As a part of the celebrations, Mozilla is asking users for help in commemorating the event and suggesting them the different ways in which they can contribute to the ongoing Mozilla projects. It is also asking users to tell their story of what the open source browser and Mozilla as an open source entity means to them.

The Mozilla project was created 15 years ago by Netscape Communications after releasing the source code of its web browser and mail suite. The reason Netscape open sourced its browser and mail suite was the intense commercial competition and pressure from Microsoft. Redmond had at the time started bundling Internet Explorer for free with its operating systems.

The open source project saw developments over the next few years and in 2002 witnessed its first release – Mozilla 1.0. Microsoft had been going strong at 90 per cent market share with its Internet Explorer and it seemed that Mozilla wouldn’t be able to make much of an impact.

There were others who found the original code released by Netscape a lot bully and inefficient to a great extent. This group of developers started working on a parallel browser that they released under the name of Phoenix – in 2002. Phoenix did manage to gain traction because of its smaller foot print and efficiency as compared to other browsers. Phoenix took on the name of Firebird and then Firefox later on.

Mozilla Foundation was created in 2003 and along with the Mozilla Organization announced that they would concentrate their efforts on Firefox. 2004 saw the release of Firefox 1.0 and by 2005, it was downloaded over 100 million times. By 2008, the browser garnered a huge following and saw a 20 per cent market share.  

Beyond developing Firefox and Thudermail, Mozilla has taken up the charge of maintaining an “Open Web” by being one of the driving forces behind open standards. Mozilla is busy developing its own mobile OS – Firefox OS, which has already seen commitment from vendors for release of Firefox OS smartphones.