The Mozilla Project was created to wrestle control over the Web from Microsoft. Through its then dominant 98% browser market share with Internet Explorer 6, Microsoft had almost total control over the evolution of the Web. Mozilla didn’t tackle this situation merely through advocacy–telling the world why it is bad if a single corporation has disproportionate control over an ecosystem as important and central to our lives as the Web. Instead, we went to work to create a better, more powerful Web and a better, more powerful browser: Firefox.The competition and innovation Firefox brought to the Web has dramatically changed the open Web and browser landscape over the last 10 years.
Today, no single browser vendor has the same dominant market share Microsoft had. Users can choose from a number of browsers made by Microsoft, Google, Apple and of course Mozilla. The competition in the browser space is one of the clearest signs of the success of our mission over the last 10 years.
Advancing Audio and Video
Audio and Video on the Web are also making big leaps forward with the help of Mozilla. We are one of the leading proponents of WebRTC, a new Web API for real-time communication via audio, video and data channels. Together with our long time partner Telefonica, we are bringing Firefox Hello, a WebRTC-based audio/video chat feature to Firefox soon. Firefox Hello allows people to communicate in real time without the need to download software or create an account.
Building out the Web
Our volunteer community continues to have a big role in advancing Firefox and the Web. Andre Natal from our Brazilian community has been contributing speech recognition functionality to Firefox and Firefox OS. This will allow users to interact with their desktop browsers as well as Firefox OS devices by simply using their voice. This Web Speech API is currently being added to our rendering engine Gecko.
Firefox Developer Edition
If you are a Web developer and excited to try out some of the technologies above, we have something special for you in celebration of our 10th anniversary. While we build the Web, it is developers who build the content and experiences the Web enables. In recognition of their efforts and our ongoing commitment to the Web developer community we are releasing a dedicated Firefox Developer Edition, made specifically for Web developers with many features that developers want enabled by default. The developer edition streamlines development workflow and adds new features that simplify the process of building for the entire Web, whether targeting mobile or desktop across many different platforms.
What the Future Holds
10 years ago, Mozilla started a long journey to set the Web free of Microsoft’s proprietary control, and today we have largely achieved that goal. The next phase of the struggle for an open Web is mobile where a new duopoly has arisen: iOS and Android. Just as we took on Microsoft 10 years ago with Firefox, we are looking to unseat Google’s and Apple’s dominance over the mobile space by creating a new smartphone OS that is built of the Web: Firefox OS. Since its launch last year Firefox OS has now spread to 24 countries all over the world, including our most recent launch in India. If you are using our Firefox OS developer phone, Firefox is releasing a new developer build of Firefox OS 2.0.
Firefox is also advancing the fundamental technologies of the Web through Servo and Rust. Servo is a new rendering engine for the next generation Web with advanced support for parallelism as well as improved security and reliability.