I’ve been pondering if I should downgrade the web browser on my slower machine. This two-year old page rates the various browsers on an old 800 Mhz XP SP2 machine, and from their results, it looks to me like Opera 9 is the fastest of the current browsers out there.
So overall, Opera seems to be the fastest browser for Windows. Firefox is not faster than Internet Explorer, except for scripting, but for standards support, security and features, it is a better choice. However, it is still not as fast as Opera, and Opera also offers a high level of standards support, security and features.
Opera is of course now free for desktops, and includes tabbed browsing. And IE7 and Firefox have indirectly helped it, by forcing developers (well, most of them) to consider how their sites work and look in browsers other than IE6, so maybe I’ll give it a go.