November 9 is a special date in history of the world. Exactly Twenty years ago, world was changed with fall of the Berlin Wall, when the government of East Germany allowed its citizens to go and visit West Berlin – with people taking this literally and demolishing the wall.
If we go back just five years ago, the situation was rather grim as far as exploring the Internet goes – Internet Explorer ruled the world, Microsoft was pushing in changes that were breaking the W3C compliancy – it just didn’t look good. Competition was on its knees, with Netscape Navigator / Communicator bleeding the remainder of their market share, Opera wasn’t looking to endanger Microsoft’s dominance? not to mention that the Internet and user demands looked quite differently.
In February 2004, project Phoenix became Firefox and started to launch public beta versions of this "bird rises from the ashes" browser and on this very date, November 9, 2004 – Firefox 1.0 was released to general audience. The foundation for Firefox was laid 11 years ago, when Netscape Communications Corp. founded Mozilla Organization as their sandbox for ideas that would later migrate into the fully blown Navigator browser. In 2003, Mozilla Organization winded down and emerged as Mozilla Foundation. This gave a green light to project Phoenix – instead of staying in the sandbox, Phoenix would resurrect all the best Netscape Navigator had to offer and more. The project started to move towards the public as Mozilla Foundation openly asked developers to create the browser they would want to use.
With the help of community such as Spread Firefox, this was the first open source software to really captivate the mainstream audience [we can debate about Linux all day long, but when did grandma and grandpa cared about Linux? Yet, they did install Firefox].
Today, Firefox is used by no less than 330 million people, and captures around 26.8% of worldwide browser share, more than Internet Explorer 5, 5.5 and 6 combined. Given that Internet Explorer 7 captured 18.21% and IE8 takes 20.48% – it’s obvious how one enthusiast move combined with quality and ease-of-use software created a movement that wanted to change the application needed to see the Internet.
Given that Firefox supports W3C standards without trying to shove proprietary extensions in, the success of Firefox was also welcomed by web development community.
Firefox today dominates the tech and enthusiast sector – for instance, out of 987,764 visitors that came to our site since the launch, 519,813 users used Firefox browser [52.63%], followed by Internet Explorer [26.98%] and Chrome [8.19%]. But what makes that number important is the fact that 47.94% of all Windows users on our site used Firefox as their browser of choice, more than Windows + Internet Explorer [26.96%, 0.02% use Xbox 360 console]. Regardless of your browser of choice, we congratulate Firefox community and the teams over at Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation. Today, you have a choice.