Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Firefox: The alternative history

Less than a week ago, I linked to an oral history of the birth of the Web. It was largely about Netscape's meteoric rise from a non-entity to the company that launched the dot-com boom of the late 90's. However, the company couldn't take the heat from its bigger competitor (which started giving away its product for free by bundling it with its operating system), and almost folded. But, it did something that was to become truly historic: it opened up its source code. Eric Raymond, the open source evangelist, gives this event the pride of place in his history of the open source movement.

Now, what happened to the product that Netscape open-sourced? We know the answer: it became the Firefox browser, that is becoming the default browser of an ever growing tribe of netizens. We now have this story on ZDNet (UK) that recounts the history of Firefox from the time Netscape open-sourced its code. [Link via Slashdot]


  1. Anonymous said...'s becoming more and more popular....
    even nearly half my blogs readers (not a massive sample by any means :-)) are firefox users......

    It'll really be interesting if Instapundit or boing boing puts up what percentage of their readers use IE vs Firefox.....that'll give a really good idea of how many people have shifted to firefox.