7 Years of Firefox

November 9th, 2011

We build Firefox to build freedom and excellence into the web.  We build Firefox to make sure that each person can be sovereign over the technology he or she uses to interact with the web.   We build Firefox to combine user sovereignty and freedom with a great product experience that enriches web life.

We launched Firefox 7 years ago to make these goals real.  We started with the browser because it was the single greatest point of leverage.  At that time the existing browser provided neither user sovereignty nor high quality product.  We do both.  Mozilla is astonishingly successful at the browser layer.  We proved that the conventional wisdom of the time was wrong.  Browsers do matter.  People will notice.  The dominant commercial player need not be in control forever.  Something better is possible.

Firefox remains different from other browsers.  Everything about Firefox is designed to make sure that Firefox never has more control over your life than you do.  We design Firefox to provide a great experience, and many of the features look similar to that of other browsers.  Look deep into the product though, and you’ll find the utter commitment to the individual being more important than us, more important than our control or our convenience.   You’ll find an utter commitment to the good of the web as a whole.  We’re organized as a non-profit precisely to  allow us to focus on these commitments.

There is more to do.   There are new Internet experiences such as mobile, identity, sharing and data control.  Each of these areas needs a product that combines user sovereignty and a great product experience.  Each needs a product build to ensure that the product never has more control over your life than you do.

This is a big challenge.  It’s our future.  It’s as important as ever.

28 comments for “7 Years of Firefox”

  1. 1

    Pingback from Selamat Ultah ke-7, Firefox! »

    […] wilayah Indonesia, sebenarnya perayaannya kemarin sih, tanggal 9 November 2011. Untuk merayakan ultah Firefox kali ini, seperti yang sudah pernah dilakukan sebelumnya, Mozilla mengadopsi lagi beberapa firefox […]

  2. 2

    WAHa said on November 9th, 2011 at 10:36 am:

    Have you tried out the new Chrome browser from Google? It’s really fast and has all these cool addons.

  3. 3

    Neil said on November 9th, 2011 at 2:10 pm:

    Firefox is just too slow.

  4. 4

    Mouring said on November 9th, 2011 at 4:10 pm:

    “Everything about Firefox is designed to make sure that Firefox never has more control over your life than you do.”

    Except the need to upgrade to every major version because you no longer understand how to do bug security issues to the last version. Thus forcing people to upgrade to new features at breakneck speeds causing broken internal and external complex web apps that expected a behavior of the older version that now fail because the behavior has changed.

    Sorry, but Firefox has gone down him with this need to do fast major updates.

  5. 5

    Oscar said on November 9th, 2011 at 4:42 pm:

    I almost solely use Firefox, have tried Chromium/Chrome mainly to see what all the fuzz was about, what was all the fuzz about? Firefox is just as fast. I won’t use anything else until there is some major benefit with another browser.

  6. 6

    Robert said on November 9th, 2011 at 6:04 pm:

    Firefox is in BIG trouble. Add-on developers are discontinuing updates to their add-ons because they can’t keep up with the amount of changes changes needed to support the Firefox rapid release cycle. You don’t see that problem with Chrome. Their extensions continue to work, version to version. I’m not a big fan of Chrome either, so I guess I will have to turn to Seamonkey and their slower development cycle.

  7. 7

    abhijeet said on November 10th, 2011 at 12:58 am:

    Long live Firefox. I am in love with this browser since I started using the web.

  8. 8

    Gautam Malik said on November 10th, 2011 at 1:58 am:

    Although I would love to see updates coming in frequently, the major version number should remain the same and only minor version should be updated.

    Firefox should go for half-yearly release cycle instead of quarterly, just like Ubuntu/Fedora does.
    This way, plugins will continue to work for at least one year and plugins developers can get more time to migrate their plugins to the next version. In addition, the alpha/beta phase period should be at least for 6 months. Doing this will allow plugin developers ample time to migrate and test their plugins.

    Firefox is great browser, the best in fact. I’ve used Chrome, Safari, IE, Opera, and other browsers, but no other browser makes me feel-at-home as Firefox does.

    It’s mother of all browsers. It showed the way to other Browser developers that browsers can make a difference. I think everyone will agree with me on this.

    I wish Firefox best of luck and hope the Mozilla team hears me 🙂


  9. 9

    cc_INC said on November 10th, 2011 at 4:17 am:

    ….untill something comes along that delivers me a better browsing experience.

  10. 10

    Wim said on November 10th, 2011 at 6:10 am:

    I am a great fan of FireFox. I have been loving and using it for the last 6 years. In that period I have seen it improving with each new release: more stable, faster, less memory hungry, pleasant GUI, …. I have tried other browsers, but I always came back to FF.

