28 November, 2007

Microsoft Just a Spectator at Mozilla’s Firefox Spectacle

Microsoft is nothing more than a simple spectator at Mozilla’s Firefox spectacle of releases. A new version of the open source browser is now available for download. Mozilla has delivered Firefox 2.0.0.10, a stability update announced as early as last week. Firefox 2.0.0.10 can be grabbed immediately via this link, but Mozilla will also serve the refresh via its update infrastructure, and in this sense, users will be alerted of the new build. With this release, Mozilla has plugged three security holes in the browser. A referer-spoofing via window.location race condition flaw, jar: URI scheme XSS hazard, and holes involving memory corruption are the vulnerabilities fixed with Firefox 2.0.0.10.

“As part of Mozilla Corporation’s ongoing stability and security update process, Firefox 2.0.0.10 is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux for free download. We strongly recommend that all Firefox users upgrade to this latest release. If you already have Firefox 2.x, you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours. This update can also be applied manually by selecting “Check for Updates…” from the Help menu starting now”, reads a message from Mozilla accompanying the Firefox 2.0.0.10 release.

A week ago, Mozilla evolved its upcoming version of Firefox, codenamed Gran Paradiso from Alpha stage to Beta phase. Beta 1 is also available for download and indicates Mozilla’s proximity to a final release of Firefox 3.0. Although a few additional betas now separate the next version of the open source browser from its final release in 2008, Mozilla is making headway, while Microsoft is still struggling with the dogfooding of Internet Explorer 8. The development of IE8 is lagging behind Firefox 3.0, as Microsoft’s browser is not expected to hit the market until the end of 2008, or early 2009.

At this point in time, Internet Explorer’s market share continues to erode to Firefox, with IE7’s adoption having hit a dead wall even after Microsoft stripped the browser of the Windows Genuine Advantage, opening it to all Windows pirates. This tendency will only accentuate with Firefox 3.0 dropping almost an entire year ahead of IE8.