Mozilla Firefox for Windows Mobile 6 Platform Second Alpha Released

Mozilla releases the second alpha of the mobile version of Firefox for Windows Mobile 6 platform, supplying touch-screen support and other mobile functionality. Mozilla Firefox has been gaining enterprise browser share, although Microsoft Internet Explorer continues to hold a majority share of the enterprise market.

Mozilla has released the second alpha of its mobile version of Firefox for Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 platform. Code-named Fennec, the June 28 release is intended for testing purposes, and applies the Firefox design principles to mobile functionality such as touch-screen support.

Besides engaging Mozilla community teams and testing the user experience, the release is intended to solicit feedback from Web developers and "encourage add-on developers to port existing add-ons and invent new ones for mobile," said a release note accompanying the download on the Mozilla Website.

"This Windows Mobile alpha release continues to focus on stability, performance and integration with the Windows Mobile OS," the note continued. "This version also includes numerous fixes and our new [shiny] theme."

Other features new to the second alpha include a built-in JavaScript error console, and improved add-on support and panning performance. Also present are security features such as instant Website ID, a password manager, a popup blocker and the ability to clear private data.

In addition, the new version builds on the feature set of the previous releases, including a smart URL bar, tabbed browsing with thumbnail images, bookmarks, integrated Web search built into the URL bar and access to multiple search engines.

Mozilla has been recently expanding its share of the U.S. browser market.

In April, a research report by Forrester found that Firefox had been steadily gaining market share in the enterprise desktop browser market, although Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and 7 continued to take the top two spots. Google Chrome and Apple Safari have also been seeing adoption by business users.

That survey, which drew its data from a pool of 51,913 enterprise client users, found that Microsoft's overall share of the enterprise browser market stood at 78.0 percent in December 2008. At that time, Mozilla Firefox had 18.2 percent, a gain of 1.3 percent over a six-month period.

The accompanying Forrester report found that the enterprise is often reluctant to upgrade its browsers for a variety of reasons, including IT administrators' fears that new versions of browsers could have security and compliance issues, as well as a lack of internal pressure to support particular browsers.

Mozilla Firefox 3.5 Beta 4, released on April 27, included new features such as Private Browsing Mode and support for JSON and Web worker threads.