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VIA Announces Partnership with Mozilla

VIA announced an official partnership with Mozilla for support and development of Firefox OS for new device form factors. Firefox OS running on APC Paper and Rock has been released with complete, buildable source codes available to developers on GitHub. In order to continue to encourage community support, free APCs will be rewarded to developers that fix a known issue. A full list of issues is available here.

"Firefox OS puts the power of the Web to the people. This partnership with APC presents an exciting opportunity to help redefine user experiences on desktops around the world," said Dr. Li Gong, Senior Vice President of mobile devices and, President of Asia Operations. "Mozilla will keep working on new features and enhancements of Firefox OS, and also provide knowledge sharing and technical support for Firefox OS and Marketplace."

"We are excited to announce this partnership with Mozilla and their enthusiastic support to speed development of Firefox OS on APC," said Richard Brown, VP of International Marketing, VIA Technologies Inc. "Mozilla's mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the web, aligns with our vision for APC, creating the perfect combination to deliver the best of the web to desktops everywhere. We couldn't be more excited about the future."

Mozilla Delivers Firefox 18.0 Beta

Mozilla has now made available a fresh beta build of the Firefox desktop browser. This latest release (version 18.0) brings improved tab switching performance, a new HTML scaling algorithm (for better image quality), support for Apple Retina Displays (on OS X 10.7+), for WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), and for W3C touch events, plus tweaks and a few fixes.

The Firefox 18.0 Beta(1) is available here for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Mozilla Gifts Microsoft IE Team Customary Cake

A nice little game Microsoft's Internet Explorer team and Mozilla play is gifting each other cake each time the other launches a new version of their browser. Mozilla sent Microsoft the latest one, to congratulate it on MSIE 10 launch (along with a much bigger one, of Windows 8). In its tweet, the MSIE team thanked Mozilla for the cake, and said it's looking forward to a version of Firefox optimized for Windows 8. It is rumored that Mozilla does/has in the past sent recipes along with their cake (keeping it open-source all the way). Microsoft launched its slickest, fastest version of Internet Explorer with Windows 8, a version for Windows 7 is slated for November.

Firefox 13 Beta Available for Download

Not wasting much time following the Firefox 12 launch, Mozilla has now made available the public beta version of its next browser release. The Firefox 13 beta features an updated default home page (providing quicker access to bookmarks, history and settings), a tweaked new tab experience (users are presented with their most visited pages), smooth scrolling, the SPDY protocol which is enabled from the get-go, experimental support for ECMAScript 6 Map and Set objects, and a few more dev-oriented goodies.

Firefox 13 Beta is available here for Windows, Max OS X and Linux.

Firefox 12 Officially Released

Open source supporter Mozilla has today announced the arrival of its latest Firefox release, Firefox 12. This build brings a stealthier update system on Windows (it removes the user account control dialog pop-up), multiple security fixes, better WebGL performance on Mac OS X, automatic downloads for URLs pasted into the download manager window, support for the text-align-last CSS property and for the ECMAScript 6 Map and Set objects, and a few more tweaks and improvements.

Firefox 12 is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux and can be downloaded via this page.

Mozilla Firefox To Pack H.264 Support

It looks like Mozilla has given in to the pressure of incorporating H.264 CODEC into its Firefox web-browser, and could incorporate it in future versions of the browser. The CODEC allows online videos utilizing H.264 format to run. Mozilla has been avoiding H.264 support since it is proprietary, riddled with patents, and requires Mozilla to purchase a license for millions of Dollars from MPEG-LA.

Mozilla has been trying to push for standards alternative to H.264, such as WebM, and the VP8 format. It had originally planned its push for an H.264-free web at a time when it was a much stronger player in the web-browser market, which now sees a strong presence of Google Chrome, which already features H.264. H.264 is superior to its alternatives, in being lighter on the system's resources (hence, lighter on the battery).


Sources: Engadget, The Inquirer

Mozilla Countering Firefox Update Fatigue with Silent Updates, Add-on Compatibility

Throughout 2011, Firefox users have seen their browser's major version number go up very 6 weeks or so, something that was unheard of, in the years before, when it could take years for a major version number increase. Mozilla was obviously inflating version numbers for better market placement with other browsers that have crossed version 9x (such as Chrome, MSIE, and Opera). With Firefox already at version 11, Mozilla wants to slow down with the version number game, which caused "update fatigue" among users. Apart from keeping track of their browser's version number, users that have important add-ons installed, stay away from updates because major version number changes break the add-ons.

