Firefox : An introduction after 5 years

The Future

“Even as I enter the elevator of my building to leave for office, I decide it best to check my client’s status with whom I have a meeting scheduled in another half an hour. I log-in to my micro-blogging/status-update portal through the Elevator’s Control Panel. Phew ! They have still not reached. I’m glad someone thought of putting a browser into the Panel. With another 100 floors to go, I think I can watch a couple of Video messages till then.”

“Man… the traffic is killing me. Wonder if there is a shorter route. I love the new Flash 202.45 look on my wind-shield. What madness it must have been to follow directions on a device NEXT to you, rather than on your windshield. Now why didn’t they embed the browser in the windshield in the first place ?!!”

“There’s Sam. I don’t know why he has to dress-up like a College kid in the office. And playing YouTube videos on his T-Shirt. What is he , seven ? And they are not even 3D. I’m glad I decided to stick with the Fashion trends and got that awesome, albeit expensive T-Shirt with HTML72. The Hi-Def on it is almost life-like.”

“I hate the fact that she has the latest Reliance Nano FingerTop. That thing has only about 340KB of RAM. My stupid FingerTop has a huge 1MB goop of DDR18. The damn thing needs 5 seconds to boot up and start the Browser and MemCleaner. They say, hers has the MemCleaner as a plug-in. I wonder how they managed to start a hologram projector, built in camera and a MemCleaner all under a second ?”

Although the scenes mentioned above may seem like passages right out of a Isaac Asimov novel,the way the browser wars are turning out, do you see the future turn out any other way ?

The Staggering Facts

With a 10 Million plus downloads, more than 30 million users, a record breaking “Most Downloaded Software in a Day” accolade to it’s name and a developer base that spans the world with even blind and visually impaired individuals actively contributing, there can be little doubt that Firefox as a browser will be to us in the future, what device firmware is to us today. Firefox_logo

Making a cool $55 million plus yearly, I think Mozilla Corp. is one of the richest not for profit , open source organizations in the world. It’s browser share is more than that combined of all other browsers, except Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, … combined !! Releasing on all the 3 top platforms, Windows, Linux and Mac, Firefox is also available on Solaris, BSD and now even on embedded platforms like the Maemo. One of the only softwares in the world to have a thousands of plugins written for it with new ones being written everyday, Firefox must be the only software that is released in over 70 international languages including more than 10 Indians (with an additional local dialects). The robustness of this software is clear from the fact that there are other projects like Fennec and Flock which are based on the same browser engines.

Today

Few browsers have achieved the success that Firefox has in such a short period of time, considering that the browser was not developed by a commercially successful Software company. However, an unrelenting attittude towardsopen standars, security considerations and a development & testing model that might put many propeitary software product life cycles to shame, has made this one of the most loved browsers of all time.

Even as the world wishes Firefox a very Happy Fifth Birthday, Mitchell Baker, CEO of Mozilla Corp., speaks out her mind in a lengthy but an elaborate interview about the past, present and future of the most popular browser in the world.

It’s been five years since four geeks decided to write a browser to surf the World Wide Web. I think in another five, the rest of the world will use their work to write a browser to surf…. Life !!