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el no. 2: Mozilla Firefox

As a college student I use the internet everyday. This means that I interact with a web browser on a daily basis to access information from the World Wide Web. The only reason I use Firefox is because I have heard multiple times that it is safer than other web browsers like Internet Explorer and Netscape for example. In class a few weeks ago professor Sweetman mentioned that it was a non profit organization that provided a service similar to the for profit corporation Microsoft and its product Internet Explorer.

For that past 3 years I have been using Firefox as my main web browser and before researching it further I assumed it was a for profit business similar to Microsoft, but this turns out to be untrue. My experiential learning experience has shown me that my life is heavily intersected with the non profit sector in this case.

Created by the Mozilla Foundation and introduced in early 2004 it has become a legitimate competitor to the very popular Internet Explorer. In 2008 20% of internet users used Mozilla Firefox to browse the internet. Their mission can be summed up with this excerpt from the Mozilla Manifesto:

“The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet. We have worked together since 1998 to ensure that the Internet is developed in a way that benefits everyone. We are best known for creating the Mozilla Firefox web browser.”

As you can see from Mozilla Manifesto the Firefox web browser is meant to be completely free and is not created for profits. Researching the Mozilla Foundation reminded me of the video we watched earlier in the semester about the development of the Lennox operating system used to run computers. Similar to the license agreement of Lennox, Mozilla Firefox is encouraged to be freely distributed and improved on by various users to serve everyone. Although the details of the Firefox Foundation are not reported by the Better Business Bureau on wiser.org, according to its affiliation with the IRS its a 501(c)3.


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