November 29, 2005 4:53 PM PST

Mozilla takes wraps off Firefox 1.5

A new version of the Firefox Web browser debuted Tuesday, promising speedier browsing, swifter updates and better pop-up blocking.

Firefox 1.5, available free via download, is the browser's first major update since creator the Mozilla Foundation introduced it about a year ago. Since then, Firefox has emerged as one of the most popular alternatives to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, with more than 100 million copies downloaded in the first year, more than 40 million active users and about 8 percent of the browser market.

Firefox is also one of the most widely distributed open-source programs, meaning anyone can use and modify the code. Thousands of volunteer programmers contributed to the new version of the browser, and more than 750,000 people were involved in testing it since Mozilla, a nonprofit, released the first test version Nov. 1.

New in the 1.5 version are more sophisticated security and performance features. In addition to a more effective pop-up blocker, the updated browser is designed to ease security updates. The program checks daily for patches, downloads them automatically and then prompts users to install them, said Chris Beard, vice president of products at Mozilla.

Other improvements include "forward" and "backward" browsing buttons designed to load Web pages more quickly. A new drag-and-drop feature for browser "tabs" lets users keep related pages together.

Firefox 1.5 also supports new Web programming standards, such as AJAX, that enable more graphical capabilities in Web pages. And the browser features more sophisticated application programming interfaces for people who build and use add-on programs, such as browser-based weather updates.

Mozilla plans to introduce new versions more frequently from now on. Firefox 2.0 is due in mid-2006, and the 3.0 release is set for the first quarter of 2007. The group expects to release security and stability updates every six to eight weeks.

In keeping with its grassroots image, Mozilla is tapping its users to help promote the new version of Firefox. It plans to publish their amateur video endorsements on its Web site. Anyone can upload a video for the group's review.

53 comments

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Awesome! TOTALLY Awesome!
I've used Mozillaware for over 1-1/2 years now. This edition, Firefox 1.5, is the most nimble browser download yet! Its RSS feed is nice & responsive. Although I have only had the download for about two hours now, I can safely say that this is possibly the most responsive editions of Firefox yet. I use Firefox for all my browsing needs...save that of Windows updates. Now, I'm looking forward to Thunderbird 1.5! You should give Firefox 1.5 a try. It's free! Good show, mozilla.com! It's just awesome, TOTALLY AWESOME!!!
Posted by Jon N. (182 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agreed
Firefox 1.5 also has built-in support for SVG graphics, which lets me browse my Facebook friends more easily.
Posted by omaryak (59 comments )
Link Flag
True, but...
Wouldn't be for Firefox, the user base would still probably use IE6 for another decade. Even when it comes out, apart from tabbed browsing, firefox will be more advanced with support for canvas and SVG. The great power of Firefox (and Opera) is not (only) on how many people are actually using it, but on letting people know that there are good alternatives that actually enhance the browsing experience. Like it or not, MS is just trying to catch up. When IE& will be out, I am sure both Firefox and Opera will be way more advanced anyway.
Posted by feranick (212 comments )
Reply Link Flag
To the Guy Talking about IE7 being better????
It sounds to me like you have never used firefox before, it already has tabbed browsing and Rss , and it is way ahead of the game, your IE is what keeps the good old spyware on your PC, because its to closly tied into explorer, retard
Posted by digitallysick (103 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"its to closely tied into explorer, retard"
Digitally Sick,
I hope your sickness has not impaired your sense of grammar, because it has clearly affected your perception of facts.
I don't recall him ever saying IE7 was better, only that everyday consumers will be downfall of Firefox. Just because he believes that IE7 will regain some if its users doesn't mean he isn't a user of Firefox. This isn't a place to trashtalk other users whom you falsely believe as having opinions different from yours. Get your facts straight.
Posted by abcd3fg (13 comments )
Link Flag
(sarcastic) its so much better!!!
(sarcastic) its so much better!!! I mean the new tab browsing it takes up all your screen, even when there are no tabs open. Firefox does tabs 900% better that microsoft ever will. Microsoft seam to be continuing on with their copy cat scheme
Posted by adam1213 (3 comments )
Link Flag
Totally agree with you
I Totally agree with you,firefox`s rss feature is awesome; and the fact that its safer and faster than ie will keep it ahead of the game
Posted by velezardfield (1 comment )
Link Flag
Not so fast
Not so fast. Those who are no using Firefox, will more than likely stay with Firefox. For they have learned the ways of the giant.

