Mozilla Firefox


Mozilla Firefox

Infobox Software
name = Mozilla Firefox



caption = Firefox 3.0 on Ubuntu, with the GTK theme "Bluecurve" with the "Human" color scheme, displaying Wikipedia
author = Mozilla Corporation
developer = Mozilla Corporation
Mozilla Foundation
released = initial release|2004|11|9
frequently updated = Yes
programming language = C++, XUL, XBL, JavaScript, CSS [ [http://davidwalsh.name/firefox-internal-rendering-css Firefox uses an "html.css" stylesheet for default rendering styles.] ] [ [http://userstyles.org/styles;app The Firefox addon, Stylish takes advantage of Firefox's CSS rendering to change the appearance of Firefox.] ] , .NET CLR
operating system = Cross-platform
size = 7.2 MB (Windows)
17.2 MB (Mac OS X)
8.7 MB (Linux)
(all archived)
language = [http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all.html Over 45 languages]
status = Active
genre = Web browser
FTP client
gopher client
license = MPL/GPL/LGPL/ [http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/legal/eula/ Mozilla EULA] (for binary redistribution)
website = http://www.firefox.com/

Mozilla Firefox is a free and open source web browser descended from the Mozilla Application Suite, managed by the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox had 19.46% of the recorded usage share of web browsers as of September 2008, making it the second-most popular browser in current use worldwide, after Internet Explorer. [ cite web | title = Top Browser Market Share for April, 2008 | publisher = Net Applications | url = http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=1 | accessdate = 2008-09-01 ]

To display web pages, Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine, which implements some current web standards plus a few features which are intended to anticipate likely additions to the standards.

Firefox includes tabbed browsing, a spell checker, incremental find, live bookmarking, a download manager, and an integrated search system that uses the user's desired search engine. Functions can be added through add-ons created by third-party developers, [https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:1/cat:all addons.mozilla.org Browse all Extensions page] ] the most popular of which include the NoScript JavaScript disabling utility, Tab Mix Plus customizer, FoxyTunes media player control toolbar, Adblock Plus ad blocking utility, StumbleUpon (website discovery), DownThemAll! download enhancer and Web Developer toolbar. [ [https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:1/cat:all/sort:popular?show=50 Most popular Firefox Add Ons] . Retrieved 2007-10-30]

Firefox runs on various versions of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and many other Unix-like operating systems. Its current stable release is version 3.0.3, released on September 26, 2008. [cite web | title = Mozilla Firefox 3 Release Notes | publisher = Mozilla | url = http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/3.0/releasenotes/ | accessdate = 2008-04-18 ] Firefox's source code is free software, released under a tri-license GPL/LGPL/MPL.cite web | url=http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/ | title=Mozilla Code Licensing | accessdate=2007-09-17 | author=Mozilla Foundation ]

History

Dave Hyatt and Blake Ross began working on the Firefox project as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape's sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser. [cite web | url = http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/ben/archives/009698.html | title = Where Did Firefox Come From? | accessdate=2007-01-24 | last= Goodger | first= Ben | authorlink= Ben Goodger |date=2006-02-06 | publisher = Inside Firefox] To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite's software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite. On April 3, 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced that they planned to change their focus from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox and Thunderbird. [cite web | url = http://www.mozilla.org/roadmap/roadmap-02-Apr-2003.html | title = mozilla development roadmap | accessdate = 2007-01-24 | last = Eich | first = Brendan | authorlink = Brendan Eich | coauthors = David Hyatt |date=2003-04-02 | publisher = Mozilla]

The Firefox project has undergone several name changes. Originally titled "Phoenix", it was renamed because of trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies. The replacement name, "Firebird", provoked an intense response from the Firebird free database software project. [cite web | url = http://www.ibphoenix.com/main.nfs?a=ibphoenix&page=ibp_Mozilla0 | title = Mozilla browser becomes Firebird | accessdate = 2007-01-30 | publisher = IBPhoenix.com] [cite web | url = http://www.linuxworld.com.au/index.php?id=1031068403 | title = Mozilla 'dirty deed' brings out a Firey response | accessdate = 2007-01-30 |date=2003-04-17 | last = Dahdah | first = Howard | publisher = LinuxWorld.com.au | quote = "This must be one of the dirtiest deeds I've seen in open source so far," said Helen Borrie, a Firebird project administrator and documenter.] [cite web | url = http://news.com.com/2100-1032_3-1000146.html | title = Mozilla's Firebird gets wings clipped | accessdate = 2007-01-30 |date=2003-05-06 | last = Festa | first = Paul | publisher = CNET.com] In response, the Mozilla Foundation stated that the browser should always bear the name "Mozilla Firebird" to avoid confusion with the database software. Continuing pressure from the database server's development community forced another change; on February 9, 2004, Mozilla Firebird became "Mozilla Firefox", [cite web | url = http://news.com.com/2100-7344-5156101.html | title = Mozilla holds 'fire' in naming fight | accessdate = 2007-01-24 | last = Festa | first = Paul |date=February 9, 2004 | publisher = CNET News.com] often referred to as simply "Firefox." Mozilla prefers Firefox to be abbreviated as "Fx" or "fx," though it is often abbreviated as "FF". [cite web | url = http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/releases/1.5.html#FAQ | title = Firefox 1.5 Release Notes | accessdate = 2008-01-03 | publisher = mozilla.com]

