Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Mozilla Firefox has long been one of the great browsers along with Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge (formerly Internet Explorer), and Safari. As such, your anniversary is a big deal. After all, it has been around for a while. If you Googled Firefox’s birthday, Mozilla would have you believe it’s November 9th. However, the real anniversary of Firefox is today, September 23.

The first build of Firefox came out on September 23.

Firefox 10 stock photo

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The reason Mozilla celebrates its birthday on November 9th is because version 1.0 of Firefox came out on that date. Mozilla has blogs about it, as well as tweet about it of several years. We assume that Mozilla wants version 1.0 to designate it as Firefox’s birthday, probably because it was a major release. However, version 0.1 of Firefox, which was the first, debuted on September 23, 2002.

We understand why Mozilla celebrates November 9th as Firefox’s birthday, but we prefer the real thing.

Its code name was Pescadero, after a California town in San Mateo County. Fun fact, most versions of Firefox 1.0 and earlier were named after various cities around the world. Starting with version 2.0, the company switched to national parks before switching to birds after version 4.0. We’re on version 105 right now, so we’re pretty sure they’ve changed it again since then.

Today marks 20 years of Firefox

firefox stock photo 1

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

In any case, today marks the 20th anniversary of the first release of Firefox. We’d launch into a retrospective of the popular browser, but with 105 versions to cover multiple platforms, it would take all day to write. So, for the sake of space, here are some fun Firefox facts:

  • Mozilla started in 1998 when Netscape released its source code. Versions 6 and 7 of Netscape were built on top of Mozilla’s suite of applications, and Netscape 8 was based directly on Firefox. Netscape’s browser would remain based on Firefox until its demise in 2008.
  • The first version of the Firefox browser was released on September 23, 2002, exactly 20 years ago. Firefox and Netscape competed in the same space for years with the same code base. It’s not too different from how Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are now competing with much of the same Chromium base.
  • Firefox was more popular in 2009, when it had a 32.21% market share. In July 2009, it surpassed one billion downloads and became the most popular open source software in the world, a title it still holds.
  • In 2009, it also overtook Internet Explorer 7 in popularity in Europe, marking the first time Internet Explorer had lost a significant market to another browser since winning the browser wars. Chrome would beat them both just a few years later.
  • It remains the fourth most popular browser behind Chrome, Safari, and Edge (in that order), with a market share of 3.26%.
  • It’s completely open source and non-profit, something the other top four browsers can’t boast of. Some people may mention Chromium, but Chromium is the open source code that Chrome is based on. Chrome itself is proprietary.
  • Firefox was the first browser to include plugins and themes.
  • It was also the first browser to support 3D games within the browser. That is now standard in all major browsers.
  • The name, Firefox, is derived from the nickname of the red panda. The red panda was Firefox’s first mascot, and Mozilla used to host a live page where you could see red pandas on camera.

So, as you can see, Firefox has accomplished a lot in its first 20 years of life. Although not as popular as it once was, it is still one of the most secure and privacy-focused browsers available in an era where people are becoming more privacy- and security-conscious on the Internet.

Is the future of Firefox less secure?

Firefox logo sign offices

Firefox should continue as normal for now. Mozilla has stated that it has no plans to remove Firefox at this time and that Firefox is its core product. Still, it’s hard to ignore the bad news. Firefox’s market share has been declining for years as most have moved to Google Chrome.

Firefox is hanging by a thread, but its values ​​that privacy and security are core and not optional are as important as ever.

We are not sure about the future of Firefox. Chromium powers two of the top three browsers in the world with Chrome and Edge. They account for about 75% of all browser traffic right now. We’re not going to lie, it looks bleak and we don’t know what Firefox would have to do to win back some of the market.

That said, I am a loyal Firefox user and will continue to use it until the administrators of the Android Authority site tell me I can’t anymore. Hopefully, that’s a long way to go. Here’s to 20 years, Firefox, and I hope you’ll still be alive 20 years from now.

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