The Firefox project began as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project by Dave Hyatt and Blake Ross. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape’s sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser. To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite’s software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite. On April 3, 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced that they planned to change their focus from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox (and Thunderbird).
Originally titled Phoenix, it was renamed because of trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies. The replacement name, Firebird, provoked an intense response from the Firebird free database software project. In response, the Mozilla Foundation stated that the browser should always bear the name Mozilla Firebird to avoid confusion with the database software. Continuing pressure from the database server’s development community forced another change; on February 9, 2004, Mozilla Firebird became Mozilla Firefox, often referred to as simply Firefox.
Currently at version 3.5, and with a version 3.6 just around the corner, the Mozilla foundation has completely redesigned the standard of web browser for a faster, more secure and reliable way of surfing the net.
Here is a short video, posted by the SpreadFirefox Community that briefly tells the browser’s history through these five years, from 2004 until today: