Today, we invite you to stand with us for an Internet that belongs to everyone. And no one.
Birthdays are a time to reflect on past accomplishments. And ours – yours – was huge: we helped save the Internet. We saved the Internet by not accepting the status quo, by not allowing corporate interests to acquire a stranglehold on our online lives. At the time, Microsoft dominated the Web. It was becoming stagnant, locked down and shaped by the vision of one company rather than the creativity of all. Firefox changed that.
We focused on promoting choice and opportunity online, we built and advocated for open standards, not proprietary technology. We put people in control of their online experience and strived to preserve the inherent openness of the Web. We didn’t just create a better browser; we created a browser that made a difference. We showed what was possible. That there was a better way. A better future. We sparked competition, energy and innovation that has made the Web what we love today: open, everywhere, and independent.
As Mozillians, we’re committed to honoring this legacy. It’s a responsibility we take seriously. And to mark our ten year anniversary, we’re offering you two things: a celebration and a pledge.
First, the celebration. Mozilla is different. We’re not a traditional software company. We’re a global, non-profit community rallying behind a shared mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity online. Whether you’ve been connected to Mozilla since the beginning, recently started contributing to the project as a volunteer, or just started using Firefox last week, we encourage you to reflect on what this community has achieved, the impact we’ve had on the world, and the friends we’ve all made along the way.
Today Firefox provides independence and opportunity to hundreds of millions of people around the world in more than 90 languages across desktop and mobile platforms.
To celebrate, today we’re also rolling out new products and programs to continue our work to help build a better Internet:
- A Firefox anniversary release that’s faster than ever with new features that put more power in more people’s hands. We’re adding DuckDuckGo as a pre-installed search option for our desktop and mobile browsers. And we’re introducing new privacy controls. Johnathan Nightingale has all the details on the Firefox anniversary release and new privacy tools here.
- Introducing Polaris, a new strategic initiative to bring together the best and brightest to explore new approaches to enhance privacy controls online. Polaris will bring together our global community with industry experts from the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and the Tor Project, and others, with an open call for participation. Initially we are exploring an experimental tracking protection tool and working closely with Tor to test and strengthen their network. Denelle Dixon-Thayer has all the details on Polaris here.
- Tiles and Interest Dashboard as a first demonstration that it’s possible to bring balance to advertising and content recommendations — by building in user respect and control from the start. Darren Herman has more about tiles in Firefox and our experiments and call to the ad industry for a more user-centric approach here.
- Firefox Developer Edition as the first browser dedicated to enabling developers with independent tools to supercharge productivity build a better Web. We want to enable developers to build for the Web as a whole, not any one company’s implementation. Dave Camp has all the details on the Firefox Developer Edition here
And we’ll have more to share in the coming weeks and months.
Now, the pledge: We’re not done. We’re just getting started.
We believe our role in the world is more important today than its ever been. Issues of digital rights, privacy, net neutrality and online safety and security are real and impact our lives daily. The pace and complexity of online life will only accelerate from here. The decisions we make today will fundamentally impact how we live online in the future.
We’re actively fighting for a future where the Web is an engine for innovation, creativity and opportunity for each of us, and for the generations to come. The fight to protect the Web is in the tools we build, the people we reach, and the rules we break. It’s why we continue to fight for your independence by advancing your choice and control online. It’s why we’re committed to providing the best choice for those who value independence in their digital lives.
We pledge to stay focused on the most important issues facing the Internet today — and into the future. We will continue earning your trust, bringing an independent spirit and fiercely unconventional approach to unlock the promise of the Internet for us all.