Written on May 24th, 2009
If you didn’t know already, as of last month, Firefox 3 has become the most popular browser in Europe! I am personally overjoyed by this occurrence and wish the Mozilla Foundation the best and much continued success.
This is a huge triumph for not only website developers, but also open source software as a whole. Before the Mozilla Foundation came onto the scene and released Firefox, the world of web browsers was in a depressing state. I wouldn’t doubt the majority of people reading this blog remember the post-Netscape, pre-Firefox days. I was graduating from highschool at the time and remember this era clearly.
Microsoft enjoyed a functional monopoly on the web browser market with their own Internet Explorer 6. As a result of Microsoft’s monopoly, web standards were for the most part thrown out the window, introduction of closed-proprietary features and formats were common, computer infection rates were very high and spyware ran rampant. At this time I frequented computer gaming events (LAN Parties!) with a number of my buddies. I remember us sharing our experiences about how ourselves, our friends and family members were constantly infected with malicious software contracted through Microsoft’s web browser. It was common to do a complete re-install of ones operating system every few months in order to keep things running at an acceptable level.
Then out of nowhere, Firefox was released into the market. I admit, even I was a little skeptical to try it at first, yet I do remember that first day.. My good friend Andrew Almond insisted I try out this fantastic and fresh new browser, insisting a huge improvement over Microsoft’s offering; after which I did.
Installing Firefox was a breath of fresh air as my own computer infection problems nearly disappeared overnight! After about a month, the adoption of this new web browser exploded, and the thought of using Internet Explorer over Firefox became nearly laughable to us. The good word spread like wildfire.
Fast forward to now, Firefox is in its third iteration and better than ever. Microsoft has since had to clean up their act as a result, and there are now a number of very good web browsers on the market to choose from including Opera, Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome. Competition is great, and the Internet is generally a much safer place than it used to be.
Firefox is still my favored web browser, and of course, it holds a special place in my heart as it once symbolized a bright light in a dark era on the web, and continues to symbolize itself as a model open source project. Thank you, Firefox!
Firefox eating IE icon by Archangel-Daemon!Posted in Firefox, Open Source
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