> It still seems to me like, if you have thousands of open tabs, it is your browsing habits that need to change- not Firefox.
"You're holding it wrong."
Decisions like these make software that's unusable for some people. It's the Apple Syndrome: You either obey the One Steve Jobs Way or you go elsewhere. Let's leave the Apple Syndrome to Apple, and make software everyone can use.
We build products for as many people as we can. That being said, we do not have infinite resources so we are sometimes forced to make trade offs. The median Firefox user has 3 tabs open at any given time. The 90% user has fewer than 10 tabs open.
I'm not advocating the "One Way". Rather, I gather the thousand-tabs users are fringe. They are welcome to use it that way if they like. But when it comes to development; is it better to spend developer time on making Firefox a lot better for 1% of users, or a little better for 95% of users?
Halfway joking here but I think perfectly ordinary people who just use a few tabs at a time tends to just use whatever thay get their hands on, -IE on Windows or Safari on Mac.
This means there is already a bias here: Those who use FF use it anyway because there is no alternative that has Scrapbook extension (offline browsing w/searchability), tree tabs (for automatic mind mapping) that also handles 100-200 tabs in a good way. (Read up on David Allen on using your memory for real work not to remember addresses and tasks for why some people find this useful.)
We have data on Firefox tab usage. It's not at all what you have suggested. Most Firefox users never have more than 5 or 6 tabs open at a time. The median is about 3 tabs. See http://22.214.171.124/james/mozilla-challenge.html for some slightly out of date but not too far off data. (Note, these are the "geeks" that opted in to our study so it's likely skewed a bit to the heavier tab users.)