The Real Firefox-Killer

Firefox fans will be facing 2007 with more tranquillity than they did 2006. A year ago, it was clear that Firefox's free ride was about to end: after an astonishing five years of inactivity, Microsoft was finally launching an updated version of Internet Explorer. There seems little doubt that much of Firefox's success is down to the fact that Internet Explorer was so bad, both in terms of the eternal round of security problems and its general technical tiredness (half a decade is a very long time in computing.)

Potentially, them, the appearance of Internet Explorer 7 could have marked the high-water point for Firefox, as the Microsoft machine went into overdrive and began clawing back the market share it had lost since Firefox's arrival. But when the final version of Internet Explorer 7 appeared in October last year, the verdict was almost unanimous: it was not a Firefox-killer. To be sure, it was much better than IE6, but that had set the bar pretty low. Aside from offering tabs and a few much-needed security enhancements, IE7 was definitely in the ho-hum category. Firefox seemed safe for at least another year or two.

It is not. For the real challenger comes not from Microsoft directly; instead, it's from a new browser that uses IE's rendering engine, Trident, but which is produced completely independently of the company. This means that it can offer all the "benefits" of 100% compatibility with what is still the dominant Internet browser, together with a host of real improvements - some of which go beyond even Firefox.

This new competitor is called Maxthon, and, significantly, comes from China. This is relevant because the Chinese computer sector has tended to evolve according to its own rules. So while many sensible Westerners have seen the light and converted from Internet Explorer to Firefox, this is by no means the case in China. On the contrary: according to a recent interview with one of Maxthon's executives, Maxthon holds around 30% of the Chinese browser market, while Firefox is nowhere. Put that figure together with the fact that there are currently 132 million Internet users in China, up 30% from last year, and likely to grow even more in the future, and you have a situation where Maxthon's installed base probably already rivals that of Firefox.

That on its own would be bad enough; worse is that fact that the Maxthon browser is going to be being pushed aggressively outside China. The company behind it has received several rounds of investment, and now has the funds to make a big impact in the West.

Worst of all, perhaps, is that the Maxthon browser is actually better than Firefox. That is, it offers all of the features we have come to know and love on Firefox - tabbed browsing, adblocks, skins, plugins - together with several innovative ideas, such as automatic detection of RSS feeds, built-in Babel Fish translation, quick links to Google's cache, mouse gestures as standard, and plugins for Gmail, Hotmail, Bloglines, and coComment already installed.

I said that Maxthon offers all of the features of Firefox, but there is actually a rather important one that is missing: freedom. Although Maxthon is free as in beer, it is not free as in freedom. For readers of this blog, that will probably be the showstopper in terms of using Maxthon, but for the other 99.99% of the world, it is largely irrelevant. Maxthon may only work on Windows, but the market share of non-Windows desktops is currently small, so this is not a major issue either. The fact is that Maxthon could well be the best browser out there for most non-technical users who either are unaware of or don't care about deeper issues of freedom.

This is extremely dangerous for Firefox. Although Firefox 2.0 is widely regarded as superior to IE7, it is not that much better: it has no really stunning new features, and the old memory leak still seems to be dripping away (Firefox regularly eats up 200-300 Mbytes on my systems). In other words, it is hardly invulnerable to a bright, brash new entrant like Maxthon.

There is a danger that the Firefox world is starting to rest on its laurels and become complacent: this could be fatal for the Fox. The last thing it can afford to do is sit back and take its position as the coolest, most innovative browser around for granted. It can't even point to its highly successful SpreadFirefox community as an unbeatable trump card: Maxthon too has an extremely active and enthusiastic community behind it, which provides bug reports and evangelises the product.

Unless some serious thinking goes into how to make Firefox 3.0 not just better, but also truly exciting once more - and I don't mean just adding things like microformats - I fear that 2007 may finish much worse than 2006 did for the Firefox world.

Glyn Moody writes about free software at opendotdotdot.

______________________

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Firefox 2 was a mistake. It

Smith's picture

Firefox 2 was a mistake. It should never have been released just to compete with IE7. Having features built into a browser or having to add them via extensions both have their merits and weaknesses. Maxthon (not counting version 2 which is still a mess) is no doubt better right out of the box, and Firefox's extension system can get frustrating, especially as browser upgrades can break existing extensions, but in the end there's no doubt that if you spend the time playing with Firefox, in the end you'll find that on average for anything Maxthon can do, there's an extension to allow Firefox to do it better.
__________________________
software downloads

True

Maxthon user's picture

I am a Maxthon user. And I am European, not Chinese. I just use the fastest and best browser because I want the best and fastest browser. And that is Maxthon.

