Once upon a time Firefox

How we went from Netscape to Firefox and the creation of Mozilla.

Logo of a (green) dragon spitting fire

The Mozilla name is a shortcut of Mosaic Killer (Killa), and was the code name of the Netscape browser in the development team. Mosaic, an early Web browser, was the most used when Netscape was released and has been made obsolete.
This code name was used to identify the user agent of Netscape in HTTP message exchanges.
The word Mozilla is also the origin of Dmoz (Directory Mozilla), the directory acquired by Netscape and now owned by AOL. Its logo is a green lizard. To differentiate from it, Mozilla later chose the image of a red dinosaur. There is a paleontologist trend who believes that dinosaurs were red, but that's another topic.

Netscape was the most used browser until 1998 when Internet Explorer has replaced it. The latter was then closer to web standards, things have changed...
In 1998, Netscape becomes open source. Then a new version was built from scratch based on the Gecko rendering engine and the XUL interface language, that will become Firefox further.

Netscape was bought by AOL in November 1998. The foundation was established previously the same year to develop a different version of the browser. In 2003 it became a nonprofit organization, the Mozilla Foundation. In August 2005 was created next to the foundation a company, Mozilla Corporation designed to create profits with products from Mozilla, including Firefox.
AOL finally buried Netscape by closing the site and selling its patents to his opponent of always: Microsoft!

The open source version of Netscape was first named Phoenix. But the name was already used by a manufacturer of motherboards, so it is renamed Firebird in 2003 and that in turn conflicted with the name of a database. It then becomes Mozilla Firebird, and then Mozilla Firefox in 2004.
The first perfectly stable version of Firefox dates from 2005.
In 2010, the Firefox browser is the second most popular with 25% market share worldwide after Internet Explorer.

In 2013, we go from the browser to the operating system. Firefox OS is an alternative to Android and iOS on which all applications are in HTML 5 and JavaScript. This system has a big hit with manufacturers, unlike Meego and webOS, and Mozilla sees it like the dominant mobile system of the future...

See also ...