On Monday, Mozilla announced the release of version 0.8 of their standalone browser, formerly named Mozilla Firebird. Version 0.8 carries a new moniker: Mozilla Firefox. The name took a few minutes to grow on me (after I got over the initial question, Why a name change?). “Firefox” is apparently another name for the Chinese red panda.
I’ve downloaded the new browser on my work and school computers (haven’t done it at home or on Janene’s computer, yet), and so far there aren’t a whole lot of differences other than a spiffy new logo and icon set.
One thing worth mentioning is the new download manager, which can be set by default to download things directly to your desktop (or any old place) so you don’t have to click through two or three dialog boxes to get a file you want. Like the previous download manager, it also keeps a list of previously downloaded items and has the ability to pause and resume downloads.
Another enhancement is that version 0.8 has a Windows installer. While this dumbs down the process of installing the program (I’m not sure how smart you have to be to unzip something, but whatever), it has given me a little trouble on my school computer because I don’t have admin privileges. I get an error every time I start Firefox at school, complaining that some-such DLL file is missing.
With the new branding, they are really starting to market Firefox. Consequently, this release has caused a lot of downtime on Mozilla’s web-servers. I was able to get the program and all of my favorite extensions yesterday at school (extensions aren’t compatible between milestone releases), but today the extension room seems to be down.