Firefox 3 has improved a lot, but it is still far from Maxthon. I need to download and configure tons of extensions to have all the features that Maxthon has by default. I use 6 Maxthon extensions (add-ons) compared with the aproximately 25 that I use of Firefox.

Apart from that, Maxthon is completely configurable. Every button, every bar can be modified, hidden, moved. Apart from that it has by default the best add-removing in the market. It just blocks with perfect accuracy every useless add or flash banner or floating window.

Apart from that, download and installation of skins and extensions is direct and quick, not needing to open another window, download and..RESTART, which is a pain in the ass.

Apart from that, it starts in a second, opens tabs in a second, I can select with a button if I want the links and addresses to open in a new tab (background or foreground) or in the same tab. Just a quick click very at hand.

Apart from that it has a fantastic downloader. No need for any FlashGet or other stuff.

I can open lots and lots of tabs in seconds and my memory will be very happy yet. It is light and fast.

Now, you all can decide. Firefox is my second option for some minor things where I need another browser, and I take Firefox for the second best.

But it is VERY FAR FROM MAXTHON. The problem is that it is just...chinese, and people use what they hear is good, mostly what American multinationals impose. Some even say that Google Chrome is great. Of course, it is American and it is Google. Who cares if it has no functions at all and browsing is a primitive slow thing from the 90's.

Firefox Killer My A$$

phill's picture

It's 2008, and I haven't heard ANYTHING about Maxthong...what is that anyway, a combination of a maxipad and a thong?

If I had read this article a year ago, I'd probably respond by saying 'time will tell.'
Today however, knowing that Maxipad has made no inroads into the IE or FF market, I will respond by saying...Crap, crap, crap...that's all I can say about this article.

I hope linux journal will stop posting opinion pieces which portray themselves to be subject matter experts.

Hope someone else caught this

Anonymous's picture

I just read this and realize the thread is almost a year old. Until today I had not heard of Maxthon so will not comment on it or FF which I have used for years. I only read the first page of posts then wrote this. I am not reading more in what is obviously religious debate. So I apologize if someone else has noticed what I am about to say and posted it already.

I have used linux for about 10 years now, and can say that for anyone experianced in it, it should not be a problem to get a simple browser for MS to work with in linux. Has no one here ever heard of WINE? It is one of the oldest emulaters in linux. (although its name claimes otherwise. "WINE In No Emulator" if I remember correctly.) It can be a pain to set up but once done will run most MS software that does not require the latest in Direct X.

There is even a company that specializes in making it work with the most popular games and they do require the latest Direct X. But it is proprietary at that point. So with a lot of talent it can be made to work with anything.

Again I can not see a simple 2d web browser being a problem.

Linux, Liberty, and Maxthon!

BrianH's picture

As befits self-proclaimed Marxists, The Chinese apparatura seem to be embracing open source, and Linux in particular. Indeed, no special ideological knowledge is necessary to reject endlessly paying rent to the likes of Bill Gates.
This will surely influence Maxthon's future, however ironic it may be for the Chinese to learn freedom from Uncle Sam.
But as you say, users just care whether it's freeware.

A real informative article.

new thumbs daily's picture

A real informative article.

IE 7

Baby Advice Mom's picture

I personally think that IE 7 is a great improvement. I used to use Firefox but now with IE 7 I just keep with that. IE 6 was horrible!

web browsers view pages differently

Josh Fenn's picture

I really wish there weren't 2 major web browsers when I'm working in Dreamweaver... that kills me. It's so annoying how the pages look so much different in firefox vs. IE.

Don't count out FireFox yet!

Redding Landscaping's picture

I like the statement "- some of which go beyond even Firefox." at least acknowledging that Firefox in some ways has become a standard.

Of the many advantages of Firefox, I think that the plugins rate among the highest. Being that this is of great advantage to webmasters, and webmasters have a huge influence on the content on the internet, I don't see Firefox going up in flames yet.

