Firefox Exceeds 25 Million Downloads

Hard to imagine 100 days have passed since the official and successful debut of Firefox 1.0. I bet it's for Microsoft to stop thinking about it, particularly after the non-profit Mozilla Foundation announced its upstart Web browser has sped past the 25 million mark in downloads this week. Mozilla estimates more than a half-million sites have links or some kind of promotion for the alternative browser like my site.

That avalanche of support and downloads has continued despite news late last week of a flaw that affects virtually every browser except for Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) that may make users vulnerable to "spoofing," a bait-and-switch technique hackers can use to trick Web surfers into thinking they're reviewing a legitimate site through the sneaky use of international domain names (IDN).

IE doesn't have this problem because, unlike virtually all other browsers, it doesn't support IDN recognition by default. As a result, the next Firefox update (1.0.1), to be released sometime over the next two weeks, will disable this feature temporarily. For the long-term, however, Mozilla developers believe this is an "unsatisfactory solution," and hope to have this minor bug fixed in time for the next full-featured update of Firefox 1.1.

The fact remains, IE is still the target of choice for hackers and viruses. So much so, Microsoft announced plans to release a new version of IE separate from Longhorn, its next operating system upgrade. And some experts believe it to be a defensive move to protect its share of the browser market. Yet, considering how slow Microsoft has been in addressing security problems, it's no wonder so many people have switched to Firefox. I strongly urge you to give Firefox a try. It's certainly the safest and most efficient program I've used to surf the Net.

CNET News February 18, 2005

Information Week February 16, 2005

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