Mozilla turns up the heat with Firefox

Mozilla has officially launched a new version of its open-source browser called Firefox 1.5, with which it hopes to grab Internet Explorer’s number one spot

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  December 4, 2005

Mozilla has officially launched a new version of its open-source browser called Firefox 1.5, with which it hopes to grab Internet Explorer’s number one spot. Firefox 1.5 features major enhancements such as an improved pop-up blocker and a new ‘Software Update’ feature, which lets users automatically download security and feature updates without performing a complete installation for each. Support for Mac OS X users has also been improved. Other improvements include speedier browser navigation, a drag-and-drop feature for advanced tabbed browsing and a new wizard that allows users to report web sites that fail to load in the browser. Firefox’s tabbed browsing and its ‘Report a broken web site’ wizard are currently not present in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6.0 (IE). Another major difference between Firefox 1.5 and IE 6.0 is that IE uses ActiveX system technology, which many web sites use to download and install spyware or malicious programs on a user’s computer without their knowledge. Firefox attempts to close this security hole by not using the Active X system, which means invisible downloads through ActiveX plug-ins are not possible. According to recent online news reports, the Mozilla Foundation has plans to launch a major community marketing campaign via its Spread Firefox (www.spreadfirefox.com) web site, which it will use to persuade IE users to opt for its browser. The browser also has major support from growing internet giant Google through a recently launched Firefox affiliate program, dubbed AdSense referrals. The program gives global users the chance to earn money through Firefox downloads made through a Google toolbar on their web site. Mozilla has also recently announced a new search alliance with Google’s long-time rival Yahoo. Microsoft however has major plans of its own, as it is planning to launch Internet Explorer version 7.0 soon. This new version should boast coloured tabbed browsing and anti-phishing functionality. Users who are interested in checking out Mozilla’s Firefox 1.5 can download it for free from www.getfirefox.com.

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