Just a matter of time before

Offshore Expert's picture

Just a matter of time before Firefox takes over.

Complete nonsense.

Mike's picture

I found this article highly condescending and unfounded. I've never heard of Maxthon (and it's 4 months after you posted this article). It's obviously not gaining any ground.

The comment "[a]lthough Maxthon is free as in beer, it is not free as in freedom. For readers of this blog, that will probably be the showstopper in terms of using Maxthon, but for the other 99.99% of the world, it is largely irrelevant" is rather condescending. I think it's awful swell of you to write garbage like this to marginalize the Free Software community right here in our own backyard.

I sincerely hope LinuxJournal opts not to publish your nonsense in the future.

Who cares?

Anonymous's picture

If you are using Windows you are using something inferior to begin with, and as such should just give up at life in a technological world. Moving on however : Firefox is just another browser based upon Mozilla. Seamonkey, Mozilla, Netscape, Flock, and all of the other Mozilla browsers are (for the most part) on equal footing. A feature here or there but not many differences. Maxthon, Avant, and a million more are based upon IE and as such suffer the same security flaws that plague IE, Windows Media Player, and nearly every other Mirosoft product in general. KDE, Opera and a few others are your only true alternatives that still contain the usual features that one would expect in a modern browser. If you want to complain about speed... just use Dillo and be done with it. It is faster than all of the others. You want standards compliance? Use w3m. You want the widest and best viewing? Opera or IE. You want mediocre? Mozilla (and compat.). None are the best.

FF and all of us should be grateful for Maxthon...

Anonymous's picture

Let's face it: FF has had no real competition from MS in years. Maxthon on the other hand has been either side by side with FF featurewise or in some cases a few steps ahead. We should all be thankful for that. Competition will bring more creative solutions faster.

I use both browser but still tend to prefer Maxthon for various (small) reasons.

Ideally, FF should aim for a "best features promise" - whatever new features other browser implement, FF should aim to implement it (internal or as extension) within 3 months.

Also, as Maxthon usage grows, FF will need to specifit it's "conversion startegy" to catch Maxthon users too. They would best do that by providing clean instructions on what the FF alternatives are for various Maxthon features.

Just don't through (bad) Java into the mix...

Bill's picture

While Maxthon utilizes Explorer at it's core, I've still found it not 100% compatible with Explorer while interacting with a Java ticketing system that requires popups; a miserable experience.

While this might really be due to the Java program, which very well has its glaring faults, I have defaulted to either Firefox and Explorer use only.

Besides functionality, I'm also not impressed with Maxthon's appearance.

Great. Another browser. I'll

Fest3er's picture

Great. Another browser. I'll bet I can write a test page or two and find that it, too, fails to properly render HTML/XHTML. Opera, Netscape8, Firefox, Mozilla and Konqueror all improperly render HTML in one case or another. I've found I have to use an fairly ancient subset of HTML to get things to display correctly in most browsers.

Video? It is not possible to, in essence, tell a browser to display a video with no controls. One has to program in knowledge of the browser and OS. And even then it may not work.

Audio? On linux, there's no standard output mux, so if one program is sending sound, all others fail to access the audio device. Or it all gets queued up.

IE is so bad, I've pert near given up on it, and really don't care how bad my sites look in it.

Now let's talk about 64-bit OS. Using Fedora 5, there's no Adobe Flash player. Gnash exists, and kind-of works for Firefox. But Klash/Gnash plugin for Konqueror bites. It goes through a flash movie a little fast the first time, then ignores the frame rate after (or does something else really strange to get that effect).

I used to think web browsers were close to being able to display 'rich media'. No longer. They're all broken. All web browser rendering engines need to be redesigned and reimplemented from scratch. But that shouldn't be done until W3C issues sane, readable HTML specs, the probability of which is pretty low.

The world doesn't need 1000 feature-bloated browsers that don't work. It really only needs a few that actually implement the specs. Personally, I want a web browser to help me find stuff on the internet; I don't want it to, or need it to, wipe my butt.