Mozilla wants to counter update fatigue with a two pronged approach. Firstly, it will change the way browser version numbers affect add-on compatibility. With Firefox 11, any add-on that's compatible with Firefox 4+ will just run, without compatibility issues. Add-ons disabled by older versions of the browser will now resume working. Next up, Mozilla will introduce completely silent updates, which get downloaded in the background, and don't notify you about restarting the browser to apply updates. You'll never notice when your Firefox reaches version 9001.Sources: TheNextWeb Insider, Mozilla

Firefox 11 Launches Today

Over two months after launching Firefox 10, and backing it up two two security updates (10.0.1 and 10.0.2), Mozilla is almost ready with the stable version of Firefox 11, which it is reportedly launching later today. Mozilla posted what was supposedly Firefox 11 stable on its FTP, before redacting it, citing that the build is not actually stable, and that QA was still on.

Firefox 11 will introduce several new features, including performance improvements. To begin with, Firefox 11 supports the SPDY protocol, all pages are loaded on SSL with SPDY, which is both faster and more secure. Firefox' bookmarks and preferences migration assistant will now support Google Chrome, letting users migrate from Chrome to Firefox. Firefox Sync will now also synchronize addons between sync'd PCs. Lastly, Firefox 11 is said to include more feature-rich developer tools. The Android version of Firefox 11 will ship with Adobe Flash, for Android 2.3 and earlier.Source: PCWorld

Mozilla Boot to Gecko Operating System Launched, Promises Cheaper Devices

Mozilla's ambitious Boot to Gecko (B2G) operating system project has finally gone to business. It provides a functional, open-source, cheaper alternative to the likes of Apple iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile, which its makers claim can reduce cost of manufacture of devices such as smartphones and tablets by 10 percent (a significant amount). B2G uses applications coded using web-standards, taking advantage of the rich feature-set of HTML5. It's only a matter of time before smartphone and tablet manufacturers of all shapes and sizes take interest in this new OS built by a credible source, Mozilla. The guys behind Firefox.

Source: VR-Zone, Image Courtesy: PC Mag

Mozilla Opens Apps Marketplace for Developer Submissions at Mobile World Congress

Mozilla, a nonprofit organization dedicated to putting the power of the Web in people's hands, today announced that the Mozilla Marketplace will open for developers to submit Web apps at Mobile World Congress. By building on open Web technologies like HTML5 and Mozilla-proposed APIs, the Mozilla Marketplace will enable developers to write one app that runs across devices and platforms. As part of Mozilla's mission to keep the Web open and put people in control of their Web experience, users can buy apps once and use it on any HTML5-enabled device.

Screenshots of Mozilla's Boot-to-Gecko Operating System Surface

Here are the first screenshots of Mozilla's first operating system (OS). It's not a PC OS, but a significant feat for an organization as collaborated as Mozilla. News of Mozilla working on its own OS first surfaced in July 2011, it was then interpreted as a "boot-to-web" OS along the lines of Google's Chrome OS. It now appears Boot-to-Gecko's primary focus is on the portable computing market, primarily tablets and smartphones, as a possible 100% royalty-free option to manufacturers. In the screenshots, the phone dialer and main menu are pictured. Boot-to-Gecko will be detailed by Mozilla's CTO at the Mobile Web Congress.

Source: Engadget

Firefox 11 Goes Beta

Don't worry if you just installed Firefox 10.0 cause there's a new Foxxy browser craving your attention, the Firefox 11.0 beta. This fresh build comes with an updated migration tool that can also import Chrome bookmarks, history, and cookies, and features add-on syncing capabilities, redesigned media controls for HTML5 video, and support for the CSS text-size-adjust property and the outerHTML property.

Firefox 11.0 also brings some goodies for devs like the Page Inspector 3D View, the new Style Editor tool, SPDY Support and more.

To download the Firefox 11.0 beta (for Windows, Mac OS or Linux) see this page.

Mozilla Firefox 10.0 Available for Download

Mozilla has today let loose the 10.0 version of the Firefox browser for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. This release includes several fixes, brings a hidden forward button (which appears when the user navigates back), Full Screen APIs, and features support for WebGL Anti-Aliasing, CSS3 3D-Transforms, and for the < bdi > element for bi-directional text isolation.

To download Firefox 10.0 (for any of three platforms mentioned above) visit this page.

