Most everyone by now knows that firefox 3 is out.
I'd been using one of the release candidates and have been pretty happy with it.
Although admittedly I haven't noticed much of a difference from 2 with my usage.
I had one issue with pdf viewing, and decided to load opera on my pc. When I went to the opera site I found that a new version, 9.5 was out.
I'm a long time opera user from back when it was ad supported and the pre-firefox days.
I've been using mainly the firefox release candidate on a new pc to try it out, but my main browser at work is opera. I know firefox's main strength are the add-ons, but I'm not a big extention guy. I like things to work the first time without having to search around for features I need.
The two main features that opera has that for me are simple, but key are:
1. Vertical tabs
--> You can change tab layout to run vertically, on either the right or left by right-clicking the tab area, select customize, and on the properties window select display on the right/left. Since I regularly have around 30-50 tabs open this is a great way to browse without having to squish your viewing area.
2. peel-off tabs
--> By clicking and dragging a tab out of opera and releaseing a new browsing window appears. This is great when you want to reference a paraticular page while viewing another, and are using multiple displays.
Now I've tried to do something similar in firefox, but the options for tab display is sparse. I assume if I search around there's an add-on to handle this.
As for the tab peel-off feature, I thought I heard this was a standard feature, but I just tried with the RC I have and it just created a shortcut/link on my desktop.
These are the main reasons why I currently stay with opera at work.
However, I've grown to use some a couple of other standard opera features. The notes function and the built-in feed reader.
Opera notes opens as a tab, and provides a very simple and searchable note interface.
All notes are saved as your writting, so there is no separate 'save'. All you have to worry about is writting. I enjoy the clean simple interface.
For the feed reader, I haven't really used any other feed readers so I can't really compare it, but again it opens in a tab and does what I expect it it.
I found this link supposedly doing a vs, but it's detail is sparse and I don't think it's really worth linking to, but here it is:
I would say ff3 and opera 9.5 are pretty much the same. Most of the features you find in one you can find it in the other.
If you have a bunch add-ons that you use, you probably want to stick to firefox. But if you'd like a more out-of-the-box feature rich browser give opera a try. I strongly recommend vertical tab browsing if your not doing it already.