Mozilla released a new version of its Firefox web browser that has gained popularity as a free alternative to Microsoft's ubiquitous Internet Explorer software.
In the two years since its release by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation,
the Firefox browser has won millions of devotees worldwide.
The Firefox Two browser made available for download on Tuesday was
heralded by the Mountain View, California, organization as a "major
update" developed by an "an international community of contributors."
"Firefox 2 delivers the best possible online experience for people today,"
said Mozilla chief executive Mitchell Baker.
"The improvements Mozilla has made to the ease of use, performance, and
security in Firefox 2 reflect our ongoing, singular focus on meeting the
needs of Web users all over the world."
What's New in Firefox 2
Improvements to the user interface, security tools and options for customization.
Firefox popularized tabbed browsing. In Firefox 2, tabbed browsing has been further improved with the addition of individual close buttons on each tab, enhanced tab navigation features, and a session restore system that automatically restores previously-open windows and tabs when a new browsing session is started.
Inline spell checking in Firefox 2 automatically checks for spelling errors and suggests corrections as users interact with Web sites, bringing a common desktop feature to the Web.
With Firefox 2, Mozilla improves the browser's integrated search capabilities. The new Search Suggestions feature dynamically updates a drop-down list of suggested search terms as users enter text into the search bar for Google, Yahoo! or Answers.com search engines.
Users now see a preview of the content being offered and are given the option to subscribe to a feed as a Live Bookmark, using a Web service such as Bloglines, My Yahoo!, or Google Reader, or with a desktop application.
Identity theft protection.
In addition to its safeguards for blocking drive-by installation of spyware and unwanted pop-up windows, Firefox 2 helps protect users from identity theft by quickly informing them when they surf to a questionable Web site. To protect users' privacy, Phishing Protection is active by default with a local blacklist that updates hourly, rather than sending information to an external online service. An enhanced mode is available where users may optionally elect to have Firefox check the validity of Web sites with a third-party Web service, such as Google, prior to loading the site. Phishing Protection provides warnings, advice and guidance when Firefox encounters a Web site that appears to be fraudulent or malicious.
With thousands of add-ons that enhance the browser's functionality and features, Firefox lets users personalize their Web browsers to fit their interests and style.
Localized versions of the browser were available in 35 languages and
tailored to work with Windows, Macintosh or Linux computer operating
systems, according to Mozilla.
The browsers could be downloaded at the website www.getfirefox.com.