Ready, Fire, Aim! - Mihail's Public Blog: Firefox takes on Microsoft

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Firefox takes on Microsoft

According to this New York Times story (registration required):

Published by the Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit group supporting open-source software that draws upon the skills of hundreds of volunteer programmers, Firefox is a Web browser that is fast and filled with features that Microsoft's stodgy Internet Explorer lacks. Firefox installs in a snap, and it's free.

Firefox 1.0 was released on Nov. 9. Just over a month later, the foundation celebrated a remarkable milestone: 10 million downloads. Donations from Firefox's appreciative fans paid for a two-page advertisement in The New York Times on Thursday.

...Microsoft has always viewed Internet Explorer's tight integration with Windows to be an attractive feature. That, however, was before security became the unmet need of the day. Firefox sits lightly on top of Windows, in a separation from the underlying operating system that the Mozilla Foundation's president, Mitchell Baker, calls a "natural defense."

For the first time, Internet Explorer has been losing market share. According to a worldwide survey conducted in late November by OneStat.com, a company in Amsterdam that analyzes the Web, Internet Explorer's share dropped to less than 89 percent, 5 percentage points less than in May. Firefox now has almost 5 percent of the market, and it is growing.

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