Blake Ross and Dave Hyatt were experimenting at the Mozilla experimental branch to replace Mozilla’s (parent company Mozilla has been around since 1998) massive software called Mozilla Suite which was used prior to Firefox. Their browser had an IRC client, news, mail and WYSIWYG HTML editor built into one suite that was small and simple, unlike its older counterpart. It still has the cross-platform capabilities that the original browser held.
It was written in XUL user interface markup language. By using that language, it allowed the browser to be extended with themes and plug-ins. When Firefox 0.9 was released, many users were worried about the security of it. So Mozilla opened a website called Mozilla Update, with approved plug-ins and themes for users to download and use knowing that they were safe to use.
Back in 2002, when it came out for beta testing, they used the name Phoenix. In April of 2003, they changed the name to Firebird, because Phoenix was too close to the BIOS maker Phoenix Technologies. The name Firebird turned out also to used already, so they changed it yet again this time to Mozilla Firebird. But the company that already used the name kept pressure on them. So they changed their name yet again and the final time, to Mozilla Firefox.
Firefox had dozens of changed prior to it being released to the public as Firefox 1.0 in November of 2004. Shortly after the initial release, they soon put out Firefox 1.5 to take care of security issues. Originally with Firefox 1.5, it was to be Firefox 1.1, but they decided to merge Firefox 1.1 with and into Firefox 1.5. For release, instead of keeping them apart. In 2006, Firefox 2.0 came out. During Firefox 1.5, they stopped supporting MAC OS X v.10.1. Firefox 18.104.22.168 was the last Firefox that supported Win 95.
Firefox 2 was the first Firefox version with Gecko. With Firefox 2, came Tabbed browsing, extension manager, GUI, and more with the improved and updated version of Firefox 1.0. This is the version that made it gain notice across the globe. This was also the last version that supported Windows N.T4.0 and Win 98.
In December of 2007, Firefox Live Chat came out. Before Firefox 3 was released or even developed, they asked their users to request what they’d like added onto the popular web browser back in 2006. With Firefox 3, they redesigned the layout and made it more Web 2.0 friendly. Firefox 3 was released in June of 2008.
Firefox has only been around for a short time (7 years in 2009) but that doesn’t make any of their history any less important than companies that have been around longer than Firefox. With Firefox being so young still, it likely will have much more history coming its way and will stay around for a long time, keeping customers happy with their hit browser. Mozilla is staying hard at work in their Firefox department, which keep it up to date and in tune with their users. This article cannot cover what will happen, but it does cover what made Firefox during its last 7 years.