Firefox 2

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Mozilla Firefox 2
Mozilla Firefox IconMozilla Firefox wordmark
Wikipedia Main Page in Firefox
Mozilla Firefox running on Ubuntu displaying Wikipedia
Developer(s) Mozilla Corporation, Mozilla Foundation
Initial release October 24, 2006; 12 years ago (2006-10-24)
Stable release (December 18, 2008; 9 years ago (2008-12-18)) [±]
Preview release Non [±]
Development status End of Life
Written in C++, XUL, XBL, JavaScript
Operating system Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, OS/2
Engine Gecko
Platform Cross-platform
Size 5.5 MB - 16.5 MB
Available in 60 languages
Type Web browser, FTP client, gopher client
License MPL/GPL/LGPL/Mozilla EULA (for binary redistribution)

Mozilla Firefox 2 is a version of Firefox, a web browser released on October 24, 2006 by the Mozilla Corporation.

Firefox 2 uses version 1.8 of the Gecko layout engine for displaying web pages. The release contained many new features not found in Firefox 1.5, including improved support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and JavaScript 1.7, as well as user interface changes.

On March 22, 2006, the first alpha version of Firefox 2 (Bon Echo Alpha 1) was released. It featured Gecko 1.8.1 for the first time. Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.x is the final version officially supported on Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 98,[1] although it can run on Windows 95 using tweaks. Mac OS X 10.5 support was added October 18, 2007 with version

Firefox 2.0 featured updates to tabbed browsing environment, the extensions manager, the GUI, and the find, search and software update engines; a new session restore feature; inline spell checking; and an anti-phishing feature which was implemented by Google as an extension,[2][3] and later merged into the program itself.[4]

Mozilla ended support for Firefox 2 on December 18, 2008.[5]

Overview of changes

  • Links default to open in new tab.
  • Close button on every tab.
  • Inline spell checking for text boxes.
  • Session restoration after a browser crash.
  • Search suggestion for Google and Yahoo!.
  • New search plugin manager and add-on manager.
  • Web feed previewing. Bookmark microsummaries.
  • Updates to the extension system.
  • Support for Sherlock and OpenSearch.
  • Support for SVG text using svg:textPath.
  • Built-in anti-phishing protection.
  • Search suggestions appear with search history in the search box for Google and Yahoo!.
  • Support for client-side session and persistent storage.
  • Improved feed support.
  • A new NSIS-based installer.
  • JavaScript 1.7.
  • Enhanced security and localization support for extensions.
  • New Winstripe theme refresh:
    • New navigation icons
    • URL bar refresh (New Go button attached to the URL bar)
    • Search bar refresh Tab bar refresh
    • Alltabs button (used to view a popup list of all tabs open)

Market adoption & usage of Firefox 2

Market Share Overview
According to StatCounter data

December 2015[6]

Browser  % of Fx  % of Total
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 3.x 0.91% 0.08%
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 4 0.11% 0.01%
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 59 0.57% 0.05%
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 1016 1.59% 0.14%
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 1723 2.60% 0.23%
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 2430 3.06% 0.27%
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 3137 6.57% 0.58%
Older version, yet still supported: Firefox 38
Firefox ESR 38
3.28% 0.29%
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 39 1.81% 0.16%
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 40.x 1.93% 0.17%
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 41 3.06% 0.27%
Old version, no longer supported: Firefox 42 46.21% 4.08%
Current stable version: Firefox 43 26.39% 2.33%
Future release: Firefox 44
All variants[7] 100% 8.83%

As one article noted after the release of Firefox 2.0 in October 2006, "IE6 had the lion's share of the browser market with 77.22%. Internet Explorer 7 had climbed to 3.18%, while Firefox 2.0 was at 0.69%."[8]

A Softpedia article, however, noted in July 2007 that "Firefox 2.0 has been also expanding its share constantly in spite of IE7. From just 0.69% in October 2006, Firefox 2.0 is now accounting for 11.07% of the market. Mozilla has even sacrificed version 1.5 of its open source browser for Firefox 2.0. With support cut at the end of June, Firefox 1.5 dropped to just 2.85%."[8][9][9][10][11]

