November 10th, 2014, 21:45 PM
Mozilla celebrates 10 years of its Firefox open source browser
The Mozilla Foundation has announced the 10th anniversary of the Firefox browser with the release of a special edition adding new capabilities including a Forget button to delete traces of recent activity.
Firefox was a phoenix that rose from the ashes of Netscape and its Navigator web browser, which was the dominant browser in the 1990s but was squeezed out by Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer as part of Windows, and which Navigator had failed to keep pace with on features.
The Mozilla project was originally created to develop an open source version of Netscape's Communicator suite of tools that included Navigator, but opted to split them out as independent applications for each function, primarily the Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird email client, after Netscape was acquired by AOL.
Since the release of the first version of Firefox, the browser has gone on to recapture market share from Microsoft, which ironically neglected the development of Internet Explorer after apparently seeing off Netscape, although it now faces fierce competition from newcomers such as Google's Chrome.
Writing on the Mozilla blog, chief executive Chris Beard claimed that by continuing to develop and release Firefox, the project had "saved 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," he wrote.
"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."
To celebrate, Mozilla has made a Firefox anniversary release available that is faster than ever with new features that put more power in more people's hands, the firm claimed.
This includes the addition of DuckDuckGo to the list of search providers available in Firefox for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. DuckDuckGo delivers search results without tracking users or search terms.
The new Firefox also provides a Forget button that offers an easy way to clear recent activity, plus a privacy tour that provides a walk through of Firefox's privacy options for new users.