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Firefox Declares War in Germany

DW staff (ncy)December 3, 2004

Over 2,400 Firefox fans donated money to pay for a full-page ad for the open source browser that appeared Thursday in a German newspaper, spearheading the battle in Europe against Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Look out, Internet Explorer

The ad, entitled "FEUER!" (fire), for Mozilla's Firefox 1.0 Web browser appeared in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

"Hundreds of programmers jointly develop a revolutionary Internet browser," the ad read. "They volunteer their time and donate it to the whole world. Then 2,403 people and companies finance this advertisement to tell you: Firefox 1.0 is there." All contributors were listed below.

Firefox users sure are devoted to their browser

All told, fans contributed around €48,000 ($64,000) to the promotional campaign organized by the group Firefox kommt (Firefox is coming).

Some of the money was passed on to the Mozilla Foundation, which backs the open community Mozilla software project that developed the browser. No one, including Mozilla, owns the program code and Firefox downloads are free.

Democratic software

The democratic majority of Firefox donors also determined which German national newspaper would run the ad: 58 percent chose the FAZ. But the Firefox community wasn't entirely pleased.

"There was discussion over why the PDF-file of the ad wasn't created with an open source software," Timm Beyer from Firefox kommt told the online version of Der Spiegel magazine.

Firefox 1.0 has been available from Mozilla since early November and has been increasing its market share ever since.

Fans of the browser also collected over $250,000 (€188,000) to publish an ad in the New York Times which is reportedly due to appear in mid-December.