Mozilla advances

Mozilla Foundation charges out of the gates today with a handful of new product releases. Heavyweight full-featured browser Mozilla 1.5, lightweight standalone browser Firebird 0.7, and email/newsgroup client Thunderbird 0.3.

In conjunction with the release, Mozilla announces a nicely designed beta version of the upcoming web site with heavy design contributions from our well-known garden proprietor, Dave Shea. Well done, Dave and Mozilla team. An excellent idea to put the site out in front of users as a beta, let people respond with praise, criticism, and suggestions, then make improvements before official launch.

About two months ago, I switched from IE6 over to Firebird as my default browser, and haven’t looked back. I’m ashamed it took me that long to switch. Firebird is an excellent, powerful standalone browser, free of the extras loaded into the larger Mozilla application. The base install alone has enough features to win over converts. And if those aren’t enough, a boat-load of extensions are available as add-ons. The new Firebird site (Update: front page has since been replaced with original design) presents a product tour complete with lots of screenshots, as well as a chart (Update: link removed, as chart no longer exists) comparing Firebird with IE6, Opera, Mozilla, and Netscape. The Firebird site design is a little over the top with the flame theme. But I like seeing the Foundation take these steps with the beta site and the Firebird product site. They’re pushing toward a simpler, yet more complete sell of their product line. It will help spread the word and let many more know of these fine alternatives.

If you don’t already have Firebird installed, you should go download it today and give it a whirl. I highly recommend it.