Mozilla launches Firefox 1.0 browser

It's seen as possible competition for Microsoft's ubiquitous Internet Explorer

The Mozilla Foundation has released Version 1.0 of its Firefox browser, an open-source product that has generated lofty expectations that it will offer real competition to Microsoft Corp.'s ubiquitous Internet Explorer.

A preview release of Firefox available since last month has been downloaded over 8 million times, the Mozilla Foundation said in a statement today.

Firefox 1.0 is available in 12 languages for Microsoft's Windows, Apple Computer Inc.'s Mac OS X and Linux. The browser can be obtained through Mozilla's Web site as a free download or in CD format with a user's manual for $14.95.

The result of an open-source project, Firefox became a reality "thanks to the tireless efforts of hundreds of community volunteers and developers around the world," the Mozilla Foundation said.

Firefox 1.0 features an integrated pop-up ad blocker and safeguards against online scams such as phishing and spoofing by displaying secure sites' identities. It also attempts to improve the browsing experience by consolidating multiple Web pages into a single window and organizing them with tabs, a feature the Mozilla Foundation calls "tabbed browsing."

For those concerned about a bumpy migration to Firefox from other browsers, the product can import bookmarks, passwords and cookies, the Mozilla Foundation said.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based Mozilla Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in July 2003 to support the Mozilla open-source software project, which was launched by Netscape Communications Corp. in 1998.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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