Mozilla Launches Version 1.5

Release brings with it a CD option, new support services and a revamped project Web site.

The Mozilla Foundation on Wednesday is releasing the latest version of its open-source Web application suite.

The Mozilla 1.5 suite, available now, includes a Web browser, e-mail client, Web page design software and a chat client. With the release, Mozilla is improving its tabbed browsing so that tabs and bookmarks work better together, building a spell checker into the mail client and improving the layout tools in the Mozilla Composer Web editor.

Mozilla also announced the latest releases of its stand-alone Firebird browser (Version 0.7) and Thunderbird mail application (Version 0.3). Both are technology previews because they remain in pre-version 1.0 states and havent undergone full testing, said Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Foundation president.

Along with the new releases, Mozilla is adding new end-user services in its quest to become more user-focused. It is offering Mozilla 1.5, Firebird and Thunderbird on a CD, in addition to software downloads, introducing end-user telephone support and launching a revamped Web site.

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Since becoming independent from America Online Inc.s Netscape Communications subsidiary in July, Mozilla has heard from users wanting its software offered on a CD, Baker said. International users and those with low-bandwidth connections are likely targets.

"We want to remove any barriers for those who want Mozilla," Baker said.

The CDs are available for $3.95. As previously reported, the telephone support is being offered through DecisionOne and costs $39.95 per incident. Mozilla also is planning future e-mail support, Baker said.

The redesigned site, which will launch later this week, includes a section devoted to Mozilla product information targeted to end users, Baker said. In the past, much of the information on the Mozilla projects site was solely developer-focused.

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