Firefox 2 began to lose notable market share to Firefox 3. Within 24 hours after its release, Firefox 3 usage rose from under 1% to over 3% according to Net Applications in that time period.[12] Firefox 2 market share consistently dropped, eventually being surpassed by Firefox 3 in 2008 and Firefox 3.5 in 2009 in the general browser market as the Firefox version with the greatest share, and by early 2009 had dropped under 3 percent.[13]

Release compatibility

Operating system Compatibility
Linux kernel 2.2.14 and newer
(with some libraries)
Mac OS X
v10.1 Puma Red XN
v10.2 Jaguar-10.3 Panther
v10.4 Tiger
v10.5 Leopard to
OS/2 and eComStation
95 Red XN
NT 4/98/Me
Home Server/2008

End of Life

Screenshot of the test shows broken layout.
Firefox scores 53/100 in the Acid3 test (dated 3 April 2008).
Note that Internet Explorer 8, released on 19 March 2009, fails the Acid3 test with a score of 20/100.

Firefox 2.x was end-of-lifed in December, 2008.[14] With roughly 26 months of support, only Firefox 3.6 was supported longer. The Gecko 1.8.1 browser core continued to receive patches for projects such as Camino, K-Meleon, and SeaMonkey, even after official Firefox releases had ceased.

By 2011, the 1.8.1 core had become obsolete, as major websites dropped support for it[15] by employing newer technologies for presentation and complex scripting.[16][17] The latter can be resource-intensive with the older core, and users stuck with it should use NoScript[18] to avoid issues with scripts that take too long to process (at the cost of losing some or all site features beyond basic functionality).

Services with large user bases have relegated browsers with the Gecko 1.8.1 rendering engine to using lightweight or mobile versions of their sites, alongside recommendations to upgrade the browser; while others only recommend to upgrade.

Nevertheless, there is still a very large amount of websites that are freely usable and navigable with Firefox 2.0 or equivalents, alone because many of them must still support other older browsers, like Internet Explorer 6 or IE7.

Release history


  1. "Firefox 2 System Requirements". Retrieved 2011-09-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Google Safe Browsing for Firefox". Retrieved 2007-02-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. wiki contributors. "Phishing Protection Design Documentation - Background". wiki. Retrieved 2007-01-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Mozilla Firefox 2 Release Notes". Mozilla Corporation. Retrieved 2006-12-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Firefox now available for download". Mozilla Corporation. Retrieved 2009-01-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Top 12 Browser Versions on December 2015". StatCounter Global Stats.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Top 9 Browsers on December 2015". StatCounter Global Stats.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Marius Nestor (5 February 2008). "IE7 and Firefox 2.0 Are Slaughtering Internet Explorer 6 - Out with the old, in with the new". Softpedia. Retrieved 2008-03-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "IE6 vs. IE7 vs. Firefox 2.0 vs. Firefox 1.5 vs. Safari 3.0 vs. Opera 9 In browser market share deathmatch". Softpedia. 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2008-02-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Browser Versions Market Share". Retrieved 2008-02-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Browser War: FF2 pulls ahead of IE7 in Europe". XiTi Monitor. 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2008-03-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Firefox 3.0 Usage Share (EDT)". Net Applications. 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2008-06-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Top Browser Share Trend". February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Firefox security and stability update now available for download
  15. Miraglia, Eric (2009-07-02). "Graded Browser Support Update: Q3 2009". YUI blog. Retrieved 2012-09-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Modern browsers for modern applications". Official Google Enterprise Blog. Blogger. 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2012-09-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Firefox 3.0 or newer listed.
  17. Keizer, Gregg (2010-01-31). "Google joins the 'kill-IE6' campaign". Computerworld. Retrieved 2012-09-02. We're going to begin phasing out our support, starting with Google Docs and Google Sites.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Direct download". get it!. 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> The latest legacy NoScript version for Firefox 2.0 and SeaMonkey 1.1 is 1.10

External links