The news is all over the net today, but I figured I would join the chorus and point out that Firefox 1.0 has been released. The quickest way to get a copy is to grab it from the mozilla.org ftp server.
So why should you care? Standards, performance and security. The gecko rendering engine (the underlying browser technology behind Mozilla and Firefox) is arguably the most standards compliant. Proponents of the Opera browser will disagree, and they have a strong case, but Firefox is free and it costs $39 to get a version of Opera without the banner ads. Users accustomed to IE will notice a much quicker browsing experience when using Firefox. It’s not that the pages are downloaded more quickly, just that the page is rendered more quickly. It makes a difference. Finally, by separating the browser from the rest of the system the user is insulated from most of the really nasty IE security vulnerabilities. I know of many individuals and even entire businesses who are switching all of their users to Firefox for the security protection alone.
Give it a try. If you find that you like it, do yourself another favor and explore the many Firefox extensions that are available to add all sorts of additional capabilities to the system. But that’s a topic for a future post.