The first ever Firefox launched eight years ago today. Since then, both Firefox and the web have gone a long way. But it's worth remembering this birthday and the first Firefox since, even though it's positively ancient by today's standards, it was a revolution when it first showed up on the scene.At the time, the web was dominated by Internet Explorer 6. Virtually everyone was using it and Microsoft was happy with it. IE 6 had no regard for web standards, but why would it, sites either had to play by IE's rules or they might as well didn't exist.
There were other browsers, Opera for example, but it was doing about as well as it is doing now, its market share was insignificant, particularly in the US.
Firefox 1.0 came about and showed that a browser could be fast, could be intuitive, could be standards compliant, could be free and could be fun, and not only survive but thrive.
The world was waiting for something like Firefox and Mozilla delivered. And it didn't stop there, Firefox 2 came, then Firefox 3 and so on.
In the meantime, the world and its competitors took notice. Microsoft finally started working on a new Internet Explorer and while IE7 was still bad, it was a major improvement over IE6. The same goes for IE8.
Yet, by the time IE9 came out, Microsoft showed that it could follow standards and could put out a browser that was modern and fast, or at least modern and fast enough.
Firefox's influence on Chrome, which launched four years ago, four years after the first Firefox, is obvious. For one, Firefox showed that there was room and above all a need for more than one browser. In fact, Chrome was created by several of Firefox's developers and creators.
While the battle today is a lot more diverse, it's still two corporation-backed browsers that are at top, Firefox has been relegated to third place.
But Mozilla has its sights set on newer challenges, like mobile. Firefox for Android is becoming faster and more popular and Mozilla is even building a Firefox OS for mobile devices.