Mozilla is nearing the finish line for the latest version of its open source browser. Firefox 3.0 was initially planned for launch by the end of 2007, but Mozilla pushed the delivery deadline back all the way to mid 2008 in an effort to soften all the rough edges of the browser. It appears that the trade has paid off, as Firefox 3.0 reflects the focus on quality even from Beta 5 stage, ahead of the first Release Candidate. Firefox 3.0 RC1 was announced as early as the debut of April 2008, but so far, the release candidate has yet to be made available. Mozilla has already begun looking ahead to the launch of version 3.0 of Firefox.
"It all starts with a great product," stated Paul Kim, VP of marketing for Mozilla. "Firefox 3 is the strongest version of Firefox we've ever built. It contains over 14,000 improvements from Firefox 2 and reflects three years of work by Mozilla project developers. Active use of Firefox 3 beta versions is roughly 4x what we saw at peak for Firefox 2 betas, and, most importantly, beta testers are sticking with Firefox 3, indicating it is already delivering a great daily experience."
Kim estimates that Firefox's install base is over 160 million users worldwide, all market share that the open source browser dislodged from under Internet Explorer which lost a lot of terrain between the IE6 and IE7 releases, and it continues to lose ground even with IE8 in the making. Mozilla plans to spread Firefox through community and grassroots outreach bundled with more traditional marketing and PR programs.
"Reflecting the strength of Firefox 3 across multiple dimensions - performance, user experience, security, customization, and web standards support - the theme for the Firefox 3 launch is: 'A No Compromises Web Experience'. The core idea we will communicate in our launch marketing is that no other web browser matches Firefox 3 and the quality of the experience it delivers against these key measures. The growth of Firefox is being supported by an active and vocal community of end users. We aim to give our community new tools and more importantly new reasons to continue the word of mouth referrals that have amplified awareness of Firefox," Kim added.
Mozilla has yet to make public the official date when it plans to unleash Firefox 3.0 RTM onto the world, but all indications point to June 2008. Firefox 3.0 will be released in over 40 languages, and Mozilla is looking to increase the growth on the browser market with this version beyond what Firefox 2.0 had to offer.