And who knows, IE 7 may well bomb.

Strange to me they let the little boy come up with tab browsing first, I believe in the end that is their downfall and more will slowly start using Firefox.
Posted by Jerry80871852 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Geez lol
lol well really tabbed browsing didn't start with either Mozilla or opera
i remember back a long long time ago(1994) on an operating system practically forgotten(win 3.11) a browser called Spree Mosaic
basically it was like very similar to the ancient Netscape but with tabbed pages.
then some time in 96, 97 there was NeoBrowser which was guys a flashy front end for IE but that had tabbed browsing
now how come if things like that existed way back then that it took Mozilla getting 15% market share to consider offering it.
Posted by WebmasterOfWarStoke.com (15 comments )
Link Flag
well duh
Well for people who are computer illiterate don't even know wat a web browser is so you can count them out
Posted by FearThePaw (3 comments )
Link Flag
Seems to me like M$ is playing chasie AGAIN
seems to me like M$ is always playing a huge game of chasie(except with the xbox, thats great). Windows Vista has finally caught up with some of features OSX and other *nix based systems have had for years. But then again it seems that they are having trouble with some of these concepts that all the other OS makers grasped along time ago, i mean, why does it keep getting delayed, they have billions of dollars to put behind it and there are still many Linux distros that have all the features M$ seems to be strugling with but they manage to release things when an update is needed, not when the rest of the world is screaming for an update because all they competition is way ahead.

IE7 should have been released ages ago, IE6 is old and slow and crap in general.
How much longer do you think it would have taken M$ to relaese IE7 if it wasnt for firefox becoming so popular???
i think IE7 wouldnt have come till 2007 if it wasnt for firefox showing just how bad IE6 is, but thats just my opinion.
but then microsoft could have said somethig like 'the 7 in IE7 is for 2007'
but thats just me being stupid
Posted by phrozensnow (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
True but..
... when have you ever seen MS actually lead a movement? Its their business model to watch others do it and try to imitate then crush. I am sure MS could have came out with a game console before Sony but they watched, waited, and now they are crushing. Until products like Linux, MacOS, and OpenOffice grab serious market share the MS model with go on.
Posted by VI Joker (231 comments )
Link Flag
Bundle Firefox With New Computers
If Firefox wants to continue to boost market share then they should work out deals with Dell, HP, Gateway, IBM, etc. to pre-install Firefox on new computers. It would be particularly sweet to bundle it with Vista computers.
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just one catch though....
... in order to get the best results they would have to either remove IE from Windows or purchase licenses for Windows-N. Neither of which is free, and trust me there would be some MS backlash for that, which I doubt any of the major distros will want to take. However, its a good idea. One things to start to work with the not so major PC makers to build them up keep with the grassroots approach. Dell, HP, and IBM did not start off as big companies, and they are all dawdling on even offering Linux as an OS choice.
Posted by VI Joker (231 comments )
Link Flag
Wishfull thinking, but I'm doing my part.
Not likely that's going to happen anytime soon. Lest you forget, M$ punishes those who are disloyal. The antitrust settlement is going to protect squat. It's been so watered down it's practically useless.
Posted by BuddhaKat (10 comments )
Link Flag
IE7, Firefox 1.5, and Standards.
The facts are that IE still garners most of the browser shares and there are still people and companies building sites that only work right in IE.

Another fact is I see more and more sites that push standards compliance. Most of them don't push Firefox directly, but they do link to it. I personally know more and more developers that like the ability to use CSS 1&2 to create the layout of their sites and they hate (and I do mean hate) the fact that IE 6 & 7 won't support even a meaningfull amount of CSS standards. As one of my friends said "I have to do more work to make my pages work in IE than I do in any other browser".

My thought here is when IE 7 is released some people may very well switch back to it. However, I think Firefox will continue to take market share, even if it's slowly. When it comes down to it Microsoft is still ignoring web developers (Microsofts own developers admited that they still aren't supporting web standards even at web developers request, that comes from one of their blogs).

The simple fact is that websites should be written once run everywhere (yeah I stole that from Java). Many of the browsers out there are trying for better and better web standard compliance. And many developers are starting to follow those standards. The problem is IE. Instead of creating webpages that are awsome they spend a lot of time making sure their pages are compatible with IE.

To be fair I have had trouble with standards even in standard compliant browsers, but those are usually much easier to work around than either not supporting or incorrectly supporting web standards.

In my opinion the browser shouldn't matter. All companies that create browsers should strive to follow a set standard. I believe that standards has been defined by the W3C. I belive that that Microsoft has intentionally corrupted the adoption and usage of such standards for monitary gain. In the end it is the web developer and the consumer who are hurt the most by this.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dead right
You hit the nail on the head here. Standards-compliance is the single most important thing Microsoft needs to improve in IE for everyone's sake. Tabs are nice and I wouldn't want to browse without them ever again, but I doubt they're that hard to implement in the grand scheme of things.

IE has gone without a major update since 2001. They've had time to make it far better than what they're promising in IE7. IE6 is the new Netscape 4. They've done a real disservice to everyone.

Even if IE7 is not what I had hoped for, at least it will feature better standards support and good PNG support. Now if Adobe would just improve PNG support in Photoshop...
Posted by tommymorgan (3 comments )
Link Flag
Not quite right
<<When it comes down to it Microsoft is still ignoring web developers (Microsofts own developers admited that they still aren't supporting web standards even at web developers request, that comes from one of their blogs)>>

From MSDN-IE:
I want to be clear that our intent is to build a platform that fully complies with the appropriate web standards, in particular CSS 2 ( 2.1, once its been Recommended)

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/07/29/445242.aspx" target="_newWindow">http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/07/29/445242.aspx</a>

It does help to read.
Posted by BlinkMM182 (63 comments )
Link Flag
Three cheers for Adam Smith!
This is what it is supposed to be about! A free market and open competition where products vie for the top based on performance and not monopoly market manipulation.

Weather you use IE or Firefox does not matter, what matters is the competition, and when products improve we all win. That is what the FTC in particular was created to insure.

Although our main OS is just as buggy as it was 20 years ago (some say more-so), look at the CPU's, hundreds of times faster and practically bullet-proof. If we could only get the OS to follow, what a wonderful world it would be
Posted by Mister C (423 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why wait????
Why wait for the OS to follow??? Just switch to Mac OS. I just did, the best decision in my life, and yes, it is a wonderful world now!
Posted by sergiobevi (23 comments )
Link Flag
Sweet
This release is pretty sweet. I like the new 'feel' to it and also the ability to move tabs around, and the report broken site button.
Posted by pentium4forever (192 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Been using it on Windows and Linux
At work, I use Windows NT on the desktop and Sun Solaris and Red Hat Enterprise Linux on back end servers. My desktop environment, therefore, is pretty Microsoft centric. We have the full complement of Microsoft Office applications and Internet Explorer, and many things are tightly tied to them, so it is difficult to avoid using them completely. Nevertheless, I keep a three tabbed Firefox browser going at all times and a couple of Open Office Writer and Calc instances going. I have been running Firefox 1.5 test releases at work for a couple of months with no crashes or problems whatsoever, except for the occasional inability to read or modify pages that use proprietary Active X features.

At home, I tested out an early Alpha test of Firefox 1.5, but I have been using the stable browser there, where I run desktop Linux software almost exclusively. Again, the previous stable release of Firefox (1.0.7 with patches) runs reliably, and it has a few more plugins that I usem including one called Diggler that is available as a packaged addon to both Mozilla and Firefox. Works great. I plan to upgrade at home to 1.5 now that the final release is out, after making sure that the plugins I use have now been added to the new stable release. That's the only reason I haven't also been using it as my regular browser at home.

I also use Thunderbird, and I intend to upgrade it to the latest release as soon as it is available (which should also be any time now - and may already be out, though I have not spotted the release yet).
Posted by masinick (15 comments )
Link Flag
question
Maybe its just a few of us, but I use firefox and I have had some problems going to some of the major sites. I get a document contains no data message, and I have a 50/50 chance of getting the page or not. Possible bug or flaw in firefox?
Posted by techguy83 (295 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Can't get the site to load up?
First clear your cashe, cookies, &#38; everything else other than your bookmarks from your browser. Then run a viral scan, spyware scan, &#38; disk cleanup. You should do this to I.E., too. Defrag your HD. Restart firefox &#38; try the site. If it still happens, your firewall maybe blocking the site.
I use AVG Free Antivirus. Works great with my ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall &#38; Spybot Search &#38; Destroy.
Happy Surfin'!
Jon N.
Posted by Jon N. (182 comments )
Link Flag
I've had the same thing happen...
to me, but I always got the same response from IE and Opera.

