Back in the day (2002) the browser component of Mozilla’s web suite was forked into a separate project, as some of the community members desired a standalone web browser rather than a full blown Internet application suite. The browser was named Phoenix and it aimed to be lean and fast performing. The Phoenix, which was later renamed to Firefox, quickly developed as the go-to default browser of many and had a nice 30% market share and people were fed up with Internet Explorer.
But then two things happened - Google launched Chrome and Firefox develoment stalled. I just a few years Chrome gained web browser market dominance. Firefox lagged behind in performance, user experience and overall development. I don’t know what the hell they were doing at Mozilla.
But during the last couple of years the Firefox developers and community have been doing a good job:
- They finally added Netflix/DRM support for streaming video in 2015 (and much later for Linux)
- In 2017 they released a multi-process framework known as Electrolysis, which improved the overall smoothness of page rendering.
- They developed a sane and more compact visual theme, Photon.
- And now Firefox Quantum 57 is rolling out to customers, boating a revamped rendering engine.
With these improvements the new Firefox is finally competitive against Chrome and again a solid option for all web browsing activities. Firefox and Mozilla definitely deserve a second chance, so now it’s time to give Firefox some love.