Apart the obvious security benefits, here's some of the features I have grown to love:
- Tabs, and having them behave exactly as I want (implemented with the following mixture of extensions: MiniT, Tabbrowser Preferences, SessionSaver, UndoCloseTab and DuplicateTab).
- Find-as-you-type. Such a simple, useful feature!
- Pop-up blocker.
- Searchable history and bookmarks.
- A great search toolbar (with many - thousands? - of different search engines).
- Keyword search. Allows you to easily define (no url entry required!) keywords that you can type into the url bar - eg typing "imdb Terminator" brings up a search from IMDB for Terminator.
- AdBlock. Fantastic extension. I hate being distracted with ads and this allows me to completely block them. Incidently, I don't feel too morally guilty because I've never clicked on an ad (except Google's, which I find useful and do NOT block).
- Flashblock. To further block flickering guff you need this extension. Replaces Macromedia flash content with a "play" button that you have to click before it invokes the flash. Glorious. Makes you realise how many sites use flash, and how many annoying, flickering graphical displays you have somehow managed to get used to.
- Bookmarks Synchronizer. I have two PC's (home and work) that I regularly use and this extension allows me to have the same bookmarks on both of them, transparently storing them at an ftp location.
- BugMeNot. An extension that streamlines using the website BugMeNot to get me in to any site that requires a login. Especially useful for reading news sites (*cough* theAge *cough*). Slight guilt trip when using it. But I get over it pretty quick.
- Web Developer extension. Lots of features to help develop web pages. Change the CSS, discard images, find broken links, validate any page by clicking - and so many more.
- Bloglines Toolkit. Places the bloglines logo in the status bar - there's a little red indicator when I have feeds to read in bloglines, clicking on the logo takes me to my feeds. Simple, elegant.
As you can see most of the killer features for me are implemented as extensions (and there's hundreds of them available!). Yeah, it's definitely the ability to so dramatically customise Firefox that I love the most. Combining the best-of-class built-in features of Firefox with really cool, useful extensions really makes it a pleasure to use. I won't use IE, or Maxthon, again. Unless Microsoft really picks up their game.
Anyways Cam, stick with Maxthon if you like...it's a decent app. But not good enough for me because Firefox is wicked-cool!
PS if anyone wants links to any of those extensions (I'm being lazy tonight) drop me a message.
PPS If you aren't already subscribed, Cam's blog and the G'day World podcast that he does with Mick Stanic are well worth a visit...