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This article is about the web browser. For the operating system, see Firefox OS. For other uses, see Firefox (disambiguation).
|Developer(s)||Mozilla Foundation and contributors
|Initial release||September 23, 2002|
31.0 (July 22, 2014) [±]
ESR 31.0 (July 22, 2014) [±]
ESR 24.7.0 (July 22, 2014) [±]
|Preview release||32.0 Beta 5 (August 8, 2014) [±]|
|Operating system||Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, Firefox OS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, OpenIndiana|
|Size||22 MB: Windows
44 MB: OS X
27–28 MB: Linux
22 MB: Android
510 MB: source code (uncompressed)
|Available in||79 languages|
Mobile web browser
|Standard(s)||HTML5, CSS3, RSS, Atom|
|Origins and lineage|
As of February 2014, Firefox has between 12% and 22% of worldwide usage, making it the third most popular web browser, according to different sources. According to Mozilla, Firefox counts over 450 million users around the world. The browser has had particular success in Indonesia, Iran, Germany, and Poland, where it is the most popular browser with 55%, 46%, 43%, and 41% of the market share, respectively.
- 1 History
- 2 Features
- 3 Release history
- 4 System requirements
- 5 Licensing
- 6 Trademark and logo
- 7 Promotion
- 8 Performance
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Main article: History of FirefoxThe Firefox project began as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project by Dave Hyatt, Joe Hewitt and Blake Ross. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape's sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser. To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite's software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite. On April 3, 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced that they planned to change their focus from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox and Thunderbird.
Phoenix Technologies. The replacement name, Firebird, provoked an intense response from the Firebird database software project. In response, the Mozilla Foundation stated that the browser would always bear the name Mozilla Firebird to avoid confusion. After further pressure, on February 9, 2004, Mozilla Firebird became Mozilla Firefox, often referred to as Firefox. Mozilla prefers the Firefox abbreviation Fx or fx, though it is often abbreviated as FF. The Firefox project went through many versions before version 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004.
Main article: Features of FirefoxFeatures include tabbed browsing, spell checking, incremental find, live bookmarking, Smart Bookmarks, a download manager, private browsing, location-aware browsing (also known as "geolocation") based on a Google service and an integrated search system that uses Google by default in most localizations. Functions can be added through extensions, created by third-party developers, of which there is a wide selection, a feature that has attracted many of Firefox's users.
Additionally, Firefox provides an environment for web developers in which they can use built-in tools, such as the Error Console or the DOM Inspector, or extensions, such as Firebug.
Firefox has passed the Acid2 standards-compliance test since version 3.0. Mozilla had originally stated that they did not intend for Firefox to pass the Acid3 test fully because they believed that the SVG fonts part of the test had become outdated and irrelevant, due to WOFF being agreed upon as a standard by all major browser makers. Because the SVG font tests were removed from the Acid3 test in September 2011, Firefox 4 and greater scored 100/100.
Firefox also implements a proprietary protocol from Google called "Safe Browsing", used to exchange data related with phishing and malware protection.
See also: Browser securityFirefox uses a sandbox security model, and limits scripts from accessing data from other web sites based on the same-origin policy. It uses SSL/TLS to protect communications with web servers using strong cryptography when using the HTTPS protocol. It also provides support for web applications to use smartcards for authentication purposes.
The Mozilla Foundation offers a "bug bounty" (up to 3000 USD cash reward and a Mozilla T-shirt) to researchers who discover severe security holes in Firefox. Official guidelines for handling security vulnerabilities discourage early disclosure of vulnerabilities so as not to give potential attackers an advantage in creating exploits.
Because Firefox generally has fewer publicly known unpatched security vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer (see Comparison of web browsers), improved security is often cited as a reason to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox. The Washington Post reported that exploit code for known critical unpatched security vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer was available for 284 days in 2006. In comparison, exploit code for known, critical security vulnerabilities in Firefox was available for nine days before Mozilla issued a patch to remedy the problem.
A 2006 Symantec study showed that, although Firefox had surpassed other browsers in the number of vendor-confirmed vulnerabilities that year through September, these vulnerabilities were patched far more quickly than those found in other browsers – Firefox's vulnerabilities were fixed on average one day after the exploit code was made available, as compared to nine days for Internet Explorer. Symantec later clarified their statement, saying that Firefox still had fewer security vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer, as counted by security researchers.
In 2010 a study of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) based on data compiled from the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), Firefox was listed as the fifth most vulnerable desktop software, with Internet Explorer as the eighth, and Google Chrome as the first.
InfoWorld has cited security experts saying that, as Firefox becomes more popular, more vulnerabilities will be found, a claim that Mitchell Baker, president of the Mozilla Foundation, has denied. "There is this idea that market share alone will make you have more vulnerabilities. It is not relational at all," she said.
In October 2009, Microsoft's security engineers acknowledged that Firefox was vulnerable to a security issue found in the 'Windows Presentation Foundation' browser plug-in since February of that year. A .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Windows Update had silently installed the vulnerable plug-in into Firefox. This vulnerability has since been patched by Microsoft.
As of February 11, 2011, Firefox 3.6 had no known unpatched security vulnerabilities according to Secunia. Internet Explorer 8 had five unpatched security vulnerabilities, the worst being rated "Less Critical" by Secunia. Mozilla claims that all patched vulnerabilities of Mozilla products are publicly listed.
On January 28, 2013, Mozilla was recognized as the most trusted internet company for privacy in 2012. This study was performed by the Ponemon Institute and was a result of a survey from more than 100,000 consumers in the United States.
In February 2013, plans were announced for Firefox 22 to disable third-party cookies by default. However, the introduction of the feature was then delayed so Mozilla developers could "collect and analyze data on the effect of blocking some third-party cookies." Mozilla also collaborated with Stanford University's "Cookie Clearinghouse" project to develop a blacklist and whitelist of sites that will be used in the filter.
Main article: Mozilla localizationslocalized web browser. The first official release in November 2004 was available in 24 different languages and for 28 locales, including British English/American English, European Spanish/Argentine Spanish and Chinese in Traditional Chinese characters/Simplified Chinese characters. The currently supported 31.0 and 31.0esr versions are available in 89 locales (79 languages).
Platform availabilityFirefox for desktop is available and supported for Windows, OS X, FreeBSD, and Linux, while Firefox for mobile is available for Android. In September 2013, the Windows 8 Touch interface, optimized for touchscreen use, was introduced on the "Aurora" release channel; however, the project has since been cancelled as of March 2014, citing a lack of user adoption of the beta versions.
Firefox 30 on OS X Mavericks