Firefox 2.0, shown here, was released in October 2006
At the start of Netscape Navigator's decline, Netscape open-sourced their browser code, and later entrusted it to the newly formed non-profit Mozilla Foundationa primarily community-driven project to create a successor to Netscape. Development continued for several years with little widespread adoption until a stripped-down browser-only version of the full suite, which included new features such as a separate search bar (which had previously only appeared in the Opera browser), was created. The browser-only version was initially named Phoenix, but because of trademark issues that name was changed, first to Firebird, then to Firefox. This browser became the focus of the Mozilla Foundation's development efforts and Mozilla Firefox 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004. It then continued to gain an increasing share of the browser market until a peak in 2010.
In 2003, Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 would be the last standalone version of its browser. Future enhancements would be dependent on Windows Vista, which would include new tools such as the WPF and XAML to enable developers to build web applications.
In response, in April 2004, the Mozilla Foundation and Opera Software joined efforts to develop new open-technology standards which add more capability while remaining backward-compatible with existing technologies. The result of this collaboration was the WHATWG, a working group devoted to the fast creation of new standard definitions that would be submitted to the W3C for approval.
The growing number of device/browser combinations in use, legally-mandated web accessibility, as well as the expansion of expected web functionality to essentially require DOM and scripting abilities, including AJAX, made web standards of increasing importance during this era. Instead of touting their proprietary extensions, browser developers began to market their software based on how closely it adhered to the behavior as specified by the standard.
Updated browsers and rise of mobile browsersEdit
On February 15, 2005, Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer 7 would be available for Windows XP SP2 and later versions of Windows by mid-2005. The announcement introduced the new version of the browser as a major upgrade over Internet Explorer 6 SP1.
Opera had been a long-time small player in the browser wars, known for introducing innovative features such as tabbed browsing and mouse gestures, as well as being lightweight but feature-rich. The software, however, was commercial, which hampered its adoption compared to its free rivals until 2005, when the browser became freeware. On June 20, 2006, Opera Software released Opera 9 including an integrated source viewer, a BitTorrent client implementation, and widgets. It was the first Windows browser to pass the Acid2 test. Opera Mini, a mobile browser, has significant mobile market share. Editions of Opera are also available for the Nintendo DS and the Wii.
Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7 on October 18, 2006. It included tabbed browsing, a search bar, a phishing filter, and improved support for web standards (including full support for PNG)all features already long familiar to Opera and Firefox users. Microsoft distributed Internet Explorer 7 to genuine Windows users (WGA) as a high-priority update through Windows Update. Typical market share analysis showed only a slow uptake of Internet Explorer 7 and Microsoft decided to drop the requirement for WGA and made Internet Explorer 7 available to all Windows users in October 2007. Throughout the two following years, Microsoft worked on Internet Explorer 8. On December 19, 2007, the company announced that an internal build of that version had passed the Acid2 CSS test in "IE8 standards mode"the last of the major browsers to do so. Internet Explorer 8 was released on March 19, 2009. New features included accelerators, improved privacy protection, a compatibility mode for pages designed for older browsers, and improved support for various web standards. It was the last version of Internet Explorer to be released for Windows XP. Internet Explorer 8 scored 20/100 in the Acid3 test, which was much worse than all major competitors at the time.
On October 24, 2006, Mozilla released Mozilla Firefox 2.0. It included the ability to reopen recently closed tabs, a session restore feature to resume work where it had been left after a crash, a phishing filter, and a spell-checker for text fields. Mozilla released Firefox 3.0 on June 17, 2008, with performance improvements and other new features. Firefox 3.5 followed on June 30, 2009, with further performance improvements, native integration of audio and video, and more privacy features.
On December 28, 2007, Netscape announced that support for its Mozilla-derived Netscape Navigator would be discontinued on February 1, 2008, suggesting its users migrate to Mozilla Firefox. However, on January 28, 2008, Netscape announced that support would be extended to March 1, 2008, and mentioned Flock alongside Firefox as alternatives to its users.