N

Trust

Anonymous's picture

You want me to trust a closed source wrapper written in China over a closed source IE7 core...The thing could have Tim Berners Lee come to my house and sing the web pages to me and I *still* wouldn't trust it. Hey all you (obviously) Chinese singing its praises, did ya read that article about how much Microsoft confers with the NSA? Do you think the Chinese Government has any desire to put it's fingers into the pie of Maxthon, who are proxying around them? Good job, now you have all the vulnerability of IE, what ever Maxthon devs want to dump in, and the Chinese AND the US Govs in your browser!!! sign me up for more of that!

"But its better than FF!"

Yeah, good luck with that, morons.

Hm? You're too late, already.

A Chinese born and raised abroad's picture

Man! You are talking about the trust to Chinese.

As a matter of fact, Chinese in all parts of the world are regarded as Trust Worthy (Middle East, Africa of all parts, Europa, America, you name it) provided that if you don't cheat them.

Imagine! If all the Chinese blooded people unite together do things as you suspected and you are already way too late to comment "You can't Trust Chinese." (just a joke, you probably would have had Chinese blood already!).

Chinese will be ruling the world and you all will be so frightened like you are to the Terrorists.

The same thing goes for political criticism that Chinese Government is increasing its budget. What's wrong with this. At least Chinese Government doesn't invade anyone UNLESS somebody insulted us.

One thing (as a Chinese) I'd really like you to know is
"Chinese don't BS".

So, kindly don't insult one's sincerity! If you were racist, Chinese will say "We have no problem, you have your freedom to hate whoever you want. And we live together in our own corners in piece."

On the other hands, IE7 and FireFox together hold 9x% of the browser market, and if you say so, the would have and could have been doing the same nasty thing long before you get this idea of Chinese could possibly. And if Chinese (EVEN IF) Government ever does that, DO YOU STILL WANT TO BLAME THEM (they are the last to do so, then!).

Yes I have to agree

Anonymous's picture

Yes I have to agree wholeheartedly.

There is absolutley *NO WAY* anyone should use a closed-source browser from the land of total internet censorship and control (the PRC), especially within China. But anywhere.

Presumably people have already examined it for backdoors and encrypted traffic phone-somewheres, nevertheless I wouldn't trust it. It could still be subtle spyware, logging activity to an encrypted difficult-to-find place on your hard drive, ready for examination by your friendly government torturer. The fact there's an MS base in the thing makes it even worse.

Bill Gates and most Western governments salivate with hard desire at the type of censorship and control the PRC has over its internet - which incidentally was largely implemented for them by Western companies like Cisco.

But legislation in the US, EU and Australia in the last few years is working very hard to catch up with our totalitarian Chinese friends.

IE7 is of course the only thing for Firefox to worry about

Regtools's picture

This browser will attract techie windows-only users at best outside China.

And if it ever becomes too popular, MS will kill it.

Why should it kill it?

Glyn Moody's picture

Microsoft derives no revenues from Internet Explorer as such: it's much more interested in seeing its own (proprietary) standards propagated and challengers like Firefox beaten off. In addition, if Maxthon becomes more popular, Microsoft can claim that the market is fair and open, it is not a monopoly, etc. etc.

Best browser

Anonymous's picture

Can't we all just agree that lynx is far superior to anything else out there? Lightning fast, easy to use, low memory consumption, and it's been blocking ads perfectly for years now ;-P

Wow.

Anonymous's picture

I must agree with you. Lynx/links/w3m. Best browsers, and in that order too. I love all three. Though, when browsing anything with flash in it I revert to KDE with Flock.

Brave Man!

TheWhippinpost's picture

I'm not a Linux-user - never tried it - but I do appreciate the pressures of being a marked-man... which the author now probably is! ;)

I have all the major browsers and none of them have endeared themselves to daily use, as Maxthon has, and does.

FF would be used daily if Maxthon were not about... probably! I say probably because I still find myself reaching first for IE over FF, which is bizarre. However, as others have said, FF - out-of-the-box - is more plain than IE, takes ages to load, does become a memory-hog but that aside; the real FF-killer (for me), is the setting-up...

... why, even scrolling needs setting-up in FF (which I've never been arsed to do).

FF, is where it is today because of its "loud" userbase. I have sat on the sidelines for around 3-4 yrs, bemused, wondering why. Sure, the geek's killer argument was always, Standards! Which is fair enough. But Joe Bloggs ain't arsed about that, and besides, The Standards issue itself spoils the user-experience if the user has to switch from FF, to IE to gain site entry.

