The ignition of project Mozilla dates back to mid 1990’s. It all started when Netscape lost the battle with Microsoft over bundling of Internet Explorer browser into Windows. This event marked the end of dominance of Netscape Navigator and it soon started to lose its market share to IE. Netscape released its version 4 in the year 1997 but it was nothing as compared to IE4. It was high time for Netscape to bring something special which could outperform the Microsoft Internet Explorer if they even wish to turn tables around. So, Netscape announced the Mozilla Project in 1998 in which Netscape’s source code was thrown open for developer use. And within six years, a web browser was developed which was not only fast, lightweight but also performed every function better than IE. Yes, this browser is none other than Firefox, previously known as Firebird.
Mozilla Firefox, presently the safest browser available, is backed up by huge community of active volunteer coders who have been with them since the time of Netscape halcyon days. The absence of Active X components, which are widely used to install spy wares as in the case of IE users, makes Firefox a safe browsing experience. Also, what clearly demarcates the IE and Firefox is the frequency of updates that the later receives. If vulnerability is found it is corrected and updated within few days or even within few hours whereas IE receives no updates for years!
It’s interesting to note that disk space requirements of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer will require a hefty 80 megabytes, while Mozilla Firefox only takes only 4.9 megabytes in disk space to operate- quite a healthy difference!
The Acid 2 test is a highly praised test that measures how well an Internet browser can display a webpage. Oddly enough, both Firefox and Internet Explorer fail this test respectively. But it should be noted that Firefox obtains a much higher score than Internet Explorer, who has an embarrassing low grade in browser rendering.
Any Firefox user is proud to brag to Internet Explorer users that they have access to colorful themes, helpful plug-ins, and powerful add-ons that help extend the functionality of the Firefox browser. Internet Explorer lags behind in this respect, as they are much more close ended in the ability to let browser users express themselves and their needs. Thus, Firefox is far more functional as a browser.
Another distinguishing feature of Firefox is the tabbed browsing. With Firefox 2 you can open any number of tabs, rearrange the order of tabs and save all the tabs as bookmarks for latter viewing. Firefox tabbed windows are much superior to IE 7 in terms of memory usage. However one feature which is still missing is the thumbnail preview of each tab as available in Opera browser.
A browser crash is something that is hated by many. After all, it’s extremely counter-productive to be browsing the Internet and have a browser completely stop responding. Even Firefox admits that browser crashes happen, but they implemented a session restore feature that gives URL data and other information to users, should they want to restore the URLs they were previously viewing. This is something Internet Explorer lacks, and is much less appealing as a result.
The future development of Firefox versions has already been started and version 3 which is likely to pass Acid 2 test is expected to release in June 2008. With this release Firefox is set to show doors to IE legacy.
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