Firefox and Thunderbird Garage - page 8

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Foreword

There was a time when the Internet was a much more enjoyable place—before all the viruses and spyware and phishing scams; before all the pop-ups and pop-unders and spam. Over the last few years, the Internet (email and the World Wide Web) has become much more capable and, no doubt, more of a necessity for all of us. Unfortunately, though, it has also become increasingly difficult and considerably more dangerous to use. It was these concerns that pushed the Firefox founders to build a new kind of web browser, one that would both protect people from the dangers of the modern Web and make all the tasks people wanted to accomplish on the Web faster and easier.

How did the Internet become so difficult and so dangerous so quickly? It's pretty simple, actually. Microsoft, having successfully cornered the web browser and email application markets, became an obvious target. And the bad guys got increasingly aggressive—first with spam and viruses that targeted Outlook and Outlook Express and then with pop-ups, pop-unders, and Internet Explorer exploits that installed all kinds of adware and spyware. The bad guys managed in just a few short years to make going online a very unpleasant experience, even for the most sophisticated users, but especially for "regular people" who just wanted to get things done on the Internet.

We designed the Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client from the ground up with these threats in mind. With modern and always-improving security, Firefox and Thunderbird keep your computer safe from malicious adware and spyware by not loading harmful ActiveX controls in the browser and not allowing email messages to install dangerous programs. Firefox and Thunderbird protect users from Internet annoyances with a world-class pop-up blocker and intelligent and adaptive spam controls. Firefox and Thunderbird also contain a comprehensive set of privacy tools to keep your online activity your business. With an ever-vigilant community of open-source developers and security experts, Firefox and Thunderbird are continually improving on these security and privacy features to keep up with the evolving threats of today's Internet.

But Firefox and Thunderbird aren't just about taking away the pain and threats of an increasingly annoying and dangerous Internet. We built these two applications to make the things you want to do online easier. Available for Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, and Linux operating systems, Firefox and Thunderbird offer simple and easy-to-use (yet very powerful) tools such as tabbed browsing, smarter find and search capabilities, and fully integrated RSS support that provide everything you need to get online and quickly get all of what you want with none of what you don't.

Thanks to the open-source community that supports Firefox and Thunderbird, and the free and open standards that form the basis of these two applications, literally hundreds of amazing extensions and plug-ins that allow you to customize Firefox and Thunderbird to exactly suit your needs are available.

We created Firefox and Thunderbird to afford users a viable and safer alternative with frequent updates directly addressing the evolution of web technology and the technology of the bad guys, as well as to give users more configuration options than those of Microsoft's Outlook and Internet Explorer. We didn't just try to fix what was broken about the Internet and those outdated browser and email applications and leave it at that. Firefox and Thunderbird are going to be around for the long haul to help ensure that the Internet continues to improve the lives of everyone and to promote choice and a better future for the Internet through a commitment to free and open standards and, most important, a strong focus and commitment to the user.

Firefox and Thunderbird: Beyond Browsing and Email will guide you through setting up Firefox and Thunderbird and provide clear and concise descriptions of all the most valuable Firefox and Thunderbird features, for both the beginner and the advanced user. It will put you back in control of your Internet experience.

—Asa Dotzler

Mozilla Community Coordinator and Cofounder of the Spread Firefox Project

September 12, 2005

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