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Firefox fans to take campaign to NY Times

Open-source advocates are being asked to open their wallets and support the Web browser in a full-page ad.

The Mozilla Foundation has called on its supporters to chip in on a full-page advertisement in The New York Times for the launch of its Firefox 1.0 browser in November.

Firefox advocate Rob Davis, who is running the funding campaign from the Spread Firefox site, said this will be "the first-ever, full-page advertisement in a major daily newspaper created and paid for by the open-source community."

Up to 2,500 supporters are expected to donate at least $30 apiece. For that, each supporter will get their name in the advertisement itself. "Community Champion" status will be awarded to anyone who signs up 10 or more extra names, the foundation said. The fund will also support further marketing efforts.

"We (sfx members and Firefox users) will only ever have one Firefox 1.0 launch," Davis says on the front page of the Spread Firefox site. "This is it! Let's take the world by storm."

Already available in a preview version, the Firefox browser has been downloaded more than 5 million times. On the back of intense media interest and strong word-of-mouth recommendations, the browser is becoming a potential contender against Microsoft's Internet Explorer--still the overwhelming market leader, with about 94 percent market share.

Rupert Goodwins of ZDNet UK reported from London.