back to article Firefox keeps Microsoft 'honest' on 5th birthday

Mozilla is celebrating Firefox’s fifth birthday today by proclaiming 330 million users worldwide since the browser was launched on 9 November 2004. The open source outfit, which last week released the first beta of Firefox 3.6, is popping open the Asti Spumanti today. “We’ve come so far in the past five years and we’re …

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FAIL

Forced Microsoft?

Firefox forced Microsoft to release newer browsers? Hardly.

Microsoft hasn't changed is browser release strategy at all - 1 IE release per OS release. How exactly can Firefox take credit for that?

If they'd said that their market share had forced microsoft to be more standards compliant, that'd be something I could believe.

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fan of video but...

.. .lets be realistic here, even nice folk out there who do open source stuff still keep their video codecs under wraps mainly for DRM or related 'keep hold of the source' type approach.

This is not a tag in HTML 5 that i believe will really be the big thing it is claimed... although it is nice to hope.

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Silver badge

@Matt 5

I think the point, based on my extremely hazy memory, is that a Ballmer or someone like that declared after IE6 that the browser as a product had basically reached its design conclusion and they didn't see any point in continuing active research and development. Following Firefox, Microsoft were suddenly talking up tabs and anti-phishing and other such interface enhancements.

I do take issue with: "Firefox’s presence was a large factor in Apple being able to ship a browser to its user base as the Mac came back to the market." Surely the main thing that made Apple feel willing to ship their own browser was Microsoft dropping IE for Mac?

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Grenade

Forced M$

I think Mozilla did push M$ into releasing a browser with near CSS 2.1 compatibility, so congratulations to them for inspiring that. Commiserations to the majority of the world still running IE6.

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Mac browsers?

"“Firefox’s presence was a large factor in Apple being able to ship a browser to its user base as the Mac came back to the market." - Err, I thought the main factors were Microsoft's MacBU (for providing IE:mac 5.x) and later KDE's KHTML engine, from which WebKit and Safari sprung?

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DJV
FAIL

@Matt 5

Oh, come on, do yer research! it's been quite extensively documented that MS had pretty much abandoned further browser development after it had "won" the browser wars around 2002 or so. Without Firefox kickstarting the new round of "wars" we would all still be stuck with IE6 - even Windows 7 would have shipped with that hunk of junk.

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Badgers

IE

IE can't really run around updating itself every 5 to 6 days, IE is used in environments where having a long term browser that works is a must, that is why you still see people using IE6 in corporate environments because it works for them, if MS went around having IE 6.1/2/3/4/5/6/6.1/6.2/6.3 etc all in the spate of a few months then the corporate bean counters would go nuts. Update IE6.1 to 6.1.5 and X breaks, upgrade to 6.1.6 and Y breaks, .7 fixes X and Y but breaks Z and A and also B, get my drift?

330m users or 330m downloads? Big difference, I'm sure lots of people have downloaded FF and thought "what a pile of bloated tosh!" and deleted it, I know I did (chrome is super sexy, all hail google our master overlords!). Still at least its better than Safari.

Though lets face it, how hard was it really for FF to become the 2nd most popular browser? Not exactly much competition in the browser marketspace at the time was there........

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Silver badge

@matt5

Is that why they stuck with IE6 for years and then went from six to eight before Vista was even released? Three browser releases on a single OS release. Granted, 8 was a beta but, even so, I don't recall there being two desktop operating systems in between XP and Vista. Of course I might be missing something...

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Re: Forced Microsoft (Matt 5)

Wrong:

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1032-1011859.html

Microsoft originally planned to never release a new version of IE *outside of the OS itself*. i.e. IE7 = Vista only, IE8 = Windows 7 only...

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Joke

@Matt 5

So what you're saying is that the cake is a lie?

I'm GLaD I got that out...

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Linux

Great...

Now can they get it to stop crashing?

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Stop

HTML 5 is useless.

'“Expect to see big changes in the video space. HTML5-based video and open video codecs are starting to appear on the web as web developers make individual choices to support a standards-based, royalty-free approach,” he said.'

Except that HTML 5's video tag is about as useful as tits on a bull. The "standard" doesn't require any codecs, noone can agree on what ones to use. This means no matter WHAT I do (as a web developer), if I use the video tag, I alienate hundrads of millions of potental visitors... unless, of course, I use flash (guess what my solution is?).

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Happy

As far as I understand

Safari is based on open source Konqeror like OS X is based on BSD Unix.

But to the point, certainly MS has had to react to Firefox. Half heartedly, perhaps, because there is no "business money" in it and perhaps because of the conflict between keeping the non standard Microsoft standard as a lock in and the ugly demand for a new IE with a better non Microsoft standard.

Somehow I think Firefox should, perhaps, also mention the "O" word when speaking about Firefox.

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