November 9, 2009

Firefox Celebrates Five Years Of Open Source Web Browsing

As Firefox celebrates its fifth year of operation, a senior executive at Mozilla warned that Web users risk taking online freedom for granted, Sky News Online reported.

The not-for-profit Mozilla Firefox web browser has slowed Internet Explorer's monopoly by gaining more than a 23 percent worldwide market share.

Tristan Nitot, the president of Mozilla Europe, has pledged to carry on the passion of the Firefox "mission."

Nitot warned that Web freedoms are under threat and younger users risk becoming complacent.

"They don't know they are lucky. They take for granted that the freedom they enjoy is forever. I don't think it is like that. The Internet is full of promise but the future is not bright unless we make sure it is," he said.

He warned that a battle over who 'owns' the Internet and whether it should be regulated is under way and the outcome could be hugely significant for the world's Internet users.

"I don't think we should filter the Internet. I think it should be neutral; that's exactly what enables innovation," he added.

In many countries, censorship blocks access to parts of the Web and the companies who make Web applications can exert more control than people realize.

"Applications like a browser are a set of instructions put together by a developer. It does a lot on your behalf and you lose a lot by delegating this. Its extremely important to remain in control," he said.

Mozilla Firefox has grown to become a genuine contender since its launch in 2004, overtaking Microsoft in more than a dozen countries, including Poland.

The company even added another 30 million users in the last eight weeks, according to recent figures.

Nitot said the last five years have been successful and quite chaotic, as the company originally started with only 12 employees and a few volunteers.

"We were trying to take over Microsoft and that definitely sounded very, very silly "” so if you ask me to predict the next five years I'm going to decline," said Nitot.


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