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Happy Birthday Firefox, You're Now 7 Years Old!

By - Source: Mozilla | B 21 comments
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Firefox has just turned seven years old.

Firefox has just turned seven years old. Following its initial release in 2004, the browser has altered the browser landscape and acquired substantial market share, but recently has, once again, become the underdog in a cut-throat browser war that is more and more fought between Google and Microsoft.

Firefox was originally part of the Mozilla application suite, but is now considered to be the core product of Mozilla. However, while Firefox is likely to remain the most popular application for some time, Mozilla earlier this year said that it will be looking to expand its reach beyond the plain browser, especially when it will introduce the Boot-to-Gecko OS in Q1 of 2012.

2011 has brought a massive shift for Firefox, not just because the introduction of a significantly different UI in Firefox 4, but especially because of the introduction of a rapid release cycle model that pays tribute to a widely deployed agile development method as well as the replacement of key personalities at Mozilla. Mike Beltzner, director of Firefox left the company shortly after the launch of Firefox 4; vice president Mike Shaver left to take a position at Facebook; and UI lead Alex Faaborg just recently announced his departure without revealing his destination.

In a brief note announcing the birthday of the browser, the organization noted that Firefox 8 is about 32 times faster than Firefox 1. Still, the overall market is changing even faster and Mozilla has had trouble keeping market share. Over the past 12 months, Firefox has lost close to five points of market share and will, most likely, be surpassed by Chrome this month, according to StatCounter's preliminary data. For the first ten days of November, Firefox market share is estimated at 25.56 percent, just ahead of Chrome with 25.30 percent. Compared to the September, Firefox has surrendered more than 0.8 points of share, while Chrome has gained 0.3 points.

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  • 8 Hide
    rb420 , November 11, 2011 12:21 AM
    How does stat counter collect usage statistics?

    "As of 1 June 2010, our tracking code is installed on more than 3 million sites globally."

    Isn't it possible that most people who use firefox also use add-ons that interfere with their "tracking code"
  • 4 Hide
    nukemaster , November 11, 2011 12:30 AM
    otacon72FF8 is horrible. Crashes left and right....doesn't even need flash now. Still a memory hog. Stopped using FF after v4.

    Not gonna lie. FF almost never crashed on me, but FF8 has done it 2 times in 2 days. hope it is just a fluke.

    As for memory, yeah over 300mb for 1 tab is pushing it, but with ram so cheap, that has not bugged me yet.
  • -2 Hide
    wiinippongamer , November 11, 2011 1:07 AM
    Mozilla is cool for their support to open-source philosophy and all that, but they've only been pulling out crap since FF 3.0, Chrome is infinitely better IMO.
  • 1 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , November 11, 2011 1:20 AM
    7 years old and 8 versions old.
  • 6 Hide
    ravewulf , November 11, 2011 1:29 AM
    mayankleoboy17 years old and 8 versions old.

    5 of those being from the past 8 months.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , November 11, 2011 1:49 AM
    Memory use still bugs me. Sure, I might have 6GB of RAM on this laptop but when a browser uses 1/6 of that for ~10 tabs...I can't help but dislike it.
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , November 11, 2011 2:07 AM
    I remember it took forever to get from version 2 to version 3 and then forever from 3 to 4, and now we're on 8.

    Version 2 was still the best version of Firefox out there, too bad we can't use it anymore.
  • 0 Hide
    runswindows95 , November 11, 2011 2:09 AM
    Since today, I've had to quit using Firefox. A lot of sights are acting buggy. I can't even log into THG on FF. So, till it's fixed, I'll be using Chrome.
  • -1 Hide
    FloKid , November 11, 2011 2:47 AM
    You will always be 3 to me.
  • -1 Hide
    bin1127 , November 11, 2011 2:55 AM
    Just checked i'm using version 6. I swear I updated FF not very long ago...
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 11, 2011 3:22 AM
    FF8 STILL does not have a rendering engine that takes advantage of more than 1 CPU core. Retarded!
    It's speed tests will go up drastically if it can use 1 core per tab like Chrome can.
  • 2 Hide
    lordstormdragon , November 11, 2011 4:30 AM
    danwat1234FF8 STILL does not have a rendering engine that takes advantage of more than 1 CPU core. Retarded!It's speed tests will go up drastically if it can use 1 core per tab like Chrome can.


    Firefox has always been multithreaded, and now uses the GPU itself more than ever. Chrome is pretty much a toy browser, no real features of note and it is far more unstable than Firefox and its clones. Of course if you're doing nothing but Facebook or adult imagery, you wouldn't ever need more than one core.

