shucks!

That said, I'm not going to buy a Zune, nor do I want to. It's just too restrictive with all the copyright stuff built into it. There is, however, something Microsoft recently released that is worth some praise. And in light of all their latest slams, I've decided to talk about it.

Internet Explorer 7.

Now, the Firefox nut in me wanted to discard this browser immediately, but IE7 really does have some kick butt features that even Firefox could benefit from including.

For instance, the built-in RSS aggregator in IE7 is more well placed than Firefox's in 2.0, and IE7's zoom feature and "tab lists" give the user easy interface and accessibility not possible without add-ons in Firefox.

In my book, Firefox did their own browser a discredit by including the "aging tab" feature in version 2.0 . It just wasn't necessary and frankly, the "colorful tabs" add-on in 1.5 was much better anyways.

The developments Microsoft made/allowed with Google are also pretty awesome, especially the Google toolbar feature that allows you to Sync all your Google Bookmarks across browsers.
"Yes," some of you will say, "but Firefox has that add-ons too."

This is true, but the button built into the toolbar is far more efficient that the add-on for Firefox that puts it next to the Help button. The Firefox version uses too much RAM, something in short supply if you keep a million tabs open, like I do.

Overall, IE7 is faster than Firefox, and arguably just as safe with its new Phishing-filter and pop-up blocker.

The drawbacks of IE7 are apparent though, most blatantly, by the lack of add-ons on the Microsoft website. Whole sections are bare. I forget who wrote it, but it's true that Firefox has become popular for the same reason as Honda Civics. They are infinitely customizable to the individual.

So while Firefox may still be my top browser of choice, Microsoft is still doing an amazing job on some of their products, with great promise of improving. They just need a little more Web 2.0 luv to get up to par.

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