Just a week or so after Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla has released the new version of its open source browser - Firefox 2.0 - prompting some people to suggest that the browser wars of the ninieties are back on.
Features of the new Firefox browser include phishing protection, which reports if a web site may be malicious; session saving, which restores windows or Firefox tabs if the browser crashes; improved access to Web feeds; spell checking; and search suggestions.
In figures released in October, Mozilla’s Firefox browser had 11.49% share of the global market, with Microsoft’s IE7 on 85.85%, according to OneStat.
Microsoft had hoped that the new IE7 help reassert its dominance, but Firefox 2.0 could prove to be a thorn in its side.
Microsoft's new browser has been well-received in general, with Microsoft's server said to be 'buckling under the weight of downloads'. More than three million downloads were reported within the first week. It will be a few weeks before IE7 is updated automatically for millions of users.
Yet there are reports of compatability problems with IE7, with some websites failing to render in the browser.
Some bloggers have praised Microsoft’s new browser, with its improved security features and tabbed browsing proving popular. IT Specialist was full of praise:
"..it's well worth the upgrade…IE7 is the equal of Firefox 1.5, and in some ways better. “
Others, such as Mark Evans, preferred to wait and see what the new version of Firefox will offer:
“What if IE7 isn't the be all and end all of browsers? What if it's simply a much-needed improvement from IE 6, which was still using Spyglass technology from late-1990s?"
Firefox 2.0 was beta tested by more than one million people prior to release.