Mozilla Firefox celebrates its 20th anniversary, will continue to support current content blockers
At the end of the 1990s, the Mozilla project spawned an experimental branch intending to create a standalone browser that would replace the Mozilla Suite. On September 23, 2002, the first version of this piece of code arrived as Phoenix. While this can be considered the direct ancestor of today' Firefox, the browser had to go through a few name changes.
In 2003, Phoenix turned into Firebird, due to a trademark claim from Phoenix Technologies. However, Mozilla Firebird became Mozilla Firefox on February 4, 2004. In early November of 2004, Firefox 1.0 arrived and many consider this to be the browser's birth date. Although Mozilla prefers to abbreviate the browser's name as Fx or fx, it is often referred to as FF.
No matter if Mozilla Firefox is 20 years old or just 18, it remains one of the more popular browsers available on all major platforms. Sadly, its market share dropped from about 20 percent to roughly 4 percent since 2008. However, the fact that 4 percent of today's internet users equals to about 10 percent back in 2008 (maybe even more, it is impossible to get these numbers entirely accurate) should also be taken into account.
From January 2023, Google will no longer support extensions that use Manifest v2 and most Chromium-based browsers will follow. Thankfully, Mozilla announced that it will support Firefox extensions on both Manifest v2 and v3. In other words, extensions like uBlock Origin and AdGuard might be limited or no longer able to function at all on other Chromium-based browsers (including Microsoft Edge) starting in early 2023, while Mozilla Firefox users will not face such problems. In the long run, this might lead to an increased user base for the browser that has just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Happy birthday, Mozilla Firefox!