On November 9, 2004, Firefox 1.0 was released starting Browser Wars II, not just a fancy name, but the sign of active web development users haven’t seen since the web fell in a hole and stayed there for about six years.
Innovation, security, extensibility, web standards, and performance, have been its drivers since day one. It has paid off: 20% global market share, 700 million downloads, a Guinness record, 200+ million users, thousands of extensions, hundreds of themes, 50+ languages.
But most importantly, the web landscape is no longer a matter of one vendor, but a variety of options where the organic web can grow, change, diversify, and, most importantly, serve; adapting to people’s needs, technology, and history.
Here’s an screenshot of how Firefox 1.0 looked the day it was launched. Of course, Vista didn’t exist those days.
Firefox 1.0 also scored 36 on the Acid3 web standards test. Compare it to 92 with Firefox 3.1 nightlies and 75 in Firefox 3.0.3. Still not that bad I believe for a 4 year old browser.
Happy birthday to Firefox, the cool product that enables an open web. But most importantly, to the cool project led, executed, and supported by hundreds of people who write the code, localize it, extend it, test it, build it, distribute it, support it, use it, talk about it.
Firefox proves once again that people is the key to success.