Firefox 3.5 Preview, what it’ll mean for marketers

firefoxThere will be a new Firefox to grace desktops everywhere, maybe as a knee-jerk reaction to the increasing amount of outcry regarding Mozilla Firefox’s increasing bloatedness, increased awareness of Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer 8.

Whatever the case may be, there wasn’t necessarily anything broken with the browser, it just needed a few of the features both Google and Microsoft already employ.  What will these features mean for marketers?  Find out.

Needless to say, the expandability of Firefox is still the major draw for the browser.  Whatever you do on the web, there’s a plugin or extension for it, guaranteed.  However, that might also be it’s biggest problem, as you add more and more plugins, Firefox’s memory requirements sneek up and up and up.  Many have suggested that the base application itself is susceptible to memory leaks, and that could be true, but probably equally at fault are all the applications users install, scripts running on websites, and poor memory utilization or optimization in flash movies/applications.

For a sneak peek of some of the upcoming features of Firefox 3.5, check out the video below.

Needless to say, the well-received features will undoubtedly include:

  • Faster browsing, according to Mozilla, up to twice as fast as 3.0
  • Accidental/recovered tab or window browser panes
  • Increased security
  • Tab tearing (finally, should’ve been done long ago IMO)
  • Color profiles (if your monitor is calibrated)

That’s all fine and dandy, but this is an online marketing blog, right?  So let’s get to the features that will impact us marketers:

  • Private browsing.  Gharrrrr!  Noooooo.  Don’t mess with my ability to track visitors with cookies!  You bastards, you killed Kenny.
  • Forget this site.  Again!  Deleting my cookies, how dare you!
  • Embedded fonts finally find their way onto the web, which may be good and may be bad.  If you thought landing pages were ugly now, just wait till someone embeds a wingding font for text, good lord…
  • Undo close window.  Wait, a feature that may help my conversion funnel dropout rate?  Okay, you guys are officially upgraded from “terrible” to “bad”.
  • Geo-location.  Why don’t you tell me where you’re visiting from.  Or maybe you’re abroad but want search results, ads, or content for your home location.  This certainly helps more than hinders.  I guess that warrants another upgrade from “bad” to “sketchy”.
  • Video with HTML 5.  Now that’s sexy.  Forget Flash, forget Silverlight (if you even knew about it), and permanently purge memory of animated GIFs.  Maybe I could upgrade “sketchy” to “I’m watching you”?

Not thrilled, but not angry either.  Firefox 3.5 should make things a bit more interesting, that’s for sure.  My bet is, most power users will want to keep the majority of their cookies, only because cookies are mostly beneficial to the visitor.  I totally disagree with comScore’s 30-day average cookie lifetime estimate, but they might not be that far off.  I’ll bet my number is much higher, but with private browsing and greater cookie control becoming standard, my number is probably going to adjust over time.

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