The Firefox project went through many versions before 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004. After a series of stability and security fixes, the Mozilla Foundation released its first major update, Firefox version 1.5, on November 29, 2005. On October 24, 2006, Mozilla released Firefox 2. This version includes updates to the tabbed browsing environment, the extensions manager, the GUI, and the find, search and software update engines; a new session restore feature; inline spell checking; and an anti-phishing feature which was implemented by Google as an extension, [cite web | url = http://www.google.com/tools/firefox/safebrowsing | title = Google Safe Browsing for Firefox | accessdate = 2007-02-05 | publisher = Google.com] [cite web | url = http://wiki.mozilla.org/index.php?title=Phishing_Protection:_Design_Documentation&oldid=46996#Background | title = Phishing Protection Design Documentation - Background | accessdate = 2007-01-24 | author = Mozilla.org wiki contributors | publisher = Mozilla.org wiki] and later merged into the program itself. [cite web| url=http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/2.0/releasenotes/ |title=Mozilla Firefox 2 Release Notes | publisher=Mozilla Corporation |accessdate=2006-12-19] In December 2007, [http://support.mozilla.com/kb/Live+Chat Firefox Live Chat] was launched. It allows users to ask volunteers questions through a system powered by Jive Software, with guaranteed hours of operation and the possibility of help after hours. [ [http://blog.mozilla.com/sumo/2007/12/28/firefox-live-chat-launching-today/ Firefox Support Blog » Blog Archive » Firefox Live Chat launching today ] ]

Version 3.0

Mozilla Firefox 3 was released on June 17, 2008 by the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox 3 uses version 1.9 of the Mozilla Gecko layout engine for displaying web pages. The new version fixes many bugs, improves standard compliance, and implements new web APIs.cite web | url = http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Firefox_3_for_developers | title = Firefox 3 for developers | accessdate = 2007-07-17 |date=2007-07-17 | publisher = Mozilla Developer Center] Other new features include a redesigned download manager, a new "Places" system for storing bookmarks and history, and separate themes for different operating systems.

Development stretches back to the first Firefox 3 beta (under the codename 'Gran Paradiso' [cite web | url=http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thread/c73f6a1c25e8e7b0/b714ca46975f0109#b714ca46975f0109 | title = Gecko 1.9/Firefox 3 ("Gran Paradiso") Planning Meeting, Wednesday Jun 7, 11:00 am | accessdate=2006-09-17 |date=June 2, 2006 | last = Vukicevic | first = Vladimir | publisher = Google Groups: mozilla.dev.planning] ) which had been released several months earlier on 19 November 2007, [cite web |url=http://developer.mozilla.org/devnews/index.php/2007/11/19/firefox-3-beta-1-now-available-for-download/ |author=Mike Beltzner |publisher=Mozilla Developer News |title=Firefox 3 Beta 1 now available for download] and was followed by several more beta releases in spring 2008 culminating in the June release. [cite web |accessdate=2007-12-20 |url=http://developer.mozilla.org/devnews/index.php/2007/12/18/firefox-3-beta-2-now-available-for-download/ |author=Mike Beltzner |publisher=Mozilla Developer News |title=Firefox 3 Beta 2 now available for download]

Firefox 3 had 2.31% of the recorded usage share of web browsers by June 2008, and had over 8 million unique downloads the day it was released, setting a Guinness World Record. [cite web|url=http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=2|title=Market share for browsers, operating systems and search engines|accessdate=2008-07-19|publisher=Net Applications]

Future developments

The precursory releases of upcoming Firefox releases are codenamed " [http://www.mozilla.org/projects/minefield/ Minefield] ", as this is the name of the trunk builds. Development of Firefox after version 3.0 is split over two milestones: version 3.1 and version 4.0. Development for the 3.1 releases takes place on the Mozilla trunk, with releases and pre-release nightly builds coming from the Mozilla 1.8.1 branch (2.0) and the [http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/latest-trunk/ Mozilla 1.9 branch] (3.0). Development for 4.0 will be based on Mozilla 2.

Version 3.1

Version 3.1, codenamed "Shiretoko", [cite web | url=http://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox3.1 | title=Firefox 3.1 "Shiretoko" | date=2008-06-12 | accessdate=2008-06-12] is planned to include support for the <video> and <audio> tags as defined in the HTML 5 specification. Cross-site XMLHttpRequests (XHR), which would allow for more powerful web applications and an easier way to implement mashups, is also in planning. Native JSON DOM binding, a powerful feature for web developers, may also be included, together with full [http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-selectors/#selectors CSS 3 selector] support. [cite web | url=http://www.css3.info/firefox-31-is-the-latest-to-pass-our-selectors-test/ | title=Firefox 3.1 passes selectors test | date=2008-06-05 | accessdate=2008-06-05] [cite web | url=http://mozillalinks.org/wp/2008/05/firefox-31-targeted-for-years-end/ | title=Firefox 3.1 New Features| date=2008-06-09 | accessdate=2008-06-09] Firefox 3.1 will use the Gecko 1.9.1 engine, which includes a few features that were not included in the 3.0 release.

