Firefox represents something new for us — a release that is squarely aimed at the end-user. A great browser where power features don’t get in the way of the general user. It’s sleek, innovative, accessible to mere mortals and also packs enough punch for the most sophisticated power user. If you’ve been waiting to try Firefox or to recommend it to others until it has the official stamp of approval, now’s the time.
This release also marks a new era in our international focus. I’m not sure one can imagine how much work is involved in the localization effort until one has tried it. In addition, our localization teams are all volunteers. That’s right, volunteers. People volunteer in order to have Firefox available in the language they care about. This involves not only the actual localization, but reviewing and verifying all aspects of the localizations, waiting for our build cycles to complete, working at odd times to hook up with everyone else and helping the Mozilla Foundation figure out how best to manage such a massive task. And of course, all this needs to be done on a very tight timeframe. I am regularly astonished by the outpouring of support for the Mozilla project, and the localization effort is a perfect example.
In addition to improved localization, Firefox 1.0 also has integrated search capabilities, both in the Search Box and in the startpage. We know that search is a critically important feature of the web, and we’ve worked to make Firefox’s search functionality as useful as possible. Firefox ships with a set of search plug-ins, allowing the user to select the search engine which works best for his or her needs. In addition, one can choose to add a broad range of additional search engines quite simply.
In keeping with our emphasis on the end-user, we have redesigned the Firefox startpage. We wanted a startpage that reflected the Mozilla project and provided a good access point to the web. Given the importance of search, we decided to add search functionality to the start page itself. Google has long been recognized as a leader in search experience and so we chose Google.
We provide access to search services from a range of sources including Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay and others you can see in Firefox. We expect to see some funds come to the Foundation as a result of our integrated search. We’ll use any funds that result to help support the Mozilla Foundation’s non-profit operations. When finances are involved questions often arise about their influence on an organization and we’ll spend some time talking about this as we go forward.
For now, I want to express my admiration for the vitality and commitment of the Mozilla community. The Firefox 1.0 release builds on the work of hundreds of programmers and QA contributors and thousands of participants. It also highlights the efforts of new groups of participants, including:
- the Visual Identity team — a new group of volunteers that has brought great polish to Firefox, our new mail client Thunderbird, and our website;
- Spread Firefox — the admins who spearhead community marketing campaigns, and the thousands using their creative energy to let others know about Firefox;
- Mozilla Europe and Mozilla Japan — our international affiliates who assist with all manner of activities for users outside of the United States;
- an increasing number of people employed to work on Mozilla technology, some within the Mozilla Foundation and many funded by other entities; and
- the millions of people who have downloaded the Firefox preview releases.
The breadth and depth and innovation of the Mozilla community continues to bring unprecedented results. Mozilla Firefox is a great browser, and a testament to the thousands of people who have contributed their energies to bring innovation, creativity and choice to the web.
Rediscover the Web — Get Firefox