Blind World Magazine

Mozilla unleashes turbocharged Firefox v.1.5, making it easier for visually-challenged users to access the web.

November 30, 2005.
What is the Word - Navi Mumbai,Maharashtra,India.

With the launch of the souped up version of its browser Firefox, Mozilla Corp. has stolen a march on Microsoft. Released today, Firefox 1.5 comes loaded with enhanced browsing capabilities; marked improvements in performance, usability as well as security and privacy; not to mention superior support for web standards; and a wider range of customization options; claim Mozilla representatives.

An auto update mechanism -- that culls security and functionality updates live and in real time ensuring that users get an up-to-date browser sans the hassle of downloading a new installer every time a version change is unrolled -- is touted as the stand-out feature.

Other enhancements include tighter caching and pop-up blocking, also it is now possible to organise tabbed browsing windows.

Firefox 1.5 also attempts to address accessibility issues with features like support for screen reader software, permitting navigation through keystrokes instead of just mouse clicks, making it easier for those with restricted mobility and visually-challenged users to access the web.

Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker said, “It is the easiest browser to install, use, customize, and keep up-to-date and secure."

The open-source and freely downloadble Firefox, besides notching up over 100m downloads, has also managed to capture a 12 per cent market share in 'browser land' in little more than a year.

Firefox is IE's primary rival now and this news surely wouldn't have gladdened hearts at Microsoft HQ given that Internet Explorer 7 has yet to see the light of day. Other browsers worth trying include Flock and Netscape 8, the latter actually based on Firefox and similarities are easily recognised. Opera is another and to be fair all these are pretty good; Firefox is as excellent as ever though, IE7 will have to be damn good... making it easier for those with restricted mobility and visually-challenged users to access the web.

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