    But …
    But I am not blind to it’s defects. At work I am still using FF 3.6. I cannot upgrade because a B2B application that I need is not compatible with FF 4.0 or higher. They refuse to upgrade due to the continuous stream of newer versions that introduce backward incompatibilities with the ad-on interface.

    Mozilla, if you can break with Firefox’ recent habit of breaking its ad-on interface with each new release, I think you will have eliminated FF’s biggest current problem.

    Nonetheless, great work !

  11. 11

    Pingback from Links 11/11/2011: Fedora 16 Reviews, Desura Linux Client | Techrights

    […] 7 Years of Firefox We build Firefox to build freedom and excellence into the web. We build Firefox to make sure that each person can be sovereign over the technology he or she uses to interact with the web. We build Firefox to combine user sovereignty and freedom with a great product experience that enriches web life. […]

  12. 12

    Leon Opit said on November 11th, 2011 at 3:27 am:

    Well done and thank you Firefox! Amongst the comments I have read there is the usual mix of whining from those who take but rarely give and those who are grateful but offer considered, constructive criticism. For me, I am just delighted to have this choice, control and ownership of a truly excellent set of software. My thanks to you all.

  13. 13

    cam said on November 11th, 2011 at 3:30 am:

    Firefox is still the outstanding browser. Google “friendly” PC mags keep pushing Chrome but Firefox is both truly open source and the best

  14. 14

    Mauricio Nascimento said on November 11th, 2011 at 5:24 am:

    Firefox is just perfect and fits well for each one.
    Thanks ffor bringing freedom to us, firefox team. 😉

  15. 15

    Aaron Stromas said on November 11th, 2011 at 7:22 am:

    Not saying anything that has not been said yet, sorry. IMHO, Firefox is superior to every other browser. Chrome/Chromium challenged but still does not cut it for me. The frequent major version FF releases is definitely a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The FF team has done marvelous work, though. Many thanks.

  16. 16

    herbert said on November 11th, 2011 at 9:22 am:

    One day FF will create a world record – “Highest version number in the universe!”
    Look forward to Firefox 3542, if I’m still a user of Firefox then.

  17. 17

    suem18 said on November 11th, 2011 at 9:25 am:

    I have used Firefox since it first came out and I will continue to do so. I am very pleased that you have put effort into speeding it up. I have two items on my wish list for you:
    1) fix the add-on interface so add-ons don’t break with every release – this is a major hassle and I have resorted to turning the compatibility check off for each new release so I can continue to use packages I still want to use that are no longer supported. I believe add-on supporters would be more willing to keep their products up-to-date if they didn’t have to modify them so often.
    2) don’t make major changes to the UI without an easy way for us to revert to a preferred UI. I actually hated the change to the tab position and I do not like the larger back button, so I always change these. I do not like the fluid menu bar and would love to be easily able to control it. I do not consider myself behind the time; I just prefer to work in the way that works best for me.
    If you would expend some energy on these 2 items, I would be extremely grateful.

  18. 18

    Shane said on November 11th, 2011 at 10:02 am:

    I agree with herbert and Mouring. It is ashame that a great product is becoming not so great because of the ridiculous upgrade cycle which breaks all add-ons and kind of makes it pointless to “add-on”

  19. 19

    Shane said on November 11th, 2011 at 10:04 am:

    Maybe Firefox needs to come up with a “browser” in a browser. That way we use some old version to browse their site with the latest version browser (52525.0.0) and it run live inside the existing “browser”. 😉 That way we aren’t always upgrading. (Of course this is a joke, but I do feel the pain and I love Firefox)

  20. 20

    Joseph said on November 11th, 2011 at 10:24 am:

    I’m a recent convert to Firefox, and I just wanted to thank you for your fine work and your placing the user in control of their browsing experience. Please don’t follow the suggestions of some others to slow your update cycle; frequent, useful updates is a major feature itself of Firefox now.

    Progress isn’t “pain” nor is it a problem. If Firefox slowed down, people would be complaining that it was falling behind Chrome or why it didn’t have features X, Y, Z. No one blames Microsoft if they release a new version that doesn’t run old, outdated, unmaintained software. No one should blame Firefox if they’re using outdated, unmaintained add-ons. Of course, I still think the best thing would be if those who create popular, universally useful add-ons would contribute their code directly to the Firefox browser rather than as a separate maintained (or unmaintained) add-on. In that sense, the add-ons are a blessing and a curse.

  21. 21

    Den Jefferson said on November 11th, 2011 at 7:05 pm:

    I don’t get the winers, Please stop wining. You always have a CHOICE to upgrade your version of Firefox. Simply elect to stay with the one you like. If necessary patch the security holes. Perhaps I don’t understand the bulk of users as I’m not a Windows user, but on my distribution of Linux I’m still using Firefox 3.6 (under Fedora 14). I’m as happy as I’ve ever been.

