Option to Build Custom Firefox Versions Announced by Mozilla
Article by George Norman
On 10 Jun 2009
The Mozilla Foundation has announced the upcoming launch of a new program called “Build Your Own Browser” that will allow enterprise customers to develop their own version of the Firefox browser. It must be said that these customized Firefox versions will be based on the upcoming Firefox 3.5 codename Shiretoko – this means that the program will see the light of day only after Firefox 3.5 reaches stable status, and so far we have yet to see a Release Candidate.

There are two main goals that the Mozilla Foundation wants to achieve with the “Build Your Own Browser” program. The first would be to allow companies to set up customized versions of the Firefox browser, versions that would include features such as custom branding, a preselected group of bookmarks to certain web pages or corporate intranets and portals, and so on. The second is to allow companies to set up an installer that can be easily deployed at an enterprise level.

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The latter goal means that Mozilla is going head to head with Redmond-based software giant Microsoft. Let me explain: it is going head to head with Microsoft because the company has been offering IT admin tools to install and control browsers across corporate networks for a long time now. This, and the fact that it comes bundled with Windows, has made IE (Internet Explorer) the dominant web browser on an enterprise level. On a little side note, Mozilla is not the only one to take on Microsoft; Google is doing so also with the launch of Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook , the free tool that would replace Exchange.

“If Mozilla can enable some customization to developers and IT professionals to not only brand but give greater control to manage and administer the Firefox browser, that will certainly have companies take another look at it to make it the default browser of choice,” said Forrester analyst Sheri McLeish.

In related news, Firefox Launch Coordinator Samuel Sidler announced that Firefox 3.5 RC will be rolled out “in the next 1-2 weeks”. Until then you can keep using Firefox 3.5 Beta 4, or you could switch to the newly released Firefox 3.5 Preview or Firefox 3.5 Beta 99 (details here). In preparation for the release you could check out Mozilla’s Fastest Firefox project as well (details here).



Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Build Your Own Firefox, Enterprise
About the author: George Norman
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