Related link: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/
Remember the browser wars of the mid-1990s? When people rabidly stood behind their browser of choice and debated the relative merits of Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator? Or dared to be different and ran with splinter groups such as Opera, pills Chimera or OmniWeb?
As the log files of this Web site will attest, page those days are over. Like it or not, global burden of disease Microsoft was the clear winner of that one, and most Web visitors eventually just settled in with the “default” browser that came with their machine: Microsoft Internet Explorer. The only exceptions were the Linux/Unix crowd (who had no native IE, and probably would have rather died than use it anyway), a few techno-hippies who revolted against the power of The Man and the Mac users who eventually found salvation in Safari, a native OS X browser they could call their own.
The result: A largely homogenous, bloated pool of browsers ripe for exploitation and viral infection: The number of IE-targeted virii has escalated exponentially in the past few months, and users are once again beginning to search for alternatives.
Funny coincidence that there just happens to be one right now: Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/), from the Mozilla project.
And before you scoff (as I did), I’d suggest giving it a try. Sure, the Mozilla project has traditionally been a bastion of those “Damn The Man” techno-hippies I mentioned earlier, but this time, they seem to have gotten it right: Firefox (currently at version 0.92) is a nifty little browser that actually works on all the sites you’d expect it too — and quickly!
Don’t like the look and feel of it? Change it! Although its default “skin,” or theme, is pretty nice, there are also skins available to make it look exactly like it belongs on whatever desktop you’re using at the moment: Windows 95 through 3000, Mac OS X, Gnome or KDE, etc.
Try it out. Maybe you’ll like it; maybe you won’t. Regardless, I think the browser wars are about to stage a comeback.