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 mozilla.org and affiliated parties until mozilla.org 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 is now the final name that would go on the box if there was one. My guess is that it has changed from Mozilla Browser because either:
1) The Mozilla Browser/Mail names were always been intended to be temporary names to make everyone think that a name had been decided on, without actually giving it a new name. (I read that they have been considering the Firefox name for some time).
2) With the decision to maintain the application suite and therefore distributing 2 web browsers, calling one of them Mozilla Browser would have been confusing (and even more so for Mail, you would have "Mozilla Mail" and "Mozilla Application Suite Mail[ and News]"