Mozilla Firefox is an open-source web browser that is available for free. The browser, which was first released in 2004, is the third most used web browser in the world, with approximately 450 million users. The Mozilla Firefox web browser allows users across different platforms to gain access to the Internet without having to download Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) or other web browsers.
Since its inception, the Mozilla Firefox browser has been a successful alternative for many looking to access the Internet. We will take a quick look at how Firefox came into existence, survey the features of Firefox, and look at how the browser compares to other web browsers. Most comparative reviews find that users of Firefox’s versions 19 and higher, Chrome 25, and IE 9 and 10 have similar levels of satisfaction with their browsers with little discernible differences.
The Creation of Firefox
Firefox is the evolutionary creation of the Mozilla project, which began in 2004. The roots of the browser, however, go back 10 years to 1994 when the former Internet company Netscape launched its browser. In 1998 Netscape, which was in the midst of a buyout by America Online (AOL), released its “Communicator” code to the open-source community. It was there that developers, through the Mozilla project, came up with the coding and format that would become Firefox in 2004.
The name Mozilla came about as a compromise after a lawsuit brought against Netscape in 1994 disputed the use of the name “Mosaic.” The name Mosaic was dropped, but the dragon logo of the company (which looked like the monster Godzilla) was merged with mosaic to create “Mozilla.” As for Firefox, the project evolved from being called the Phoenix project in 2002 to Manticore in 2003 as a placeholder for Firebird to its eventual trademarked and current name Firefox.
Firefox is the third most popular web browser after Microsoft IE and Google Chrome. The browser finds the most success among users in several overseas markets. The latest version of the browser features the integration of popular social networking websites (i.e. Facebook) and a share button that allows users to interact with their networks and share news, commentary, and other information more easily. The company has also developed mobile browsers with capabilities for both Android compatible devices and the Windows 8 tablet.
How Firefox Compares to Microsoft IE and Google Chrome
Looking at the big three web browsers, one of the advantages that Firefox has is its ability to operate in all Microsoft Windows environments, dating back to Windows XP. Users who wish to download the new IE version 10 have to operate with Windows 7 or higher. Firefox has a cold startup of 3.3 (for version 19, which is not the most recent edition), which is 0.2 seconds slower than Chrome 25 and 0.8 seconds slower than IE 10. In terms of speed, the browser consistently places around third behind IE and Chrome.
The Firefox web browser has come a long way from a spin-off of Netscape to its present form. Considering that the browser is an open source program and is not under the protection of a corporation—as are IE (Microsoft) and Chrome (Google)—it stacks well against the competition.
Roland Benson is a freelance writer based in Sacramento, CA. Roland focuses on the internet, web development, gadgets, futuristic technology, accessories such as the kensington ipad keyboard case, computer software and other related areas.
Image credit goes to nitot.