I recently purchased a Lenovo IdeaPad complete with Windows 7 and a 64-bit processor. It’s been a great laptop, full-size keyboard and some cool features from Lenovo that I’d never used.
A month or so has gone by and I really hadn’t thought about the differences between the 32 and 64-bit software. Then I was reading an article about Firefox and Chrome browsers made for 64-bit machines and I realized I just had to try them out.
When I went to Mozilla.com, I typed in 64-bit firefox in the search box, but came up with zilch. Luckily, I had the link to Firefox 64-bit in my Windows Secrets newsletter. When I went to install the program, I was a bit concerned to see it was called ‘Minefield’, but went ahead and found that it’s a new (beta) version of Firefox. I was wondering how my add-ins would fare with a double switch to a 64-bit and a beta of a browser. My tree-style tabs still worked (my most important add-in). Unfortunately, Foxmarks (this add-on syncs my browser bookmarks across computers), will not work with this, but I can live with that for now. So far, I haven’t gotten any messages about other add-ins.
While in Minefield, I tried playing an embedded video and got a message that I needed a plug-in, an Adobe Flash plug-in. So I downloaded what they suggested, but got a message that ‘it might not have installed correctly’. Evidently, I must need a different version of flash. I’ll keep looking, but if anyone can provide a link-that would be excellent!
Then I went to find the Chrome 64-bit installation. That one was actually a lot quicker to download and install. So far, I’ve no problems at all playing the videos that Firefox would not play for me.
Internet Explorer comes in a disappointing third place in my un-scientific browser comparison. In fact, I couldn’t even find an install for IE 8 for Windows 7 64-bit. How amazingly short-sighted is that! I did find this link for IE 8 for Vista, but it won’t work with Windows 7. So I’ll have to stick with the same, slow IE 8 that 32-bit machines use.
Fastest – Chrome runs faster on my Lenovo than the other two browsers
Compatibility – Chrome seems to keep everything working the same as before while I had problems both with Firefox add-ins and it won’t play Flash videos.
Security – I don’t find just a whole lot about how they rank with security—with Chrome, there’s the privacy issue that they say we really don’t need to worry about. Firefox has been highly praised by IT people I respect, so I will give that one to Firefox. IE has had multiple browser security problems and is a bit slow to release fixes for them.
When I’m using my Lenovo, I’ll probably use a combination of both browsers, but probably Firefox as my primary. It’ll be nice to have Chrome as a back-up browser for playing Flash videos. I only use IE when I’m editing websites in Office Live.
Even though 64-bit has been out since around 2003, the software to utilize it is still not there. I found a site called 64x Software that might be helpful, but I’d sure like to get some links from some of you who are more experienced with 64-bit software.