Big Dollars Not Enough? SOPA Support Continues To Wither Away

The draconian internet censorship bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) being lobbied for by wealthy big media corporations (mostly fronted by the RIAA/MPAA, News Corporation and the like) and currently being debated in Congress is still losing support wherever one turns. A week ago, we reported that GoDaddy initially supported it, but soon changed its mind as it immediately began to haemorrhage customers. Now, it turns out that many video games companies are also coming out against it and with no pressure against them required.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is the game industry's trade association and stands firmly behind the much-despised bill, which means that the gaming industry as a whole is deemed to support SOPA. However, while some members openly support it, others just won't say so publically and some of its members actively do not support it, having made official statements to this effect. Here are just three of them:

Google Chrome will Overtake Internet Explorer in 2012: StatCounter

After overtaking Mozilla Firefox in terms of web-browser market-share in December 2011, Google Chrome has its eyes trained on Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE), still the most popular web-browser in use today. According to the most recent StatCounter figures, at the rate at which Google Chrome's market-share is growing, it will overtake that of MSIE in 2012. It will do that as early as in June-July. Interestingly, Google Chrome is the youngest web-browser among its competitors, launched in Q4 2008, but has surpassed the market shares of much older competitors in a matter of months. Apart from stats, Google's web-advertising prowess makes Chrome's MSIE overtake in June-July seem realistic.


Source: Pocket-lint

Mozilla a Partner, Not Competitor: Google Chrome Engineer

In what could be a sign of improving ties between Google and Mozilla, Peter Kasting, engineer in the Google Chrome web-browser development team referred to Mozilla as a partner, and not a competitor. The statement came in context of the recently-renewed search engine deal between the two, where Google pays Mozilla for setting Google as its primary search engine, both on its browser search bar, and its Firefox start page. Kasting also went to the extant of stating that Chrome isn't necessarily a profit-seeking operation by Google.

Kasting stated: "People never seem to understand why Google builds Chrome no matter how many times I try to pound it into their heads. It's very simple: the primary goal of Chrome is to make the web advance as much and as quickly as possible. It's completely irrelevant to this goal whether Chrome actually gains tons of users or whether instead the web advances because the other browser vendors step up their game and produce far better browsers. Either way the web gets better. Job done."

Firefox 10 Beta Available for Download

Since it already got its holiday present, the new three-year search agreement with Google, Mozilla has went into a gift-giving mode and served up the first public beta build of the next Firefox release, version 10.0.

According to the developers, Firefox 10 comes with Full Screen APIs (so web apps can run in full screen mode), with support for CSS3 3D-Transforms and WebGL Anti-Aliasing, and an added HTML5 treat, the < bdi > element for bi-directional text isolation.

The beta also includes a forward button which stays hidden until you navigate back, an Inspect tool with content highlighting, IndexedDB APIs, and a few fixes. Just like its predecessors, the Firefox 10.0 beta is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. The download links can be found here.

Mozilla Officially Releases Firefox 9.0, Signs New Search Deal with Google

Open source software supporter Mozilla has today announced two things, the launch of the 9.0 version of Firefox, and the signing of a new search deal with Google. Firefox 9.0 features the Type Inference which boosts JavaScript performance, it brings better theme integration on Mac OS X Lion, and also includes goodies like:

- two finger swipe navigation for Mac OS X Lion
- support for querying Do Not Track status via JavaScript
- support for font-stretch
- improved support for text-overflow
- improved standards support for HTML5, MathML, and CSS
- fixes for several stability and security issues

NSS Labs Accuses Google of Undertaking Campaign to Knock Firefox Off The Market

Google Chrome is a fast and functional web browser. Let's get that out of the way first. But one of the main reasons a largely successful corporation put resources into developing a web-browser into a market that isn't very profitable, is cost-cutting. Since it's inception, the search bar Mozilla Firefox came with, has Google as its default search provider. Every time people search using that search bar in Firefox, Mozilla Foundation makes money. It is estimated that these Google searches amount to a majority of Mozilla's revenue, as Google pays it as much as 50 million dollars an year. Google Chrome, despite its genuine merits, is a cost-cutting operation. The more people use it over Firefox, the less Google has to pay Mozilla.

Web security researchers have historically rated Google Chrome has having the worst security and privacy compared to Firefox, and Internet Explorer (read this, and here), but the most recent research by Denver-based security consultancy Accuvant claimed that Google Chrome has the best security and privacy features, while Mozilla Firefox has the worst. Want to hear the kicker? That research by Accuvant was funded by Google. Want to hear another one? A similar research firm that has historically done vendor-funded research, NSS Labs, voiced strong objections to Accuvant's research, calling it an all-out attempt to malign Mozilla Firefox.

Google Chrome Overtakes Mozilla Firefox in Browser Market-share: StatCounter

According to the latest data sourced by StatCounter for the month of November 2011, Google Chrome has overtaken Mozilla Firefox in terms of web-browser software market-share. The GlobalStats data provides a worldwide picture, and not just specific to a region. According to the data, Chrome took 25.69% of the worldwide market (up from 4.66% in November 2009) compared to Firefox's 25.23%.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer still maintains a strong lead globally with 40.63%. Google Chrome began in mid-2008 as an experimental minimalist UI web-browser based on the Chromium project, it is a multi-process tabbed web browser based on Apple Webkit and several other pieces of free, licensed, and open-source technologies. Its market share is on the rise. The stats can be accessed here.

