National ISP Offers Firefox to Customers

For the first time, a major Internet service provider—Speakeasy—is adopting Firefox for its customers.

The Mozilla Foundations popular open-source Web browser Firefox took another step forward in mainstream acceptance with the announcement that Speakeasy, a Seattle-based national broadband ISP, is offering a customized version of Firefox 1.0 to its customers.

The Speakeasy Edition of Firefox is currently available as a download from Speakeasy. It will also be distributed as part of Speakeasys self-install broadband service kits to its residential customers starting this month.

Firefoxs features include tabbed browsing for viewing multiple Web pages in one window and Live Bookmarks for viewing RSS feeds. The browser runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

According to Speakeasy, the browser is also attractive to its customers because it has advantages over other browsers, such as increased privacy and security and the ability to block pop-up windows.


Click here to read a review of Firefox.

Internet Explorer has been losing market share to the upstart Web browser. In the past few weeks, Microsoft Corp.s dominant browser lost an additional 1.5 percentage points to fall to 90.3 percent of the Web browser-using public, according to Web research company WebSideStory Inc. Simultaneously, the Firefox browser rose 0.9 percentage points to reach 5 percent.

"Were thrilled to be the first broadband service provider to adopt Firefox, taking our customers browsing experience to the next level," said Mike Apgar, chairman and founder of Speakeasy, in a statement. "This special edition is just the first step in making browsing the Web better for our customers. We plan to continually enhance the browser with features that will benefit Speakeasys home, business and gaming subscribers."

"Speakeasys customer focus is well-known, and we are excited to support their efforts to create a version of Firefox 1.0 that is tailored to their customers progressive needs," noted Mitchell Baker, president of the Mozilla Foundation, in a statement.

"This is a great opportunity to promote browser choice and innovation with a new audience," continued Baker.

The Speakeasy Edition has been customized to work best with a Speakeasy broadband connection. It also comes with an installation script that quickly imports all current browser favorites, passwords and other settings.

In the future, Speakeasy will also be adding other features to its edition of Firefox. These will include VOIP (voice over IP), business utility and network performance.

This is only the first partnership that Mozilla will be forming with ISPs. "You can look for more such partnerships in the near future," a Mozilla spokesperson said.


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