CNET: Firefox Lite needed for low-end computers

Nate Lanxon over at CNET wants Mozilla to create a Firefox Lite capable of running on older computers:

Firefox, while initially a fairly lightweight Web browser, is now in its incarnation and with a few extensions and a few open tabs, sometimes consumes upwards of a quarter of a gigabyte of RAM.


I would suggest that the Mozilla community produce a stripped-down, bare-bones version of Firefox — 'Firefox Lite', if we're going to follow beverage naming conventions.

Well Nate, I've got some excellent new for you! There is in fact a browser which can run on older computers, and you won't even have to sacrifice any functionality!

It's called Opera. And did you know that Opera even runs on mobile phones using the same rendering engine as on desktop? How's that for low-end? 🙂

I notice that you mention security as a good reason to use Firefox, and there's more good news: Opera's security track record is excellent as well. In fact, while Secunia lists Firefox with 13 security advisories, 6 of which are still open, Opera has no open security advisories, and only 8 in total.

So not only will you get the both the speed and functionality (a lot of the features we take for granted in modern browsers were pioneered by Opera, such as popup blocking, and the Web search field through which Mozilla makes money) on older computers by using Opera. You will also get an excellent security track record.

Why don't you give it a try, Nate?


8 thoughts on “CNET: Firefox Lite needed for low-end computers

  1. While I realize it is your job to promote Opera and all, you could also mention SwiftFox

  2. I once installed Opera (8) on a friend's 233MHz Pentium machine, probably with a negligible (32MB?) amount of RAM; I confess I don't recall the amount. It was sluggish, but it ran, which is more than could be said of Firefox and IE6, neither of which ran at all on Windows 95. Opera, however, gave her full functionality with no headaches.

  3. If I am not mistaken, the optimizations in SwiftFox are probably not sufficient to reach Mr. Lanxon's goals.

  4. I love the way someone calls for a stripped-down version of a browser that was initially supposed to be a stripped-down version of another browser (Mozilla). How's that for bloat?

  5. I had Opera 9 running on my mom's computer: a Pentium I at 100 Mhz with 32 Mb of RAM, of course I had to disable flash, but now I've upgraded to 120 Mhz and 48Mb, everything works great (flash included), really slow, but great. This is a computer she uses on a daily basisA few years ago a friend of mine manage to make Opera 7 to work on a 486 running debian

  6. CNET is a Microsoft puppet. They'd do anything to bash anything non-MS, while not recognizing alternatives to keep people in obscurism.They've proven it with weekly Microsoft chit-chats asking softball questions, hyping non-released MS vaporware (search for "Cloud OS" on their site), and running hilarious series such as a 30-part series titled "Life without Google" (THIRTY!!!). Anything to put down Microsoft competitors…

  7. Firefox got so many users largely because it claimed it was light-weight… And now they're lying. If the browser is now bulky without extensions installed, it's going to be obese with extensions installed. Next time I see the fox going through the McDonald's drivethru, I'll take a picture, k?

  8. Moo writes:

    I dont recall any claims it was "lightweight" whatever that means!If so, lightweight compared to what? IE? Windows? Air?

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