Version 3.1 Alpha 1 was released in late July 2008. [citation | url = http://mozillalinks.org/wp/2008/07/first-step-to-firefox-31-alpha-1-is-here/ | title = First step to Firefox 3.1: Alpha 1 is here | accessdate = 2008-07-29 |date = 2008-07-29 | author = Percy Cabello | publisher = Mozilla Links] Version 3.1 Alpha 2 was launched on September 6, 2008, adding new video support and enhancing the speed of some JavaScript computations. Code named "Shiretoko," Mozilla said it will be the last in a short series of alpha editions. [ [http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&taxonomyName=software&articleId=9114239&taxonomyId=18&intsrc=kc_top computerworld.com, Mozilla updates Firefox 3.1 with Alpha 2 build] ] [ [http://stuff.techwhack.com/4779-firefox-3.1-alpha-2 stuff.techwhack.com, Firefox 3.1 Alpha 2 released] ] [ [http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10034375-2.html news.cnet.com, Mozilla releases second Firefox 3.1 alpha] ]

Version 4.0

On October 13, 2006, Brendan Eich, Mozilla's Chief Technology Officer, wrote about the plans for Mozilla 2, the platform on which Firefox 4.0 is likely to be based. These changes include improving and removing XPCOM APIs, switching to standard C++ features, just-in-time compilation with JavaScript 2 (known as the Tamarin project), tool-time and runtime security checks. [cite web | url=http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roadmap/archives/2006/10/mozilla_2.html | title=Mozilla 2 | last=Eich | first=Brendan | date=2006-10-13 | accessdate=2006-09-16] [cite web | url=http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roadmap/archives/2006/11/project_tamarin.html | title=Project Tamarin | last=Eich | first=Brendan | date=2006-11-07 | accessdate=2006-11-14] It has also been announced that support for the Gopher protocol will be removed by default to lessen attack vectors, but it has also been suggested that the protocol could be retained if someone was to implement Gopher support in a memory-safe programming language. [cite web | url=https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=388195| title=Bug 388195 - Remove gopher protocol support for Firefox | accessdate=2008-08-24]

Future features

Open-source, in-browser video playback is intended to be included in Firefox, according to Mitchell Baker, Mozilla's former Chief Executive Officer. The goal is to do video playback without being encumbered by patent issues that are associated with so many video technologies.cite web
url=http://apcmag.com/6045/firefox_to_go_head_to_head_with_flash_and_silverlight
title=Firefox to go head-to-head with Flash and Silverlight
accessdate= 2008-01-18
author= Dan Warne
date=2007-05-07
work=APC Magazine
publisher=ACP Magazines Ltd
]

Baker also discussed the Mozilla Foundation's project to create a version of Firefox, codenamed Fennec, that will run reliably on mobile phones, as well as a strategy for syncing content downloaded on a PC with mobile handsets. [cite web | url = http://wiki.mozilla.org/Mobile/FennecVision | title = Mobile/FennecVision | date = 2008-07-10 | accessdate = 2008-08-06]

Meanwhile, offline application support technology — similar to Gears — is also being built as part of Firefox. Baker said in an interview that given so much investment has now been made in the web as a platform, in order to take it to the next step, applications must continue to work when a computer's internet connection is offline.

Release history

Mozilla Firefox's market share has grown for each growth period since inception, mostly at the expense of Internet Explorer; Internet Explorer has seen a steady decline of its usage share since Firefox's release. By early 2008, Firefox had approximately 15% global usage share of web browsers. [cite web |url=http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2008/January/browser.php |title=theCounter.com Browser Stats for January 2008 |publisher=theCounter.com |date=2008-02-01 |accessdate=2008-02-18] [cite web |url=http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=0&qpdt=1&qpct=3&qpcal=1&qptimeframe=M&qpsp=108 |title=NetApplications Browser Market Share for January 2008 |date=2008-02-01 |accessdate=2008-02-18] Market shares break down as following: 43% for Internet Explorer 7, 32% for Internet Explorer 6, 16% for Firefox 2.0, 4% for Safari 3.0, and less than half a percent for both Firefox 1.x and Internet Explorer 5.x versions. [cite web |url=http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=2&qpmr=40&qpdt=1&qpct=3&qptimeframe=M&qpsp=108 |title=Browser Versions Market Share |accessdate=2008-02-19 |publisher=NetApplications.com] cite web |url=http://news.softpedia.com/news/IE6-vs-IE7-vs-Firefox-2-0-vs-Firefox-1-5-vs-Safari-3-0-vs-Opera-9-58851.shtml |title=IE6 vs. IE7 vs. Firefox 2.0 vs. Firefox 1.5 vs. Safari 3.0 vs. Opera 9 In browser market share deathmatch |date=2007-07-02 |accessdate=2008-02-20 |publisher=Softpedia] [cite web |title=Browser War: FF2 pulls ahead of IE7 in Europe |url=http://www.xitimonitor.com/en-us/browsers-barometer/ie7-and-firefox-2-july-2007/index-1-2-3-103.html |publisher=XiTi Monitor |date=2007-07-18 |accessdate=2008-03-18] cite news |url=http://news.softpedia.com/news/IE7-and-Firefox-2-0-Are-Slaughtering-Internet-Explorer-6-77994.shtml |title=IE7 and Firefox 2.0 Are Slaughtering Internet Explorer 6 - Out with the old, in with the new
author=Marius Nestor |publisher=Softpedia |date=5 February 2008 |accessdate=2008-03-31
]

