Mozilla Firefox is a graphical web browser developed by the Mozilla Corporation, and a large community of external contributors. Firefox, officially abbreviated as Fx or fx and popularly abbreviated FF, started as a fork of the Navigator browser component of the Mozilla Application Suite. Firefox has replaced the Mozilla Suite as the flagship product of the Mozilla project, under the direction of the Mozilla Foundation.
Mozilla Firefox is a cross-platform browser, providing support for various versions of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. However, the source code has been unofficially ported to other operating systems, including FreeBSD, OS/2, Solaris, RISC OS, SkyOS, BeOS and more recently, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
Firefox's source code is available under the terms of the Mozilla tri-license (MPL/GPL/LGPL) as free and open source software. The current stable release of Firefox is version 184.108.40.206, released on July 30, 2007.
According to Market Share by Net Applications, 14.55% of the world's Web browsers used Firefox in June 2007, with 13.92% using version 1.5 or higher.
Dave Hyatt and Blake Ross began working on the Firefox project as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape's sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser. To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite's software bloat, they created a pared-down browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite. On April 3, 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced that they planned to change their focus from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox and Thunderbird.
The Firefox project has undergone several name changes. Originally titled Phoenix, it was renamed because of trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies. The replacement name, Firebird, provoked an intense response from the Firebird free database software project. In response, the Mozilla Foundation stated that the browser should always bear the name Mozilla Firebird to avoid confusion with the database software. Continuing pressure from the database server's development community forced another change; on February 9, 2004, Mozilla Firebird became Mozilla Firefox (Firefox for short).
The Firefox project went through many versions before 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004. In addition to stability and security fixes, the Mozilla Foundation released its first major update to Firefox version 1.5 on November 29, 2005. On October 24, 2006, Mozilla released Firefox 2. This version includes updates to the tabbed browsing environment, the extensions manager, the GUI, and the find, search and software update engines; a new session restore feature; inline spell checking; and an anti-phishing feature which was implemented by Google as an extension and later merged into the program itself.