  22. 22

    Adi Ginting said on November 11th, 2011 at 8:32 pm:

    Firefox is great, and I’m loving it. I’m using it on Ubuntu. Keep on the good Job!

  23. 23

    John Holland said on November 11th, 2011 at 11:28 pm:

    Netscape on Unix enabled me to produce software manuals that used a single source both for printing and for context-sensitive viewing on line. I used frames to put an expandable table of contents and index in the left frame; clicking on a link there displayed in the main frame the corresponding page. The visible-link color was a necessary bookmark. When I retired I used the same technology for the on-line Bible on my Web site. Then Firefox 3.5 broke the bookmarks: history did not retain links across frames. V. 4.0 fixed that reported bug … and deleted the option to specify days to retain history. So the visible-link colors remain for half a year, rendering them useless as bookmarks. Firefox adamantly refuses to replace that option, and no add-on workaround seems to be available.

    The Back button when inactive no longer greys out for instant visibility; it now requires moving the cursor to it and squinting to ensure that the barely visible blue highlighting does not ooze into view. Knowing when Back is inactive enables me to distinguish between active and temporary tabs. An unsatisfactory work-around allows me to hide the Back button entirely when it is inactive.

    Rounded corners and separate boxes for the Navigation Bar buttons require more space, reducing the space available for the address field. Knowing how to read English enables me to use Netscape-type text buttons instead of Microsoft-type hieroglyphics.

    In-page search remarkably continues to function as formerly in Netcape: it opens a Javascript Alert box requesting to continue searching in the page for the requested item. But since v. 4.0 that Alert box also dims greatly the page background, rendering the highlighted search items all but invisible. Also, that window can no longer be moved to reveal search results that it often hides.

    Aping Chrome to remove the Status Bar causes in-page search often to hide its scrolled-up results behind information that otherwise the Status Bar would display. The Status-4-Evar add-on works around this problem.

    AVG often reports memory use exceeding 200 MB, and recommends that I close Firefox, even when only four tabs are open to sites with no active Javascript. I override automatic cache management and limit cache to 0.

    Traditionally, minor decimal-point updates solve immediate problems without breaking backward compatibility, and are fairly frequent. Much less frequent major integer-numbered updates then may break some backward compatibility. New Firefox management has apparently decided to make *all* updates major, thereby breaking backward compatibility very often. I currently use v. 7 (.0.1!) and am on the release update channel in a pessimistic hope that a future release will fix these problems.

    In return, Firefox provides ugly tabs that slide in and out, shaded Navigation Bar buttons that are nearly impossible to read in poor light, URIs that are partially greyed out and therefore harder to read, and …?

    It is a huge error to ape and to adulate the Microsoft GUI: I have been exposed to it from Windows 3.0 to 7, and have always considered it to be ugly, infantile, garish, and nonintuitive. Chrome is worse. I hope soon to return to Unix via Linux.

    These ineptitudes engender in me negative thoughts about the new Firefox management that I’ll refrain from expressing. Suffice it to say that this kind of “utter commitment to the individual” has room for improvement.

  24. 24

    Peter Wingett said on November 12th, 2011 at 2:43 pm:

    On the machines in our Household, we have used Firefox since 2005 with dual boot Windows XP /Ubuntu and latterly with Windows 7/Linux Mint.
    As conservatives who also believe that today’s world needs more altruism, we were attracted to Firefox because of Mozilla’s Free & Open Source philosophy.
    Initially it offered better security and although its competitors have caught up, with the right add-ons we still find that it offers the safest and most ‘comfortable’ browsing. Its intuitive GUI and ease of customisation make it a pleasure to use. As suckers for eye candy we love the Noia themes.
    Some changes such as ‘Tabs on Top’ have not been to our liking, but they are easy to change.
    We have not had serious hassles with the frequent new version releases and appreciate the improvements in performance.
    A big thank you from us to Mozilla’s brilliant software engineers.

  25. 25

    看美女,高清大图无水印 said on November 28th, 2011 at 5:19 pm:


  26. 26

    sallya said on December 12th, 2011 at 12:28 am:

    I use Chrome browser from Google too .It is more fast .

  27. 27

    Trip Hawkins said on December 14th, 2011 at 3:16 pm:

    Hello Mitchell, I would like to touch base with you directly to discuss a project that I believe is of mutual interest. I’m a big advocate for the browser but am better known for being one of the first managers at Apple, the founder and CEO who built Electronic Arts into the game industry leader and for being a freedom fighter for game developers.


  28. 28

    cousa said on January 9th, 2012 at 1:52 am:

    It is more fast

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