During December 2009 and January 2010, StatCounter reported that its statistics indicated that Firefox 3.5 was the most popular browser when counting individual browser versions, passing Internet Explorer 7 and 8 by a small margin. This was the first time a global statistic has reported that a non-Internet Explorer browser version had exceeded the top Internet Explorer version in usage share since the fall of Netscape Navigator. However, this feat, which GeekSmack called the "dethroning of Microsoft and its Internet Explorer 7 browser," could largely be attributed to the fact that it came at a time when version 8 was replacing version 7 as the dominant Internet Explorer version; no more than two months later Internet Explorer 8 had established itself as the most popular browser and version. Other major statistics, such as Net Applications, never reported any non-Internet Explorer browser having a higher usage share than Internet Explorer if each version of each browser was looked at individually: for example Firefox 3.5 was reported as the third most popular browser version from December 2009 to February 2010, succeeded by Firefox 3.6 since April 2010, each ahead of Internet Explorer 7 but behind Internet Explorer 6 and 8.
Chrome's dominance, Presto engine deprecation, and HTML5 standardizedEdit
Google Chrome, initially released in 2008, had a rapid increasing trend of in usage share since its creation, dominating the browser wars by 2017.
In October 2010, StatCounter reported that Internet Explorer had for the first time dropped below 50% market share to 49.87% in their figures. Also, StatCounter reported Internet Explorer 8's first drop in usage share in the same month.
Google released Google Chrome 9 on February 3, 2011. New features introduced included support for WebGL, Chrome Instant, and the Chrome Web Store. The company created another seven versions of Chrome that year, finishing with Chrome 16 on December 15, 2011. Google Chrome 17 was released on February 15, 2012. In April 2012, Google browsers (Chrome and Android) became the most used browsers on Wikimedia Foundation sites. By May 21, 2012, StatCounter reported Chrome narrowly overtaking Internet Explorer as the most used browser in the world. However, troughs and peaks in the market share between Internet Explorer and Chrome meant that Internet Explorer was slightly ahead of Chrome on weekdays up until July 4. At the same time, Net Applications reported Internet Explorer firmly in first place, with Google Chrome almost overtaking Firefox as the second. In 2012, responding to Chrome's popularity, Apple discontinued Safari for Windows.
Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 on March 14, 2011. It featured a revamped interface, support for the basic SVG feature set, and partial HTML5 video support, among other new features. It only runs on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Phone 7. The company later released Internet Explorer 10 along with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in 2012, and an update compatible with Windows 7 followed in 2013. This version drops Vista and Phone 7 support. The release preview of Internet Explorer 11 was released on September 17, 2013. It supports the same desktops as its predecessor.
The concept of rapid releases established by Google Chrome prompted Mozilla to do the same for its Firefox browser. On June 21, 2011, Firefox 5.0 was the first rapid release for this browser, finished a mere six weeks after the previous edition. Mozilla created four more whole-number versions throughout the year, finishing with Firefox 9 on December 20, 2011. For those desiring long-term support, Mozilla made an Extended Support Release (ESR) version of Firefox 10 on January 31, 2012. Contrary to the regular version, a Firefox ESR receives regular security updates plus occasional new features and performance updates for approximately one year, after which a 12-week grace period is given before discontinuing that version number. Those who continued to use the rapid releases with an active Internet connection were automatically updated to Firefox 11 on March 15, 2012. By the end of 2011, however, Chrome overtook Firefox to become world's most used browser, and the competition between Chrome and Firefox intensified.
During this era, all major web browsers implemented support for HTML5 video. Supported codecs, however, varied from browser to browser. Current versions of Android, Chrome, and Firefox support Theora, H.264, and the VP8 version of WebM. Older versions of Firefox omitted H.264 due to it being a proprietary codec, but it was made available beginning in version 17 for Android and version 20 for Windows. Internet Explorer and Safari support H.264 exclusively,[when?] but the Theora and VP8 codecs can be manually installed on the desktop versions. Given the popularity of WebKit for mobile browsers, Opera Software discontinued its own Presto engine in February 2013. The Opera 12 series of browsers were the last to use Presto with its successors using WebKit instead. In 2015, Microsoft discontinued production of newer versions of Internet Explorer. By this point Chrome overtook all other browsers as the browser with the highest usage share.
Starting in 2015 with the release of Windows 10, Microsoft shifted from Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge. However, the new browser has failed to capture much popularity as of 2018.
By 2017 usage shares of Opera, Firefox and Internet Explorer fell well below 5% each, while Google Chrome had expanded to over 60% worldwide. In May 2017, Andreas Gal, former Mozilla CTO, publicly stated that Google Chrome won the Second Browser War.