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Are we Heading towards a new war : Browser War??

On 18th June, Mozilla released the latest version of its famous browser Firefox. After 34 months of work and several release candidates, Firefox 3 was availed for prime time and Mozilla also achieved a world record for the most software downloads in 24 hours.

In the life cycle of every software product, the release of a new version is a major milestone, but in Firefox’s case, it is more than that. It is also about the fierce competition with Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s browser which currently is dominating the market. (According to the analysts and the research companies, Mozilla’s browser currently has a share of 15 - 18 percent from the global browser market. Despite Firefox’s raising popularity, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is still the market leader with a very comfortable 70 percent share).

What does Firefox 3 plan for its users? First of all, there are three key aspects that Mozilla claims were improved in the latest version. Firefox 3 is more secure, speedier, and easier to use. From the security point of view, Firefox 3 has added some interesting features. For example in the new version you can click the site favicon in the location bar to see who owns the site you are visiting. The new browser also has better malware protection, a system that will warn users when they arrive at sites which are known to install viruses, spyware, trojans or other malwares. One of the best features is the resumable downloading: users can now resume downloads after restarting the browser or resetting the network connection.

On the interface side, Firefox 3 has introduced a simpler management of bookmarks. It seems like a lot of reasons to download the new version, if you are a new user.

What about its main adversary? Right now, Firefox 3 will have to fight against Internet Explorer 7, which frankly doesn’t seem to have a chance in front of the new browser. Microsoft is also planning Internet Explorer 8.

Earlier this year, the Redmond company showcased a beta version of Internet Explorer 8.0 at its Mix conference for Web developers. The company highlighted eight features in Microsoft's latest browser: CSS 2.1 support, CSS Certification, performance, HTML 5 support, new developer tools, activities, Web slices and another unnamed feature. The first beta of the browser, intended for developers, was also released. Unfortunately, the beta was heavily criticized for its imperfections. The second beta is scheduled to be released this August in 20 languages worldwide.

Microsoft said that the new beta 2 browser offers significantly improved standards support and developer platform investments with enhanced user experience.

Judging by the history of Internet Explorer releases, this mean that the final version will be available sometimes in December or maybe early next year. And for Firefox 3 this means a window of opportunity to grab more market share. Anyway, Firefox 3 has at least five to six months until it will meet its real competitor, and in the software business that is a lot of time.
Let’s hope that Mozilla will know how to use this advantage.


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