Mozilla Firebird Renamed Firefox, Version 0.8 Released

Monday February 9th, 2004

The standalone Mozilla Firebird browser has been renamed to Firefox and received an upgrade to version 0.8. This latest release features a new download manager, bookmarks enhancements, better support for extensions and several thousand other improvements. Windows users can benefit from a new installer, while Mac OS X users will enjoy the new Aqua-style theme, Kevin Gerich and Stephen Horlander's Pinstripe.

Firefox is the browser's third name. The last name, Firebird, drew strong objections from the Firebird database community when it was announced in April. The database community's supporters and commercial backers waged a high-profile campaign against and affiliated parties until announced that Firebird would only be used as a codename. The new Firefox moniker is intended to be used as a permanent product name and a strong brand identity will be built around it. The new name was chosen after extensive international trademark searches and consultations with lawyers. The process of registering Firefox as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office began in December last year.

Firefox 0.8 can be downloaded from the Firefox product page or direct from the Firefox 0.8 directory on Check out the Firefox 0.8 Release Notes for more information.

#42 Just when I thought it couldn't get more stupid...

by kepardue

Monday February 9th, 2004 7:39 AM

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FireFox? Come on... Firebird was bad enough. One of the worst thigns that happened was calling the two programs Firebird and Thunderbird. I can't tell you how many people got confused over it: well, which is which? Hmmm, do I browse with thunderbird or firebird, which does which? (heck, I had trouble with it myself at first.) The names just tell absolutely nothing about what they do, and because of that it's going to take regular non-geek Joes a much longer continued use to associate the name with the product. Something as basic as a browser should properly reflect what the thing does: browse. Not to be negative, but this just sounds like people pretending to be marketing gurus... and failing. Microsoft did in fact get one thing right in naming their browser. It may be a lousy, outdated product, but look at its name: Internet Explorer. Now THAT's, unfortunately, a good marketing name. Mozilla itself is a very unattractive name, but it's better than FireFox. Heck, even Gecko would be a much better name than that.

Gecko Browser. Gecko Mail. Gecko Calendar. Gecko etc.

Not that any of this matters to the powers-that-be, but I feel better for saying it.