Meanwhile, the more sedate userbase of Maxthon has quietly been enjoying all the features FF can do... but [stand braced], here's the cut; we've been enjoying a lot of these benefits for longer! That's right; another source of my bemusement has been watching how FF has seemingly adopted many of Maxthon's features over the yrs... not in all cases, but in lots nevertheless.

A brave article, the likes of which will become more frequent I suspect.

(For the record: I always have Maxthon open from my last session. Currently, that roughly translates to ~50 tabs. As I write, I have both Max 2 and Max 1.x running.

Max 2 = 17 open tabs; Max 1.x = 49 tabs.

Max 2 is using 22MB RAM
Max 1.x, 83MB RAM

The Maxthon user-agent is toggleable (if there's such a word). So stats will never be accurate.)

I disagree

rae's picture

I don't think the 30% of Chinese market by Maxthon is the fact,

I lived in China for years and I see many people were switching to Firefox instead of IE. That's the fact I see, including me, I've been using from Mozilla to Firefox for several years.

really?

Anonymous's picture

well, I am a Chinese student.
as far as I know, most of my friends and teachers and I are using Maxthon. Maxthon was called MyIE2. and, at the same time, I am using FF too.
The reason is I use it as an email client. I put hotmail, gmail, and university email website under the main menu. it's very convenient.
BUT, FF, has many compatible issues. Maxthon can work well on almost all websites. FF can't. and, we all know FF has memory leak problem which force me to restart it after using for a while, especially after browsing websites with many pictures.
Maxthon has been widely used for many years. It is much older than FF. Most of its features appeared at least 6 years ago. It's much more easy-to-use than FF. stable, compatible, fast, powerful.......

FF put much effort on ads. many ppl get to know it. but Maxthon almost has no any ads. users get to know it because his/her friends told him/her. in another hand, some companies force employees to use FF because it's free and safer than IE core browsers. so far, it seems FF is the only choice.

in my opinion, most computer users are not techie. they know less about software. what they consider is whether the software is easy-to-use and can make them feel good. based on my experience, Maxthon is the winner. FF has a long way to go to be better than Maxthon. especially on improving user experience and to be user-friendly.

Maru

Maru's picture

Lorsque la main d'un homme effleure la main d'une femme, tous deux touchent a l'eternite.

Opera is still the best

Anonymous's picture

Opera is still the best browser

It was...

branche's picture

... for a long time, since there was no real alternative to the IE when netscape navigator faded away. But since Firefox is out this is not true anymore.

Comparisons with Firefox

mirshafie's picture

Of course it is interesting to know what people use to browse the web, but it isn't very important. As many have pointed out before me, the crowds seem to go for the crappiest browsers available, rather than the best. Firefox is such a textbook example. Sorry boys and girls, but it is a memory-sucking piece of crap with none of the features you SHOULD expect from a browser these days. The irony here is that Firefox supporters compare Firefox with Internet Explorer 6 which is way out of the league, and Maxthon users compare Maxthon with Firefox which also means that they're setting the bar very low.

I myself use Konqueror. Windows users would do best in downloading Opera right now. But be careful, if you like Maxthon or Firefox, Opera will blow your head away - when it comes to speed and performance Opera murders the competitors, and as for functions, Opera has got them all and more, and they have always been at the very top for more than ten years. Of course Opera is an excellent choice for Linux users too, but I'm very fond of Konqueror's amazing functions and style. Also it's open source, which nobody can deny is a huge advantage for all users in the long run.

Just thought I'd share that with you. :)

Marathon doesn't Work in Linux?

Anonymous's picture

It doesn't? That's all I need to know. I don't care how good it is otherwise. I can't use it. I don't have any Windows boxes. You think I'm gonna convert to an inferior OS just so I can run a certain browser? Forget it.

Seems like every few days I read another story about a government, city, state, university, agency, or whatever converting to or evaluating Linux. They won't be Marathon users either.

maxthona vs opera vs FF

jdmuskrat's picture

opera is very good, except for one thing. when i click on a link in email i manually have to switch to the browser, smae in FF. with maxthon i get the page opened and swithced to it. very time saving.

fecal matter - wanna buy some TP?

samiam's picture

Windows allows the user to specify the browser default, and any competent email client recognizes that setting. So you are either using a POS email client, or you don't have any idea what you are doing. Since you seem to have no concern about using a browser that is undoubtedly chock full of backdoors that will enable spy agencies from several countries and a crapload of corporatist interests to know every detail of what you do on your computer, I strongly suspect the latter... Of course, you may also be a Peoples Liberation Army plant assigned to shill up Maxthong...