I assume you tried the same sites in IE and they worked. Without more information though my first guess is that it could be the sites or a setting in Firefox. I have had webpages not work in Firefox that weren't intentionally designed not to, but it was due to poorly written code that IE would fix.

Outside of that I don't know what it is. Maybe you could give us a few of those sites and we could all take a look at them and see.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
Mozilla Firefox is great.
I personally think Firefox is a great internet browser in many unique ways, some including the customization to the extensions and downloads you can add to it, to help you, depending on what you need. The tools and options are superb to. It also is more efficient in blocking pop ups and ads and helps for free. This sofeware is much more improved than the standard less efficent mircrosoft internet explorer which we all know about and usually start with on our computer. Firefox is also user-friendly and open source. It is somthing you need to get or at least see it and maybe you can get it to and become one of many people(including me) who uses this as a substitude to internet explorer.

Also check out Mozilla's Thunderbird for your emailing needs.

-JC
Posted by As Subst (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Internet Explorer anybetter?
IE might be better in some cases as well and something can only be done on it. With Firefoxes special blocking ways and such downloading things might be harder or changed in some things and a mircrosoft popout for certain things to dowload won't show up. IE vs Firefox?

Which do you think is better and why? Opinions?
Posted by As Subst (2 comments )
Link Flag
ie7
so whens IE7 gonna come out anyway?
Posted by triexel (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
When? Maybe...
Well, it's supposed to come out in the 4th Qtr. of 2006. I doubt it. The browser is supposed to be released with the advent of MS Windows Vista. The last time Microsoft issued a date of availability for an offering, it was almost 8 months after the proposed date. Well, Jason, you guess is as good as my answer. Sorry.

:-}
Jon N.
Posted by Jon N. (182 comments )
Link Flag
Do you....
mean ActiveX 7? You know. That one feature in IE that allows every spyware known to man to install on your computer. No thanks! You deserve all of the grief that you will get if you use IE.
Posted by todbran (14 comments )
Link Flag
What "wraps?"
Firefox is an open source product. You can check out the nightly code snapshot any time.

The headline is wrong. Firefox 1.5 was never "under wraps," and 1.6 won't be either. Software "under wraps" has been found to be a bad idea for users so we don't do it.
Posted by clsgis (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This wraps
I believe it was meant as a figure of speech, like how gifts are warpped.
Posted by VI Joker (231 comments )
Link Flag
I won't switch to IE7
From Tom:

I like Mozilla Firefox just fine and do not plan to switch to IE7. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Back in the old days when I was using IE, I was constantly having to add domains to the "trusted domains" list and generally holding IE's hand. Who needs it?

Tom
Posted by jones172 (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What is IE7????
:-)
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
More of a question.
I've been using Firefox for over a year now. All my pc's have it installed. Mac, Linux, and Windows. Now, I updated to 1.5 today and I can't find my scroll bar. Where did it go?
I hate to sound ignorant, but I've looked into the settings and it doesn't mention it as an option.
Thanks.
Posted by Dead Soulman (245 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Has anyone......
happen to notice the memory usage? Do a search on the internet about this. 100,000k reported too many times to count. This one program, at times (on average computers) uses more memory than every other running process combined. I switched to another browser (no, not IE, I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid) until Mozilla gets control of this memory usage. And yes, my computer can handle it, but that's not the point. When Opera or IE uses 17 to 25k's to surf, FF should be atleast be in the ballpark of those numbers. I hope the next release gets control of this so that I can get back to the browser that I have used since it was called Firebird.
Posted by todbran (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Didn't take long did it?
Security Focus has published an exploit for the new and improved Firefox 1.5. <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.securityfocus.com/brief/73" target="_newWindow">http://www.securityfocus.com/brief/73</a>
Posted by robertcampbell2 (103 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You'd choke too if someone gave you a 500k title
This is not a security bug.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.mozilla.org/security/history-title.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.mozilla.org/security/history-title.html</a>
Firefox is just having difficulty handling the history.dat file.
They are working on the issue:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=319004" target="_newWindow">https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=319004</a>
Posted by grknight (1 comment )
Link Flag
 

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