Firefox: Download Mozilla's Latest Web Browser
The Firefox logo.
Firefox is a free-to-use, open-source Web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation. Created in 2004, it has gained in popularity and as of January 2013 had more than 450 million users around the world — about 20 percent of worldwide usage share of web browsers.
The Mozilla team that put together Firefox — Dave Hyatt, Joe Hewitt and Blake Ross — hoped to do away with the over-watchful sponsorship of the organization's default browser, Netscape, and developer-driven features that they felt compromised its abilities. The main intention of Firefox was to replace the Mozilla Suite entirely, alongside another open-source cross-platform email and chat program known as Thunderbird.
The project had several names during its development, starting out as Phoenix and then Firebird. Both times, the development team ran into trademark problems, first with Phoenix Technologies and the Firebird free database software project, so eventually it shifted to Mozilla Firefox, before becoming just Firefox.
The developers released version 1.0 on Nov. 9, 2004. With it came some of the standard features that users had enjoyed with Netscape, but with a bit more ease in terms of usage, including bookmarking their favorite sites and searching for necessary items in the default Firefox search bar.
Over the years, Firefox has released new versions that implement features to make it even more practical for everyday use, including spell checking, live and smart bookmarking, a download manager (a bar that indicates how far along your downloads are coming) and geo-location, also known as location-aware browsing (for pages that track information depending where you live). It also uses a number of Web standard tools, such as HTML4, XML, XHTML and CSS (with the ability to add extensions). Safe browsing was also added, to help protect users from phishing and malware attempts.
Firefox can be downloaded at Mozilla's website. Click on the "Free Download" button. The version for your operating system — Windows, Mac or Linux — will be selected and the browser is downloaded and installed with ease. In order to use the browser, computers must have at least 512MB of RAM and 200MB of hard-drive space.