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I was just thinking about this, and I'm curious what others/development have to say about this.

I switched to a Mac at the beginning of last summer (~May 2006). I had always used Firefox on my PC, so naturally I was plenty happy using Firefox in OS X. Then, slowly, I realized that there's so much functionality built into OS X that FF wasn't tapping into, and would make life far easier if it did (i.e. system-wide spell check, keychain integration, address book integration, etc.). Firefox 2.0 was a good step forward, but still was lacking. Also, FF ran worse on my new Mac than it did on my old PC.

So I went looking for new browsers. I tried Camino, however going to that from Firefox was like using the internet without arms. It has pretty basic functionality and no extension support. I couldn't use it. I tried Opera, and really did not like it right from the get go; it just didn't feel right. I tried Shiira, and it would just crash all the time. Safari was missing a lot of things I like, and honestly, I think it's pretty ugly. Also, at least on my computer, there's a big fat memory leak in it and it takes no time for it's memory usage to balloon to the > 500mb range.

Then I found OmniWeb, I loved the quick rendering, loved the tab drawer (although after several months of usage, kinda miss my tab bar; that's a topic that's been beat to death though), loved workspaces, and moreover, loved how rich in features it was. Most importantly, it integrates itself and supports many OS X features and protocols. It was a no-brainer to me. Combine the speed and OS X-y-ness of Safari with built in features that matched a majority of the extensions I had for Firefox.

However, I'm curious about the next major release of Firefox (I know, I know, it's still a ways off). It's been long known that Firefox 3.0 is going to be native Cocoa and support all the fancy OS X features. It will still support the thousands of Firefox extensions out there. And it's free.

What do you think could happen to OmniWeb to help keep competitive with a free browser that may catch up to it in terms of speed, integration, and features? I'm not sure if I would switch back to Firefox now (although I would kinda like to see some sort of skinning option in OmniWeb, even if it's just icon sets), but I have trouble thinking of what I would like to see added to OmniWeb that would make the experience better.

Do others think that FF3.0 might "turn up the heat" in browser competition on OS X? Does OW have areas to expand that will keep it with a leg up on the competition? Is FF gaining Cocoa/Keychain/etc. features even a big deal for Mac users?