Open your eyes!

Totaltully's picture

First up, you can switch Maxthon's rendering engine to gecko. You need to run a small proggy - am sure that will make all the nerds out there happy. Im sure that changes your perspective on Maxthon now.

Second, Maxthon is a VC backed venture (which need not mean much in itself). Not a stochastic coding pissathon.

Third, watch out for Maxthon 2.0. This will blow the pants off anyone not in diapers. Imagine being able to retain your browsing preferences anywhere on the internet (not just bookmarks) - oh of course its not that important is it?

Maxthon is getting increasingly more publicity. Much as .NET and Wintel is a market reality, so is IE. Numerous corporates code only to IE. But then, it is immensely important to speak in Latin or Sanskrit than to be understood isnt it?

Maxthon is layered onto IE Engine - AVOID USE

mrinternet's picture

Real World -
Maxthon has been around for 2-3 years and the reason if will NEVER be a serious contender - ActiveX scripts that are totally insecure, unlike Firefox based on Java (which is a much much more difficult scripting lanuage to hack). I do NOT ever use IE for security reasons unless I absolutely have to for some critical use site that requires it. I do network administration and security work and have since 97' and I would totally abandon Microsoft products altogether, if I could.

Anyone that hasn't used Firefox is missing one of the more delightful and easy to software applications that have come along in quite some time. I have been using Firefox for 3+ years and probably use 35 extension add-on modules from 1,000+ available add-ons.

IE7 seriously limited capability and such a security NIGHTMARE shows the serious brain drain taking place at Microsoft, as it doesn't even come close in my wildest imagination to preformning or offering the functionality that Mozilla Firefox does. For the die hard Microsoft fans - you are like the obsolete right-wing Christan Republicans - in your own little world that does NOT resemble reality at all. Good night and good luck !

winged

Anonymous's picture

What are right winged christan republicans? JEWS?

Romans?

Gates lovers??
???

Thanks crllong

Konqueror

It's Me's picture

People, make browser love, not war. People use software that works for them and what works for them varies. KDE's Konqueror, with its KIO slaves, comprehensive tool set, intelligent file browsing, and KDE integration makes it my number one choice. This particular session is tab fourteen on fifteen open tabs. I do, from time to time, use Firefox when there's something just totally weird that I can't seem to get right on Konqueror, but that's probably less than half a percent of my browsing time. KDE's Konqueror is a beautiful thing and I love using it. Not being number one in the browser wars only means so much -- Opera users will understand what I'm saying -- what matters is what works for you and what works for you sometimes comes from an understanding of what the product has to offer.

-- Just this guy, you know? --

Maxthon 2 gearing up to crush firefox and opera

Koogle's picture

So I'm a longtime user of maxthon/myie2 and have failed to have converted to firefox with marketing hype and ignorant followers. Comparing features against another browser feature list is pointless unless you take into account the options provided for it. Maxthon has the features but it also has them implemented properly, with the right customizations provided and that alone makes it better browser than Opera or FF for me +its fast ;)

Firefox is slow and its one of those browsers you have to trawl around looking for extensions that 1. probably should be built by default depending on what it is 2. isn't shit 3.out of date or no longer supported.

Opera can be fast, and there was a time when I looked at opera as the browser to swicth too, but then they screwed it up and noobified the interface, and the feature just don't compare to maxthon implementations plus it can be buggy.

So for me I think so long as Microsoft take the threat provided by FF and Opera seriously, then future versions of IE should improve standards support, although I think IE7 being fast and having improved web standard supported compard to IE6 is good enough for now.. but if IE8 could improve the web standards and match itself to Opera, although I laugh at things like the Acid test. So a future IE8 + Maxthon 2 with its high customization+ plugins and probably the best skinnable interface should make for some crushing times ahead. And even more so if maxthon decide to implement support for the Gekko engine although I'd much rather see them continue provide intuitive features ontop of the IE engine

Another PLA shill?

samiam's picture

Of course, there are potentially 1 billion candidates, so it's no surprise. You do know that you aren't fooling anyone, I trust? The shill/plant strategy for news groups and forums was pioneered over 12 years ago by Microsoft, and has long since been exposed. BTW, is it true that Maxthon has a built-in political heresy detector that automatically posts the name of the Chinese violator to the list of those to be volunteered as organ donors?

