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Firefox Is Ten Years Old: Happy Birthday!

There wouldn't have been an OtakuBooty without it. Firefox saved the World Wide Web.

The very first version (called Phoenix) was released to the public ten years ago today.

Incidentally, give Firefox a try if you haven't checked it out in a while. Still my favorite browser, and the last few releases have been lean and snappy.
Imagine if we had a world where there weren't public standards for television. Imagine if a company Sony controlled 98% of the television market and had their own inferior standard for television. Now imagine if most shows, movies, and video games only worked correctly on Sony televisions. Oh, and one more thing: imagine if the Sony televisions were also unsafe.

We almost had that kind of Internet. A decade ago, Internet Explorer had close to 100% market share, and if you wanted to make a web page you found yourself making one version for IE and another for other browsers. Many people didn't even bother making pages for the "other" browsers.

The Mozilla Project, born from the wreckage of Netscape, had been around for a while. So had Opera. Both companies made pretty decent alternatives to IE but neither had a lot of traction.

Then came Firefox: fast, safe, and free. Unlike the other alternative browsers, Firefox gained an incredible amount of steam. People installed it on their computers. They installed it on their parents' computers.

So many people installed it, they couldn't be ignored. Anybody who made a web page had to make it work on Firefox which adhered to actual, open, web standards.

Once web pages used these standards, that also meant anybody could make a web browser. You didn't need Windows, you didn't need IE, you didn't even need a "computer." The great Internet experience on today's mobile phones is a direct result of Firefox's punch to Internet Explorer's nose.

Thank you, Mozilla. Thank you for Firefox and thank you for saving the web.

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