Firefox fans take fight to the papers

Open-source supporters are being asked to open their wallets and advertise Firefox in the mainstream media

The Mozilla Foundation has called on its supporters to chip in for a new piece of community action - buying a full page advert in the New York Times for the launch of Firefox 1.0 in November. Running the funding campaign from the Spread Firefox site, Firefox advocate Rob Davis 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 2500 supporters are expected to donate at least $30 apiece, with the fund also supporting further marketing efforts. For that, each supporter will get their name in the advert itself - with Community Champion status being awarded to anyone who signs up ten or more extra names. "We (sfx members and Firefox users) will only ever have one Firefox 1.0 launch," Davis says on the front page of the 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 five million times. On the back of intense media interest and strong word-of-mouth recommendations, the browser is becoming seen as a potential contender against Microsoft's Internet Explorer -- still the overwhelming market leader with around 94 percent share.