It started with Chrome browser. Google decided that the stop button is not important enough to have its own space on the browser toolbar. I guess the 16 pixel button takes too much space that Google merged it with the refresh button as a toggle button.
Now Firefox 4 also copied this poor design and eliminated the stop button.
As part of my job I sometimes need to do some web development or debug an html page. Today I has such case where I had to look at an HTML page that has an automatic refresh/redirect code in the page after few seconds. I use Firefox browser for years now and all I had to do for this kind of pages to stop the refresh is to press the stop button. However since I recently upgraded to Firefox 4 I found this task impossible because the refresh button toggle to the stop button for a split second before the page actually refreshed itself.
Chrome browser was not different, I could not stop the page from refreshing. All angry and upset I was thinking to myself, well probably IE9 (which I also recently installed) that looks like Chrome too, was no different, however I tried that too, and kudos to Microsoft, the product designer did leave the stop button on the tool bar and I was able to finally stop the page from reloading itself.
While I don’t use IE9 as my default browser I finally found a good use for it. It is no doubt that Microsoft products have best user interface designers and this is no exception.
I call to Mozilla and Google to please BRING BACK THE STOP BUTTON, I’m sure that many users will be happy to scarify a whole 10-16 pixels from the toolbar to have this button back.