As one article noted after the release of Firefox 2.0 in October 2006, "IE6 had the lion's share of the browser market with 77.22%. Internet Explorer 7 had climbed to 3.18%, while Firefox 2.0 was at 0.69%."

A Softpedia article, however, noted in July 2007 that "Firefox 2.0 has been also expanding its share constantly in spite of IE7. From just 0.69% in October 2006, Firefox 2.0 is now accounting for 11.07% of the market. Mozilla has even sacrificed version 1.5 of its open source browser for Firefox 2.0. With support cut at the end of June, Firefox 1.5 dropped to just 2.85%."

Downloads have continued at an increasing rate since Firefox 1.0 was released in November 2004, and as of February 21, 2008 Firefox has been downloaded over 500 million times. [cite web |url=http://blog.mozilla.com/blog/2008/02/21/500-million-firefox-downloads-complete-500-million-grains-in-progress/ |title=500 million Firefox downloads: complete; 500 million grains: in progress |date=2008-02-21 |author=Mary Colvig |accessdate=2008-02-21 ] This number does not include downloads using software updates or those from third-party websites. [cite web |url=http://feeds.spreadfirefox.com/downloads/firefox.xml |title=Spread Firefox: Mozilla Firefox Download Counts |accessdate=2007-02-14 |publisher=Spread Firefox] They do not represent a user count, as one download may be installed on many machines, one person may download the software multiple times, or the software may be obtained from a third party. According to Mozilla CEO John Lilly, Firefox had about 140 million users as of February 2008. [cite web |url=http://revision3.com/gigaom/mozilladotorg/ |title=Episode 28 - John Lilly, the new CEO of Mozilla |date=February 7, 2008 |accessdate=2008-02-18]

Critical reaction

"Forbes.com" called Firefox the best browser in a 2004 commentary piece, [cite web | url=http://www.forbes.com/2004/09/29/cx_ah_0929tentech.html | title=Better Browser Now The Best | last=Hesseldahl | first=Arik | publisher="Forbes" |date=2004-09-29 | accessdate=2006-10-17] and "PC World" named Firefox "Product of the Year" in 2005 on their "100 Best Products of 2005" list. [cite web | url = http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,120763-page,1/article.html?findid=48080 | title = The 100 Best Products of 2005 | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=2005-06-01 | author = "PC World" editors | publisher = "PC World"] After the release of Firefox 2 and Internet Explorer 7 in 2006, "PC World" reviewed both and declared that Firefox was the better browser.cite web | url = http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,127309-page,6-c,browsers/article.html | title = Radically New IE 7 or Updated Mozilla Firefox 2—Which Browser Is Better? | accessdate = 2007-05-18 | last = Larkin | first = Erik |date=2006-10-24 | publisher = "PC World"] "Which?" Magazine named Firefox its "Best Buy" web browser. [cite web | url = http://www.which.co.uk/reports_and_campaigns/computers_and_internet/reports/internet/using_the_internet/Web%20browsers/pp_excel_546_114959.jsp | title = Mozilla Firefox 2 (PC) | accessdate = 2007-07-09 |date=October 24, 2006 | publisher = "Which?"] Dead link|date=June 2008

Performance

In December 2005 "Internet Week" ran an article in which many readers reported high memory usage in Firefox 1.5. [cite web | url = http://www.informationweek.com/software/opensource/174909795 | title = Firefox 1.5: Not Ready For Prime Time? | accessdate = 2007-01-24 | last = Finnie | first = Scot |date=December 8, 2005 | publisher = InternetWeek] Mozilla developers said that the higher memory use of Firefox 1.5 was at least partially due to the new fast backwards-and-forwards (FastBack) feature. [cite web | url = http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/ben/archives/009749.html | title = About the Firefox "memory leak" | date = 2006-02-14 | accessdate = 2007-11-17 | author = Ben Goodger] Other known causes of memory problems were malfunctioning extensions such as Google Toolbar and some older versions of Adblock, [cite web | url = http://kb.mozillazine.org/index.php?title=Problematic_extensions&oldid=30448 | title = Problematic Extensions | accessdate = 2007-01-24 | author = MozillaZine Knowledge Base contributors |date=January 19, 2007 | publisher = MozillaZine Knowledge Base] or plug-ins, such as older versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader. [cite web | url = http://kb.mozillazine.org/index.php?title=Adobe_Reader&oldid=30451 | title = Adobe Reader | accessdate = 2007-01-24 | author = MozillaZine Knowledge Base contributors |date=January 17, 2007 | publisher = MozillaZine Knowledge Base] When "PC Magazine" compared memory usage of Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer, they found that Firefox used approximately as much memory as the other two browsers. [cite web | url = http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1992747,00.asp | title = Which New Browser Is Best: Firefox 2, Internet Explorer 7, or Opera 9? | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=2006-07-19 | last = Muchmore | first = Michael W. | publisher = "PC Magazine"]

Softpedia also noted that Firefox 1.5 took longer to start up than other browsers, [cite web | url = http://www.softpedia.com/reviews/windows/Mozilla-Firefox-Review-13677.shtml | title = Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Final Review | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=November 30, 2005 | last = Muradin | first = Alex | publisher = Softpedia | accessdate = 2006-09-22] which was confirmed by browser speed tests. IE 6 launches faster than Firefox 1.5 on Microsoft Windows since many of its components are built into Windows and are loaded during system startup. As a workaround for the issue, a preloader application was created that loads components of Firefox on startup, similar to Internet Explorer. [cite web | url = https://sourceforge.net/projects/ffpreloader/ |title= Firefox Preloader| accessdate = 2007-04-26 | publisher = "SourceForge"] A Windows Vista feature called SuperFetch performs a similar task of preloading Firefox if it is used often enough.

Tests performed by "PC World" and Zimbra indicate that Firefox 2 uses less memory than Internet Explorer 7. [cite web | url = http://www.zimbra.com/blog/archives/2006/10/ie_7_a_better_b.html | title = IE 7 vs IE 6 | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=October 19, 2006 | last = Dargahi | first = Ross | publisher = "Zimbra"] Firefox 3 uses less memory than Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, and Firefox 2 in tests performed by Mozilla, CyberNet, and The Browser World. [cite web | url = http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080317-firefox-3-goes-on-a-diet-eats-less-memory-than-ie-and-opera.html | title = Firefox 3 goes on a diet, eats less memory than IE and Opera | publisher = Ars Technica | author = Ryan Paul | date = 2008-03-17 | accessdate = 2008-06-01 ] [cite web | url = http://cybernetnews.com/2008/03/26/cybernotes-browser-performance-comparisons/ | title = Browser Performance Comparisons | publisher = CyberNet | date = 2008-03-26 | accessdate = 2008-06-01 ] [cite web | url = http://www.thebrowserworld.com/2008/03/29/firefox-30-beta-4-vs-opera-950-beta-vs-safari-31-beta-multiple-sites-opening-test/ | title = Firefox 3.0 Beta 4 Vs Opera 9.50 Beta Vs Safari 3.1 Beta: Multiple Sites Opening Test | publisher = The Browser World | date = 2008-03-29 | accessdate = 2008-06-01]

"The Associated Press" has noted that Firefox has significant problems with the Adobe Flash plugin using considerable CPU cycles, which can eventually hang the browser. This problem is more prominent in Firefox 3 than in Google Chrome. [cite web | first=Peter | last=Svensson | title= Review: Google's Chrome needs more polish | work=CNN | url=http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/ptech/09/03/review.chrome.ap/index.html | date=2008-09-03 | accessdate=2008-09-03]

Relationship with Google

The Mozilla Corporation's relationship with Google has been noted in the media, [cite web | url = http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3590756 | title = Mozilla's Millions? | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=March 10, 2006| last = Kerner | first = Sean Michael | publisher = InternetNews.com] [cite web | url = http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=181501852 | title = Mozilla Confirms Firefox Taking In Millions Of Google Dollars | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=March 7, 2006| last = Gonsalves | first = Antone | publisher = InformationWeek] especially with regard to their paid referral agreement. The release of the anti-phishing protection in Firefox 2 in particular raised considerable controversy: [cite web | url = http://www.platinax.co.uk/news/26-10-2006/firefox-2-releases-privacy-storm | title = Firefox 2 releases privacy storm | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=October 26, 2006 | last = Turner | first = Brian | publisher = Platinax] anti-phishing protection enabled by default is based on a list updated by twice-hourly downloads to the user's computer from Google's server.cite web | url = http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/legal/privacy/firefox-en.html | title = Firefox Privacy Policy | accessdate = 2007-01-24 | month = October | year = 2006 | publisher = mozilla.com] The user cannot change the data provider within the GUI, [cite web | url = https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=342188 | title = Bug 342188 - support changing the local list data provider | accessdate = 2007-01-24 | publisher = Bugzilla@Mozilla] and is not informed who the default data provider is. The browser also sends Google's cookie with each update request. [cite web | url = https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=368255 | title = Bug 368255 sending Google's cookie with each request for update in default antiphishing mode | accessdate = 2007-02-05 | publisher = Bugzilla@Mozilla] An additional, explicitly opt-in security feature has been added to recent builds by the Mozilla Foundation. This anti-phishing feature provides live protection by checking each visited URL with Google. [cite web | url = http://wiki.mozilla.org/index.php?title=Phishing_Protection:_Design_Documentation&oldid=46996#Overview | title = Overview of Firefox Phishing Protection | accessdate = 2007-02-05 |date=January 12, 2007 | author = Mozilla Wiki contributors | publisher = mozilla wiki] Some Internet privacy advocacy groups have expressed concerns surrounding Google's possible uses of this data, though Firefox's privacy policy states that Google may not use personal information for any purposes other than the anti-phishing protection feature.

In 2005, the Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation had a combined revenue of US$52.9 million, with approximately 95 percent derived from search engine royalties.cite web | url = http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/documents/mf-2006-audited-financial-statement.pdf | title = Mozilla Foundation and subsidiary - Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements | format = PDF | accessdate = 2007-11-06 | author = Hood & Strong, LLP. |date=December 31, 2006 | publisher = Mozilla Foundation Page 11.] [cite web | url = http://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2007/01/02/the-mozilla-foundation-achieving-sustainability/ | title = The Mozilla Foundation: Achieving Sustainability | accessdate = 2008-06-23 |date=January 2, 2007 | last = Baker | first = Mitchell | authorlink = Mitchell Baker | publisher = Mitchell's Blog] In 2006, the Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation had a combined revenue of US$66.9 million, with approximately 90 percent derived from search engine royalties. [cite web | url = http://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2007/10/22/beyond-sustainability/ | title = Beyond Sustainability | accessdate = 2008-06-23 |date=October 22, 2007 | last = Baker | first = Mitchell | authorlink = Mitchell Baker | publisher = Mitchell's Blog]

Response from Microsoft

Microsoft's head of Australian operations, Steve Vamos, stated in late 2004 that he did not see Firefox as a threat and that there was not significant demand for the feature set of Firefox among Microsoft's users. [cite web | url = http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/0,39023165,39166227,00.htm | title = Microsoft: Firefox does not threaten IE's market share | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=2004-11-11 | last = Kotadia | first = Munir | publisher = ZDNet] Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has used Firefox, but he has commented "so much software gets downloaded all the time, but do people actually use it?" [cite web | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4508897.stm | title = The assault on software giant Microsoft | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=May 9, 2005 | last = Weber | first = Tim | publisher = BBC News]

A Microsoft SEC filing on June 30, 2005 acknowledged that "competitors such as Mozilla offer software that competes with the Internet Explorer Web browsing capabilities of our Windows operating system products." [cite web | url = http://www.linux.org/news/2005/09/01/0001.html | title = SEC Filing Shows Microsoft Fears Firefox, Lawsuits Over Bugs | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=September 1, 2005 | last = Keizer | first = Gregg | publisher = Linux Online] The release of Internet Explorer 7 was fast tracked, and included functionality that was previously available in Firefox and other browsers, such as tabbed browsing and RSS feeds. [cite web | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4516269.stm | title = How Microsoft plans to beat its rivals | accessdate = 2008-04-09 |date=May 10, 2005 | last = Weber | first = Tim | publisher = BBC News]

Despite the cold reception from Microsoft's top management, the Internet Explorer development team maintains a relationship with Mozilla. They meet regularly to discuss web standards such as extended validation certificates. [cite web | url = http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/11/21/495507.aspx | title = Better Website Identification and Extended Validation Certificates in IE7 and Other Browsers | accessdate = 2007-04-03 |date=November 21, 2005 | publisher = IE Blog] In 2005 Mozilla agreed to allow Microsoft to use its Web feed logo in the interest of common graphical representation of the Web feeds feature. [cite web | url = http://blogs.msdn.com/rssteam/archive/2005/12/14/503778.aspx | title = Icons: It's still orange | accessdate = 2007-04-03 |date=December 14, 2005 | publisher = RSS]

In August 2006, Microsoft offered to help Mozilla integrate Firefox with the then-forthcoming Windows Vista, [cite web | url = http://news.com.com/Microsoft+reaches+out+to+Firefox+developers/2100-7344_3-6108221.html?tag=nl | title = Microsoft reaches out to Firefox developers | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=2006-08-22 | last = Barker | first = Colin | publisher = CNET News] which Mozilla accepted. [cite web | url = http://news.com.com/Microsoft+offers+helping+hand+to+Firefox/2100-1032_3-6109455.html | title = Microsoft offers helping hand to Firefox | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=2006-08-24 | last = Barker | first = Colin | publisher = CNET News]

In October 2006, as congratulations for a successful ship of Firefox 2, the Internet Explorer 7 development team sent a cake to Mozilla. [cite web | url = http://fredericiana.com/2006/10/24/from-redmond-with-love/ | title = From Redmond With Love | accessdate = 2007-01-24 |date=2006-10-24 | last = Wenzel | first = Frédéric | publisher = fredericiana (weblog of a Mozilla Corporation intern)] [cite web |url=http://interviews.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/11/09/1445241 |title=Mozilla People Answer Firefox 2.0 Questions |accessdate = 2007-07-14 |format= |work=] As a nod to the browser wars, some readers joked about the cake being poisoned, while others jokingly suggested that Mozilla send a cake back along with the recipe, in reference to the open-source software movement. [ [http://www.tonychor.com/archive/2006_10.html Tonynet Explorer: October 2006 Archives ] ] The IE development team sent another cake on June 17, 2008, upon the successful release of Firefox 3. [cite web | url = http://fredericiana.com/2008/06/17/from-redmond-with-love-part-2/ | title = From Redmond With Love, Part 2 | accessdate = 2008-06-18 |date=2008-06-17 | last = Wenzel | first = Frédéric | publisher = fredericiana (weblog of a Mozilla Corporation intern)]

In November 2007, Microsoft employee Jeff Jones criticized Firefox, claiming that Internet Explorer experienced fewer vulnerabilities and fewer higher severity vulnerabilities than Firefox in typical enterprise scenarios. [cite web | url=http://blogs.csoonline.com/internet_explorer_and_firefox_vulnerability_analysis_report | title=Internet Explorer and Firefox Vulnerability Analysis Report | date=2007-11-30] Mozilla developer Mike Shaver discounted the study, citing Microsoft's bundling of security fixes and the study's focus on fixes, rather than vulnerabilities, as crucial flaws. [cite web | url=http://shaver.off.net/diary/2007/11/30/counting-still-easy-critical-thinking-still-surprisingly-hard/ | title=counting still easy, critical thinking still surprisingly hard | date=30 November 2007]

Vulnerability statistics

As of December 2007, the security firm Secunia reports 4 of 18 security flaws not yet fixed for [http://secunia.com/product/12434/ Mozilla Firefox] , as opposed to 7 of 20 security flaws not yet fixed for Microsoft [http://secunia.com/product/12366/ Internet Explorer] . In addition, according to Secunia, Firefox's vulnerabilities tend to be less critical than Internet Explorer's. While Internet Explorer users who have installed Windows XP Service Pack 2 are only affected by those 3 vulnerabilities, users of older versions of Windows are potentially affected by the 21 vulnerabilities in [http://secunia.com/product/11/ Internet Explorer 6] as Service Pack 2 is only available for Windows XP.

On the whole, Firefox security vulnerabilities have been patched relatively quickly. Symantec's [http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20060925_02 Internet Security Threat Report Vol. 10] , based on data from the first half of 2006, reported that while Firefox had more vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer during that time period (47 vs. 38), Firefox's vulnerabilities were fixed on average one day after the exploit code was made available, as compared to nine days for Internet Explorer.

Some have speculated that as Firefox becomes more popular, more vulnerabilities will be found, [cite web | url = http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/05/12/HNmozilla_1.html | title = Security firms fight Firefox fire with fire | work = InfoWorld | author = Bob Francis] a claim that Mitchell Baker, president of the Mozilla Foundation, has denied.cite web | url = http://software.silicon.com/applications/0,39024653,39128935,00.htm | title = Popularity won't make Firefox insecure, says Mozilla head | work = silicon.com | author = Michael Kanellos | accessdate = 2006-10-13]

Expert and media coverage

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) stated that Internet Explorer's design makes it very difficult to secure. In contrast, almost none of their concerns apply to Firefox. [cite web | url = http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/713878 | title = Vulnerability Note VU#713878 | work = US-CERT | accessdate = 2006-10-13]

Some security experts, including Bruce Schneier [cite web | url = http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2004/12/safe_personal_c.html | title = Safe Personal Computing | author = Bruce Schneider | accessdate = 2006-10-13] and David A. Wheeler, [cite web | url = http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/securing-windows.html#dontuseie | title = Securing Microsoft Windows (for Home and Small Business Users) | author = David A. Wheeler | accessdate = 2006-10-13] recommended that users should stop using Internet Explorer for normal browsing, and switch to a different browser instead; Wheeler specifically recommended Firefox.

