Five years of Firefox
There was a period when time spent working online was measured in a similar manner to the way people think of ‘dog years’ (dogs being perceived to age 7 times quicker than humans). A year of digital experience was akin to 7 years working offline. It was an exageration of course, with a kernal of truth. But the pace of digital development has slowed a little (the internet hit 40 years old last week – could this herald middle age spread? Or a looming mid life crisis?).
In 1994 Netscape made the internet truly accesible for consumers for the first time, slow though it was, through a 14.4k or 28.8k modem and a Netscape browser. After their decline and fall, to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (which, to be frank, was great in its first few years). The Byzantine code that made up Netscape Communicator remained behind; from the once great Netscape Navigator, that plummeted from controlling over 90% of the browser market, to under a 1% share in the late 1990’s. But after the AOL purchase debacle, the code gained an interesting new life. Under the stewardship of Mozilla (entering into Open Source first in 1998), in 2004 Firefox was born.
So this month marks the 5th birthday of Firefox (or 15th year and a bit for its Netscape parent). And Firefox has finally become a relevant and compelling web browser again. There’s no lag (not in the IE8 sense) and with Xmarks it is easy to flip your favorites list from one PC/Mac to another. So you never need to set up another computer from scratch
So here’s wishing Firefox a happy 5th (15th?) birthday.
There is an understated, but interesting, celebration for Firefox: HERE
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Tags: AOL, Firefox, IE8, Internet Explorer, Mozilla