Mozilla Firefox 8 Released

You know what, we won't even go through the drill of expressing surprise that a new major version of Firefox is released on a nearly-monthly basis. Mozilla released Firefox 8.0, about 7 months after it released Firefox 4.0. And they look similar, except that the new one looks more polished. Granted, drastic UI changes can hit users' learning curve and preferences. The new UI sports essentially the same layout as its predecessors since version 4.0, but the elements look designed better, fused into the theme. It's the under-the-hood changes that are counting. Mozilla would never pack so many background changes to the monthly updates of Firefox 3.

DOWNLOAD: Mozilla Firefox 8.0

With this release, Mozilla Firefox has the following changes over the previous generation:

In Development: Full-On, High Performance 3D Gaming Right In Your Web Browser

Mozilla are developing a full-on 3D game engine for their Firefox browser. It looks like having a viable high performance game engine built right into the browser could allow first person shooter type games to reach a much wider audience and possibly even raise the bar for integrated graphics - we're already seeing this with the upcoming Sandy Bridge E processors. The project is called Paladin, which is developing the Gladius 3D gaming engine. To help test it, a basic 3D game, RescueFox has been prototyped, although that’s not going to be developed further, but forking is welcomed. We’ll let the Mozilla development blog take it away from here.

Firefox in Warp Zone, Updated to Version 7.0

A little over a month after releasing Firefox 6.0, and quickly following it up with two minor updates (6.0.1 and 6.0.2), Mozilla released its next "major" version, Firefox 7.0 into the release channel. It is now clear that Mozilla Firefox is playing catch-up with other popular web-browsers in some sort of a version number game. The three year old Google Chrome is already into version 14, with version 16 already in the dev channel.

While Firefox users will not be in for a different user interface (it's bad to drastically change it from time to time), Firefox 7 does seem to come with several under-the-hood changes. To begin with, the Windows version features a brand-new rendering back-end that speeds up Canvas, a tweaked Sync system that instantly syncs changes to bookmarks and saved passwords, support for text-overflow: ellipsis, compliance with the Web Timing specification, WebSocket protocol updated from version 7 to 8, and improved support for MathML. The only UI change is that the protocol of the page loaded is hidden. The full URL will be copied when you copy the address in the bar. Firefox 7 is launched for all platforms it's available in: Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.
DOWNLOAD: Mozilla Firefox 7

Mozilla Firefox 6 Web-Browser Released

Mozilla's Firefox version number inflation drive continues as it plays catch up with Google Chrome 13 and Internet Explorer 9. Released today, Firefox 6 packs small number of new features, improved font rendering, along with the usual load of security and bug fixes. To begin with, the navigation toolbar got a couple of updates: the address bar now highlights the domain name of the loaded webpage. The site identity box (which displays the favicon, and security status of the loaded webpage), is now "streamlined" with the rest of the address bar.

Firefox 6 supports the latest draft version of WebSockets with a prefixed API. It adds support for EventSource / server-sent events, window.matchMedia. There's an improved web-console to help developers. The browser has better discoverability with Firefox Sync. It starts faster when using Panorama. Again, there's the a load of security and stability fixes.

DOWNLOAD: Mozilla Firefox 6

Mozilla Foundation Develops its Own Operating System

One of the biggest promoters of open source software, and the group behind one of the most popular web-browsers, Mozilla Foundation, has undertaken a project of developing a mobile operating system referred to as "B2G" or Boot to Gecko, with the catchphrase "booting to the web". We expect it to be functionally modeled somewhere between Google's Android and Chrome operating systems. Essentially it is an operating system that boots to the web-browser that can get you browsing the web directly, or use cloud-based application software.

B2G might target a variety of devices ranging from smartphones to tablets and netbooks. Smartphone essentials such as telephony, SMS, camera, Bluetooth, NFC (near-field communication) and USB, will work with the browser via new web APIs. Applications can be cloud-based widgets, or software that uses open developer environments. Basic applications will be functionally identical to many of the apps that ship with Android or even Apple iOS. What's more, B2G's kernel and booting substrate will be designed to be 100% compatible with today's Android-compatible devices such as phones and tablets, so manufacturers don't have to redesign anything on their side. At this stage the project is still in its infancy, and is seeking community participation, the same participation that made Firefox and Thunderbird applications with the quality of proprietary software.Source: MozillaWiki
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