    And for the rest of you whiners, go install MemoryFox and quit your crying.
  • 1 Hide
    _Pez_ , November 11, 2011 5:09 AM
    lordstormdragonFirefox has always been multithreaded, and now uses the GPU itself more than ever. Chrome is pretty much a toy browser, no real features of note and it is far more unstable than Firefox and its clones. Of course if you're doing nothing but Facebook or adult imagery, you wouldn't ever need more than one core.And for the rest of you whiners, go install MemoryFox and quit your crying.

    wow I didn't know it was using GPU Power for itself. Now I know why the first card gets little hotter than the other two on my sli setup. Thank you ! Problem Solved! you deserve "Best answer from lordstormdragon "
  • 0 Hide
    lordstormdragon , November 11, 2011 5:20 AM
    Not all functions use the GPU from your browser, but running a GPU monitor widget will let you know more readily how much RAM (texture space, generally) and GPU cycles Firefox is using. Kinda cool.

    Generally it's Flash and HTML5 stuff that's being accelerated, not usually .jpg image-loading or text-rendering for example. But those aren't math-intensive functions usually. But that would explain the heat discrepancy between your two graphics cards, _Pez_, as I doubt Firefox would be accessing the second card at all.

    Heavy 3D apps such as Maya and Max also aren't boosted by SLI/Crossfire, except for in pure GPU-based renderers such as iRay or Vray-RT. But your on-screen viewports even in very expensive software won't utilize that second card. Generally, SLI/Crossfire are geared towards heavy DirectX loads.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , November 11, 2011 5:25 AM
    otacon72FF8 is horrible. Crashes left and right....doesn't even need flash now. Still a memory hog. Stopped using FF after v4.


    wow, ff8 crashes less than 3.6 did for me, and it runs faster and seemingly lighter too.

    otacon72Yes RAM is cheap but when it's taking almost a gig of ram the browser itself just starts freezing. I loved FF v4 but I went back IE.


    it freezes at about 1.5 gigs, what the hell kind of stapler are you trying to run it on anyway?

    seriously, how long before the last format,
    gpu, when was the last driver update
    cpu,
    os

    tell us what makes it so bad for you, because im still useing 8.0a1 (2011-07-24) and couldnt be happier, though im not planning to upgrade to 8 full release, just because thats a hassle.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 11, 2011 5:28 AM
    lordstormdragonFirefox has always been multithreaded, and now uses the GPU itself more than ever. ............


    Yeah, multithreaded but still the rendering engine will just use 1 core, even if your trying to restore 20 tabs on a beefy internet connection. Multi-threaded !=multi-core support, being multi-threaded is just a programming technique and if it happens to be able to keep two threads busy at the same time, well then good.
  • 0 Hide
    acyuta , November 11, 2011 5:47 AM
    I have gone back to default usage of FF since v5 (after using chrome for most of 2010), simply because I support FF and it has gone better.
    However, memory usage is still behind FF.
    The biggest issue is that if some memory intensive app is running (like syncing, copying or acronis), clicking on FF to open takes the longest time. At that time, only chrome opens (IE also fails). This is with 10GB of DDR3 1333, and a core i7-950 CPU.
  • 1 Hide
    lordstormdragon , November 11, 2011 6:28 AM
    Again, I urge everyone with memory issues to start using MemoryFox, a free Add-On. I'm not affiliated in any way, but when you've got the options to configure your browser any way you like, you may as well use them!

    It's really nice to be able to configure your software and add functionality, something the Firefox community has always excelled at.
  • 0 Hide
    claydavis , November 11, 2011 10:03 AM
    A Good development for firefox. It is the second largest browser used my most.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , November 11, 2011 9:53 PM
    acyutaI have gone back to default usage of FF since v5 (after using chrome for most of 2010), simply because I support FF and it has gone better.However, memory usage is still behind FF.The biggest issue is that if some memory intensive app is running (like syncing, copying or acronis), clicking on FF to open takes the longest time. At that time, only chrome opens (IE also fails). This is with 10GB of DDR3 1333, and a core i7-950 CPU.


    firefox uses more memory on one tab than the rest, but on many tabs it uses less.

    lordstormdragonAgain, I urge everyone with memory issues to start using MemoryFox, a free Add-On. I'm not affiliated in any way, but when you've got the options to configure your browser any way you like, you may as well use them!It's really nice to be able to configure your software and add functionality, something the Firefox community has always excelled at.


    im using memory fox on full system. some applications dont like that, but they never did run great after a period of not using them so i wont hold it against it. it makes chrome with 40~tabs take less than 200mb of ram.
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