Yes, strange as it seems the software that gave up-and-coming web browser and email client developer Mozilla its name has been cut adrift.
In a message to users at the end of last week, the company confirmed it is to pull the plug on further development of its Mozilla Application Suite (homepage above), known as Seamonkey. It stated:
"The 1.7.x line will be the last set of Seamonkey products released and maintained by the Mozilla Foundation.” It continued: “The Mozilla Foundation will provide infrastructure for those interested in working on the 1.7.x releases, which we expect will include a number of vendors who provide these products to their customers."
The reasoning behind the move, though it was not explained in the statement, is widely thought to be so that Mozilla can concentrate on its new blood: the massively popular Firefox web browser and its Thunderbird email client due to the upcoming release of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7. After all, Microsoft caught everyone on the hop last month when it announced IE7 will be debuting way ahead of schedule, possibly as early as this summer.
Funnily enough, Mozilla just about forced Microsoft into this move as the ageing IE6 has suffered from a number of security holes in the last year and it lacks a lot of the newer browsing innovations such as tabbed web pages (more than one web page in a single browser window) and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) – a lightweight XML format designed for sharing headlines and other web content from a single bookmark.
Of course, Firefox (homepage above) has these options and at under 5MB is a significantly smaller and slimmed down programme, it is also generally accepted as being faster and more secure (though it did release an update recently to fix a security hole of its own). 27 million users have so far adopted Firefox since it launched in November which is hugely impressive, but this is only a small proportion of the overall market. Still, once you turn the head of the beast...
With IE7 on its way it appears we are in for the biggest browser war since Netscape was in its heyday (don’t forget Mozilla was founded from the ashes of Netscape, ie: what its dad couldn't finish its son looks set to continue, actually let's not go there). We love technology wars in the IT industry, they’re good for the consumer. So as far as are are concerned: Bring It On!