World Firefox Day: 15 July

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The World Firefox Day was first celebrated on 15th July 2006 to mark the third anniversary of founding of the Mozilla Foundation. It ran for a month, till 26 September.

There was a huge effort to push and advertise Firefox. Some people even made a crop circle of the Firefox logo in an oat field near Amity, Oregon. The browser had been downloaded more than 100 million times in it’s first year, but the developers were looking for larger numbers.

Firefox web browser crop circle created in 2006 at an oat field near Amity, Oregon

On 21st of February 2008, Firefox web browser achieved 500 million downloads. Google too joined in the marketing. They started promoting the browser heavily and even included it in their Google Software Pack. The search engine giant had its reasons. Google was paying the Mozilla Corporation millions of dollars to have their search bar included in the Firefox browser.

On 17th June 2008, Firefox 3 set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of software downloads in 24 hours. The browser was downloaded more than 8 million times. Firefox 4 broke this record but since no Guinness official was present to monitor the servers, it was not recognised. The usage of the web browser kept increasing and in July 2010, IBM asked all of its 400,000 employees to set up Firefox as the default on their computers.

How we plan to celebrate Firefox Day

Everyone at our office uses Chrome. We plan to switch to the latest Firefox version on both our computers and mobiles (phones and tablets) for a day or two.

Why put so much of effort in this, you ask?
Simple! At one point in time, Firefox had provided us with a good alternative to Internet Explorer. We tip our hats for that and honour the browser by showing a little love.

Also, we’ve been using Chrome for a long long time. Not that we don’t like it. But you never know! Maybe Firefox impresses us. We can only find that out if we use the browser for a day or two consistently.

Let us know how you plan to celebrate the World Firefox Day in the comments below.

Quick history of Firefox web browser

It all started at Netscape. The once dominant web browser, Netscape, was dying. It had lost the first browser war (Browser War I, in geek parlance) to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. An informal group got together at the company and set up Mozilla Organisation sometime in 2002. They started working on their own browser – Mozilla.

In the meanwhile, with no decent competitor, the usage of Internet Explorer had climbed to close to 95%. Several web users wanted an alternative but there was none in sight.

The Mozilla community took it upon themselves to fight it out with Microsoft. they released the first version of the browser on 23rd September 2002. The software was called Phoenix – the mythical bird that rose from the ashes. Quite an ironical name. However, this was soon changed to Firebird because of trademark issues. And the name was changed once again to Firefox, which comes from the red panda (Ailurus fulgens), a mammal found in the Himalayas.

Red Panda - Ailurus fulgens - The animal from which Firefox web browser takes its name

On 15th July 2003, Mozilla Foundation was founded and, coincidentally on the same day, Netscape was disbanded by its then owner, AOL Time Warner.

By the way, there are three (maybe more) different types of “Mozillas”.

I leave you now with on an optimistic note and a wink. If you fancy yourself as a bug hunter, you can get between $500 to $10,000+ from Mozilla by discovering a security hole in the Firefox web browser or the Thunderbird email client.

Image Source (Firefox logo): By Sean Martell for Mozilla [2][3], CC BY 3.0,

Image Source (Firefox Crop Circle):

Image Source (Red Panda): By Mathias AppelRed Panda, CC0,