Point missed

Anonymous's picture

Good comments one and all. The simple, unmistakable reality is that Maxthon lives or dies at the pleasure of MS. And to that end the developers of Maxthon will serve their master. This is obviously not the case with FF. At the discretion of MS, Maxthon will thrive until such time as money is flows away from MS. The calculation is trivial.

Of course

Glyn Moody's picture

You and I know that, and appreciate what a terrible weakness it is. But does the user in the street? Or the IT person who's using Windows, Office, SQLServer etc. etc.? I suspect they don't; which means that they'll be happy to use Maxthon whatever its vulnerability.

I am just laughing at your

Anonymous's picture

I am just laughing at your other commenters, they are so typically FF user like: spitting at others without really knowing anything.

I have been using Maxthon for 3 years now (although fully fledged with plug ins) and would and will never in a million years convert to a FF user until it could prove me that i can do something that Maxthon cant.

this said, i guess a barebone Maxthon is as useless for me as a barebone FF browser. since both have similar plugins, it would be interesting to see how FF would be in comparison, but alas i am too happy with maxthon to care about other browers.

and btw, i am from Germany *g*

Talk about Funny!!

FewClues's picture

I hear all this chest thumping over how superior Maxthon is over everything ever thought of and I just laugh. If you are using Maxthon you have admitted to being tied hopelessly to Microsoft Windows and that just about ends the discussions.

How can anyone rave about the attributes of any application that runs on Microsoft Windows? I guess its a bit like saying I can still kick your butt with both arms tied behind me - since arms aren't involved in kicking. But you display your system weakness by admitting to using a Windows application.

Opera blows them all away...

CD Baric's picture

Everybody seems to be missing the point - who is the fairest in the land.

And without doubt the winner is Opera.

Opera does things neither IE7, FireFox or Maxthon can do.

(a) I get to a page where the text and graphics are too small to appreciate: I tap the [+] key and the whole page is zoomed, not just the text. The frames expand, the text expands and the graphics expand.

Try that on your other browsers.

There are many other 'convenience' features that Opera excells at but for me the Zoom feature is the deal breaker for all the other browsers.

CD 'Bar' Baric

zoom feature

Anonymous's picture

maybe I missed it in there, but was it mentioned firefox has zoom as well? ctrl + ...not a big deal, just so it's mentioned.

Ctrl Scroll Zoom

P.Woods's picture

I am a FireFox user, But reading this, I thought I'd try Opera.
After trying, I just deleted it!
In FF (and Konq except it works backwards!!!!!) you can zoom the text and keep the page within the screen (NO scrollbars.)
Opera doesn't use Ctrl scroll, but when you find out + - do something similar, and the dreaded scroll bars appear; forget it.

Opera is great

Glyn Moody's picture

But greatness isn't enough. Internet Explorer/Maxthon has Microsoft behind it, Firefox has the cachet of being the "rebel" browser, with all the great publicity that goes with it: what's Opera got? It's good, it comes from a small Norwegian company that no one's ever heard of, and....?

nintendo.

Anonymous's picture

Nintendo use it?
http://www.opera.com/products/devices/nintendo/

ps: im a maxthon fan (previously netcaptor fan)

is Opera #1 ?

warrior's picture

+1, Zoom feature is the best thing i seen before

it seems that Opera is Number One in browser war

The reason for the popularity in China

Anonymous's picture

Maxthon is popular in China not because of its feature-set, but because of one little known feature - its proxy capability - because it allows Chinese internet users to circumvent the web censorship from the Chinese government. There was an article about this on C|Net back in June. Therefore, your argument doesn't hold water.

How naive can you get? Do you relly think

samiam's picture

How naive can you get? Do you really think that the Chinese government would allow widespread use of a browser that actually circumvented their control, after they have gone to such tremendous trouble and expense to establish that control? Or that MS would have any scruples whatsoever about helping that government compromise Maxthon? Can you point me to the open source listing that I can examine to verify these claims and use to compile my own browser?

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState