Little Browser Grows Up: Firefox at Five

Nov 09, 2009

November 9, 2004 was when Firefox was officially born. A look back on its fifth birthday.

Five years ago, Mozilla placed a full-page ad in the New York Times, which required more than $250,000 in donations, the donor names comprising the tiny print behind the Firefox logo. The ad ended up becoming burned indelibly into the minds of many users and showed what the community and the open source concept was capable of.

Firefox had emerged from the Mozilla project that combined a whole bundle of programs (browser, email program, editor and news reader) into one Mozilla Suite. As a separate program, the browser was to be significantly faster to start up and more efficient in delivering webpages.

Meanwhile Firefox has become a well established browser and is no longer the only competitor to Microsoft's Internet Explorer market leader. Firefox wanted to win back some of the market share that Microsoft gained by coupling its operating system with that of Netscape. Firefox 1.0 was also positioning itself against Apple's Safari browser.

According to Marketshare.hitslink.com, worldwide Firefox market share is currently at 24%, as compared to Internet Explorer's 65%, but growing. Chrome, Safari and Opera are each under 5% market share. Best wishes, Firefox, may you never become fat and lazy with age!

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