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PARALLEL UNIVERSE: Mozilla’s Firefox Sets Download Record, Confirming My Computer Guru’s Smarts

Posted by kinchendavid on August 4, 2006

By David M. Kinchen

Hinton, WV   – You can’t keep a good browser down. When my desktop computer crashed and burned about a year and a half ago, my computer consultant Johnny P said to ditch Internet Explorer and install Mozilla’s Firefox browser on the replacement CPU that he sold me. I told him to go ahead and I’ve never looked back. When I bought a new laptop, I installed Firefox on it.

According to http://www.Spreadfirefox.com, the open-source internet browser has been downloaded more the 200 million times since it was released 21 months ago, setting a new record. In my opinion, it’s so much better than Internet Explorer that there’s no comparison.

In a statement posted on http://www.Spreadfirefox.com, Mozilla developer and community coordinator Asa Dotzler thanked the “tens of thousands” of affiliate members who use “buttons, banners, and links to spread the word about Firefox.”

You don’t really appreciate Firefox until you can’t access it, at a public computer, for instance. I was in Chicago last month and used the computer room in my sister’s apartment building. All of the PCs had Internet Explorer; none had Firefox.

A few days ago, RealNetworks, Google and Mozilla announced that they entered in a new multi-year agreement under which Real would offer the popular Google Toolbar and the Mozilla Firefox Web browser with RealPlayer. “Mozilla is very pleased to partner with global leaders like Google and Real to distribute our award-winning Firefox Web browser,” said Mitchell Baker, CEO of Mozilla Corporation. “Thanks to our global community of open source contributors Firefox is making the Web browsing experience better for everyone.”

The average worldwide market share for Firefox and/or Mozilla browsers is estimated at 13 percent by analysts and even at 16 percent in the US. The company also claims usage share of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer series, including the IE7 betas, dropped by 2.12% in the last two months. When I cranked up my computer to write this piece, it was in the process of downloading Firefox updates. Last month, Mozilla launched the long expected Beta 2.0 version of Firefox. Two important new capabilities of Firefox 2.0 Beta are unanimously acclaimed by geeks everywhere: an integrated spell checker, and an anti-phishing tool.

According to news accounts, the spell-checker should help bloggers and forum members happy, since grammar and writing mistakes are going to be eliminated. Send up a mighty cheer! Because these people are seriously grammar and spelling challenged!

The interface is pretty much same like the one we see in Firefox 1.5. Firefox 2.0 does include a horizontal scrolling capability for tabs, and an ability to close a tab directly from within the tab itself. The Options dialog has been reworked to include a horizontal, tabbed based interface, and numerous changes have been made under the hood.

This is great geek talk; the point I like about Firefox is it keeps most viruses away, preserving my computer to work another day. The one thing I don’t like about Firefox is that it disables the special font tools on Hotmail, enabling people to have boldface or italic or different colored typefaces. For this, I have to switch to I.E.

Web site: http://www.mozilla.org

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