Over the years, Firefox has made the second position on browser market share charts all its own by refusing to budge either way. A few years ago, it was ridiculously difficult to even imagine a market scenario with Mozilla's browser at any place lower than number two. But the release of Chrome three years ago started threatening the improbability of such a scenario. Now, there is strong indication that the unthinkable might have already happened.
Ever since Adobe announced its decision to abandon the development of Flash for mobile devices, there has been a lot of speculation about the ubiquitous plugin’s future. While it’s difficult to tell exactly how much more time Flash has left to go, that it will be usurped by HTML5 is almost certain. In the meantime, browser vendors can hone their browsers’ HTML5 skills. This is what Mozilla has been doing for some time now. Now it’s readying yet another feature that will benefit Firefox’s overall HTML5 capabilities.
Amazon's HTML5-based Kindle Cloud Reader lets you read your Kindle books in your Web browser, a neat idea that's hampered by lack of widespread support, including Internet Explorer and Firefox. Well, Amazon is still shunning Internet Explorer (or vice versa), but the Kindle Cloud Reader does now work with Mozilla Firefox, along with existing support for Chrome and Safari (on the iPad and desktop).
Ancient people used the sun to calculate the passing of time. That isn’t necessarily the most accurate time-keeping method around now – especially with the whole daylight savings time thing – but fortunately, us modern types have something just as reliable to keep track of the days: Firefox’s new rapid-release schedule. Six weeks after Firefox 7 launched, Firefox 8 is now available for download – but you’ll need to scrounge around a bit for it.
With few exceptions, Microsoft's share of the browser market has been steadily declining since at least November 2009, which is how far back Net Marketshare lets us look. Back then, Microsoft's Internet Explorer was the dominant browser on desktops with a 64.46 percent share. And today? It's still dominant with a 52.63 percent share of the market, but the gap is quickly narrowing.
For a long time, Mozilla and Google were a match made in heaven. Both of them were spunky open-source aficionado and that common goal sent them into each other’s arms; even now, the vast majority of Mozilla’s funding comes from a search deal between the two organizations. Then, with the launch of Chrome, things got complicated. Google wasn’t quite the same search engine Firefox fell in love with. And now, Mozilla is officially Keeping Its Options Open with the unveiling of the new “Firefox with Bing” Browser.
Earlier in the week Microsoft unveiled a new online security test to help educate users on the dangers of surfing with outdated browsers. The concept is noble, but they also succeeded in stirring up the Mozilla folks, and with just cause. The site yourbrowsermatters.org gives visitors the impression it is verifying features to assign a well-researched security score between 0-4, when in reality, it does little more than check the agent string to see what brand and version you are using. Internet Explorer 9 rakes in a perfect score of 4, IE 8 comes in at 3, and the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome come up at 2 & 2.5 respectively.
Mozilla just can’t catch any slack; the new, memory-improved Firefox 7.0 is barely off the virtual printing presses and already some users are complaining that the thing is crash-tastic. Not so fast: Mozilla pays attention to those crash reports that users send back, you see, and the company noticed that McAfee’s ScriptScan add-on was the cause of a lot of those fatal errors. In fact, ScriptScan was creating such a high volume of crashes that Mozilla tossed the add-on in their blocklist yesterday.
Firefox’s relatively new rapid release schedule lets developers implement and unveil new features and updates quickly, but there’s one thing we hate about it. No, it’s not the headache it causes enterprise users, although that sucks, too. It’s the constant update notifications. Geez, Firefox needs to update again, we get it already! Fortunately, Mozilla gets that we get that, and they’re looking to move to silent updates sometime in 2012.