Start-up wants to improve on Firefox

Former Mozilla Foundation member gives details about start-up that promises a new and improved Firefox browser.

Paul Festa Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Paul Festa
covers browser development and Web standards.
Paul Festa
2 min read
A new version of the Firefox Web browser is coming your way, but not from the Mozilla Foundation.

Round Two planned a corporate launch Monday night with the promise of bringing "a new crop of products and services that will enhance your Firefox experience."

"When we launch our own services, in about a month or so, we'll be looking to offer the must-have companion to Firefox," said Bart Decrem, Round Two CEO and a former staffer at the Mozilla Foundation. "We see tremendous room for innovating on top of the Mozilla and Firefox platform, and we see ourselves as the first company outside of the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation that's fully dedicated to serving Firefox users."

Round Two's mission to improve the Firefox browsing experience may puzzle some Firefox fans, who consider the browser an already vast improvement over Microsoft's Internet Explorer standard-bearer. Firefox has capitalized on widespread dissatisfaction with IE's security and features to swipe considerable market share from Microsoft.

Firefox, an open-source browser developed and distributed by the Mozilla Foundation, is designed to appeal to third-party developers, and Round Two is but one of several businesses in the Mozilla development ecosystem.

While Round Two--formerly known as MozSource--puts the finishing touches on its own products, the company is sponsoring development of several other Firefox extensions.

These include FlashGot, which lets Firefox work with third-party download managers; Bandwidth Tester, which lets people determine their connection speed; and SwitchProxy, which lets people surf anonymously with Firefox by configuring Firefox to work with multiple Web proxy servers. Round Two is providing developers of these extensions with technical resources including Web servers, bandwidth, project management resources and some financial support.

Round Two is also supporting the ExtensionsMirror.nl Web site, which is growing about 25 percent every month, according to Decrem.

"They needed a new server with a lot of bandwidth," Decrem said. "We're providing that. Now we're exploring ways we can work together even more closely."

Round Two also said it was supporting StockTicker, TinyURL Creator, Copy Plain Text, Extension Uninstaller, Lorem Ipsum Content Generator, OpenDownload, Open Long URLs, Search Plugins and Secure Password Generator.

As for Round Two's own extensions, Decrem said the company was considering antivirus software to integrate with Firefox.