Mozilla today releases version 100 of the Firefox browser, which began life as a worthy alternative to Internet Explorer in 2004, but is now eclipsed by Google Chrome.
The latest version of Firefox arrives today for Windows, Mac, and Linux on desktop, as well as Android and iOS on mobile.
On the desktop, Firefox 100 brings two main usability improvements. Picture-in-Picture (PiP), introduced in 2019, allows video to be displayed in a separate window that persists independently of the browser so users can switch between tabs and continue viewing a video while they do something else .
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Firefox already supports multiple PiPs, and version 100 improves subtitles and closed captioning. Initially, PiP subtitles and captions will be available on YouTube, Prime Video and Netflix, as well as Coursera and Twitter online courses, which support the WebVTT format.
the Firefox 100 beta optimized the size of scrollbars in Linux and Windows 11. Indeed, they are thinner because scrollbars do not take up space by default. Linux users can change the size in system settings via about:preferences.
Windows 11 users can configure the Firefox scrollbar in System Settings > Accessibility > Visual Effects > Always Show Scrollbars. Change scrollbars only on Firefox, use the widget.windows.overlay-scrollbars.enabled preference from about:config.
Mozilla says in a blog post that the browser’s 100th milestone was “a big deal worthy of confetti, streamers, and cake, and, of course, thoughtfulness.”
Built on Mozilla’s Gecko engine, Firefox 1.0 launched in 2004 as an open-source alternative to Microsoft’s then-dominant proprietary Internet Explorer browser. It promised to block contextual ads, integration with Google Search and other search services, tabs, add-ons, and more. Within a year, Firefox had been downloaded over 100 million times.
The origins of the Mozilla project date back to 1998 when Netscape opened up the Communicator 5.0 code and made it available on the Mozilla.org website. Before Firefox, Mozilla released the Mozilla 1.0 browser in 2002. Later that year. this launched the Phoenix Browserwhich would later be renamed Firebird before finally landing on Firefox.
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Back in 2004, Microsoft executives claimed Firefox was no threat to IE’s dominance, but by 2011 Firefox had beaten IE in Europe, although Chrome is growing at a faster rate.
The number of Firefox desktops in recent years has dropped. In 2019, it had around 250 million monthly active users (MAUs), but in April, Firefox had 207 million UAM. In 2009, it held 23.75% of the global browser market, but today it is around 3% and is even less used than Microsoft Edge, while Chrome has a 65% share. according to Statcounter global statistics.
But, after Microsoft announced its move to Chromium for Edge in 2018, Firefox became the last browser not built on Chromium for Windows, Mac, and Linux.