Several technology columnists have suggested the same, including "Wall Street Journal" columnist Walter S. Mossberg, [cite web | url = http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20040916.html | title = How to Protect Yourself From Vandals, Viruses If You Use Windows | author = Walter S. Mossberg | work = Wall Street Journal | accessdate = 2006-10-13] "Washington Post" columnist Rob Pegoraro, [cite web | url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47146-2004Nov13.html | title = Firefox Leaves No Reason to Endure Internet Explorer | author = Rob Pegoraro | work = Washington Post | accessdate = 2006-10-13] "USA Today"’s Byron Acohido and Jon Swartz, [cite web | url = http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/computersecurity/2004-09-08-zombieinfect_x.htm | title = Signs your PC's under siege, and what you can do | work = USA Today | author = Byron Acohido and Jon Swartz | accessdate = 2006-10-13] "Forbes"'s Arik Hesseldahl, [cite web | url = http://www.forbes.com/2004/09/29/cx_ah_0929tentech.html?partner=tentech_newsletter | title = Better Browser Now The Best | author = Arik Hesseldahl | work = Forbes | accessdate = 2006-10-26] eWEEK.com Senior Editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, [cite web | url = http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1617931,00.asp | title = Internet Explorer Is Too Dangerous to Keep Using | author = Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | work = eWEEK.com | accessdate = 2006-10-13] and Desktop Pipeline’s Scot Finnie. [cite web | url = http://www.desktoppipeline.com/53700233 | title = Firefox 1.0: The New World Wide Web Champ? | author = Scot Finnie | work = InformationWeek | accessdate = 2006-10-13]

Awards

Mozilla Firefox has been given a number of awards by various organizations. These awards include:
*CNET Editors' Choice, June 2008 [cite web|url=http://reviews.cnet.com/browsers/firefox-3/4505-3514_7-33087853.html|title=Firefox 3 Browser reviews - CNET Reviews|accessdate = 2008-07-18]
* Webware 100 winner, April 2008 [cite web|url=http://www.webware.com/8301-13546_109-9913314-29.html|title=Webware 100 Award Winner Firefox|accessdate = 2008-04-25]
* Webware 100 winner, June 2007 [cite web|url=http://www.webware.com/8301-13546_109-9729691-29.html|title=Webware 100 Award Winner Firefox|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* PC World 100 Best Products of 2007, May 2007 [cite web|url=http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,131935-page,5-c,systems/article.html|title=The 100 Best Products of 2007|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* PC Magazine Editors' Choice, October 2006 [cite web|url=http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2047445,00.asp|title=Firefox 2.0 Review|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* CNET Editors' Choice, October 2006 [cite web|url=http://reviews.cnet.com/browsers/firefox-2/4505-3514_7-32126746.html|title=Firefox 2 CNET Editor's Review|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* PC World's 100 Best Products of 2006, July 2006 [cite web|url=http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,125706-page,13/article.html|title=The 100 Best Products of 2006|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* PC Magazine Technical Excellence Award, Software and Development Tools category, January 2006 [cite web|url=http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1903598,00.asp|title=Mozilla Firefox & Altiris SVS|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* PC Magazine Best of the Year Award, December 27, 2005 [cite web|url=http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2704,1898240,00.asp|title=Best of the Year, Software: Home, Firefox|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* PC Pro Real World Award (Mozilla Foundation), December 8, 2005 [cite web|url=http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/81155/pc-pro-awards-2005-the-winners.html|title=PC Pro Awards 2005 - the winners|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* CNET Editors' Choice, November 2005 [cite web|url=http://reviews.cnet.com/browsers/firefox-1-5/4505-3514_7-31516411.html?tag=prod|title=Firefox 1.5, CNET editors' review|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* UK Usability Professionals' Association Award Best Software Application 2005, November 2005 [cite web|url=http://www.usabilitynews.com/news/article2786.asp|title=First UK UPA Awards commend Firefox, Flickr, Google, Apple, John Lewis and BA|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* Macworld Editor's Choice with a 4.5 Mice Rating, November 2005 [cite web|url=http://www.macworld.com/2005/09/reviews/browserrdp/index.php|title=Web browser roundup|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* Softpedia User’s Choice Award, September 2005 [cite web|url=http://news.softpedia.com/news/Firefox-Receives-the-Softpedia-User-s-Choice-Award-8221.shtml|title=Firefox Receives Softpedia User’s Choice Award|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* TUX 2005 Readers' Choice Award, September 2005 [cite web|url=http://www.tuxmagazine.com/node/1000151|title=UX 2005 Readers' Choice Award Winners Announced|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* PC World Product of the Year, June 2005 [cite web|url=http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,120763-page,1/article.html?findid=48080|title=The 100 Best Products of 2005|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* Forbes Best of the Web, May 2005 [cite web|url=http://www.forbes.com/bow/b2c/review.jhtml?id=7702|title=Best of the Web, BOW Directory, Look It Up, Web Browsers, Firefox|accessdate = 2007-10-22]
* PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award, May 2005 [cite web|url=http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1815859,00.asp|title=Firefox 1.0.3|accessdate = 2007-10-22]

See also

* History of Mozilla Firefox
* Browser timeline
* Browser wars
* Comparison of web browsers
* List of Firefox extensions
* List of web browsers
* The Book of Mozilla
* Mozilla Prism
* Universal edit button

References

Further reading

*
*
*
*
*
*
*

External links

* [http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/ Mozilla Firefox homepage] for end-users
*
*
* [http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2317294,00.asp Review of Firefox (PC Magazine)]


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