Mozilla Firefox is also known as ‘Firefox Quantum’ or simply ‘Firefox’. Created by the Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation, it is a free and open-source internet browser. Firefox is compatible with the common operating systems in use today, such as Windows, MacOS, Android, and Linux. One of the biggest advantages of Firefox is that you can add or remove features.
The users can customize the browser based on their requirements. It is this particular aspect of the browser that made it immensely popular over the years. To load web pages, Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine with updated web standards. However, Gecko is not used in Firefox for iOS.
This is owing to the restrictions placed by Apple. The third-party web browsers used with iOS must utilize the WebKit-based layout engine. This has been built into the iOS operating system. There are many interesting facts associated with Mozilla Firefox. Here are some of them:
1. It was initially named ‘Phoenix’
The Mozilla community members had created Firefox under the name ‘Phoenix’ in the year 2002. Rather than having a bundle of several Mozilla applications, they wanted a standalone browser. Firefox became popular with its testers even when it was in its beta phase. The web browser was praised for its security, add-ons, and speed.
It was released in November 2004 and became immensely successful with 60 million downloads in 9 months. This challenged the popularity of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Since the Mozilla community was created by Netscape, this browser is considered to be the successor of Netscape Navigator.
2. Firefox 3.0 was named ‘Gran Paradiso’
While it was being created, Firefox 3.0 was called by the name ‘Gran Paradiso’. It is the name of the second-highest mountain group, situated in the Graian Alps. The Firefox development team had asked the browser’s users to submit ideas for features in Firefox 3 during 2006.
The usage share of Firefox 3 had increased to 23.75% in September 2009 according to NetApplications. It was considered as a sign of Firefox 3’s stability. It also meant that Firefox was being used by many as their main browser.
3. World record
The browser was launched with the aim to set the record for most Firefox downloads in 24 hours. Its launch date of June 17 2008 was named ‘Download Day 2008’. By June 18 2008 over 6.88 million users had downloaded Firefox 3.
The Mozilla website was unavailable for a few hours as many people were accessing the site on June 17. The website couldn’t be updated for the download of the browser until 12:00 PDT. As a result, the ‘Download Day’ ended on June 18 at 11:16 am PDT.
4. Global usage
The worldwide usage of Firefox grew to 32% towards the end of 2009. Its popularity began to decline after Google Chrome was released. In the year 2016, the worldwide usage of Firefox as a desktop browser was between 9% and 16%. This made it the second most popular web browser in the world.
Firefox continues to enjoy massive popularity in countries such as Eritrea, Cuba, and Germany. According to Mozilla, the number of users of Firefox in December 2017 was 170 million. With the gradual decline of Internet Explorer, Firefox reached a second place as a desktop browser in April 2018.