Firefox — Moving the Internet Forward

By Mitchell Baker, CEO
October 24, 2006

Mozilla Firefox 2 is an important step towards an even more important goal: making the Internet a better place for each of us to experience our online lives. Firefox 2 is the result of an international community of people gathered together under the umbrella of the Mozilla Foundation – a non-profit, public benefit organization dedicated to improving the Internet experience for each of us.

There are many things that make Firefox exciting. Some of these things are clearly visible in the product; others are not nearly so obvious.

Firefox is exciting because it provides people with the best possible experience one can have online today. This is true in the basics that have always been the hallmark of Mozilla Firefox — ease of use, performance, security, privacy, elegance in design and respect for the user. It is true in a range of subtle features that people won’t notice right away and might not ever consciously notice. It is true in the unparalleled ability for each user to personalize Firefox in easy, comfortable ways. And Firefox is a better experience for ever more people – tens of millions of people rely on Firefox today and more people find Firefox every day.

Firefox is exciting because it does more without “feature bloat.”

Firefox offers more complex capabilities while keeping the human experience streamlined and intuitive. This is really, really, difficult to accomplish. The pressure to add new features simply to have new things to point to is immense. It’s easy to dream up glitzy new features. It’s hard to bring the immense complexity of the Internet into a tool that is elegant, powerful and fun to use.

Firefox 2 makes it easier for each of us to collect the precise information of interest to us and to see more easily when that information changes. For example, Firefox’s enhanced search services provide more information about our particular search requests even as we type them. Live Bookmarks provide more info about changes in blogs and other RSS feeds. Live Titles provide real-time updates of website changes.

Firefox is exciting because of the global community of people who create it.

Some are paid to work on Firefox, through the Mozilla Foundation or by other organizations. Tens of thousands more people participate as volunteers to create Firefox and make the Internet a better place. This community of people works together closely in a organized fashion in some areas, such as getting Firefox ready to release in many languages — Firefox 2 ships today in 37 languages. This is a giant feat, and one that would be impossible without the commitment of our astonishing volunteer localization community. In other areas the community shares ideas and works in a more free-form way to improve Firefox and the Internet.

Firefox is exciting because it leads the industry.

Firefox has led the renaissance of browser development and improved experience for Internet users. Significant commercial players – industry titans in fact – are now investing in browser software. And Firefox continues to lead. The developer and extension community surrounding Firefox buzzes with innovation. The Firefox ecosystem is exploding with new ideas and new possibilities that will make the Internet an ever more compelling place. Firefox demonstrates that Mozilla can consistently ship excellent software and can improve our online lives.

Today’s release of Firefox 2 is an important step. We’re not done yet. There’s plenty left to do to make online life even more comfortable, safe and interesting.

Life online with Firefox – getting better all the time.

Cross-posted from Mitchell’s Blog.