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July 15, 2006

Firefox 2.0 Includes Google Toolbar

The new version of Firefox, namely Firefox 2.0 Beta 1, takes most of its new features from Google Toolbar for Firefox. And that's no surprise as the lead Firefox engineer, Ben Goodger, works at Google.

Let's see:

* Google Suggest in the search box. The Firefox implementation doesn't include your bookmarks and the results from the search history, but it's basically the same feature.

* Anti-phishing protection. Although not enabled by default, Firefox uses the same Google Safe Browsing technology from Google Toolbar. Previously that was a standalone extension. "By combining advanced algorithms with reports about misleading pages from a number of sources, Safe Browsing is often able to automatically warn you when you encounter a page that's trying to trick you into disclosing personal information."

* Subscribe to feeds. Like in Google Toolbar, you can subscribe to feeds using Live Bookmarks or a feed reader like Bloglines.

* Spell checking. The differences between Google Toolbar's SpellCheck and Firefox's new feature are that in Firefox every misspelled word is underlined automatically and Firefox uses a local dictionary, while Google queries their server. Google's dictionary is much more comprehensive and it's dynamically updated, but Firefox makes the feature more useful by integrating it in the normal use.

With all these features included in Firefox 2.0 by default, there's little reason to install Google Toolbar. I wonder if this is the final aim of any plug-in / extension: being integrated in the application by default?


  1. yeah, kind of funny there, i was noticing the same relationships there,

  2. > I wonder if this is the final aim of any
    > plug-in / extension: being integrated in
    > the application by default?

    It's unlikely to be the goal of every Google extension. Blogger Web Comments, Google Send to Phone and the Notebook extension really are Google-only. We might see an integrated Browser Sync in Firefox in the near future, though. If Mozilla/Google defines an open protocol for server-side session and bookmark storage so that any web server can support it, it could become a great success. Maybe work on that is already being done for Firefox 3's new Places system, but I don't know any details on that.

  3. Grease Monkey is dead now! It is really suck to wait update. Most other extensions are not also match well. how long?

  4. The phishing protection that - if online check enabled - transfers every URL visited to Google is kinda creepy.

    Looks like Google is slowly assimilating Firefox, turning it into their "Operating System".

    Article (german):

  5. It's for your own good. IE7 will do the same. The feature is similar to PageRank bar in Google Toolbar that needs to send the current URL to get the PR value.

    If I were Google, I'd send these values anonymously without tying them to cookie IDs that may / may not be connected to user's data.

  6. > It's for your own good. IE7 will do the same.

    I feel much better now.

    > If I were Google, I'd send these values anonymously

    Thats nice. But you're not Google. Google is well known to store the IP for all search requests for eternity. Why would they handle the phishing protection differently?

    Combine that with the cookie valid til 2038 and you have a mass survilance machine more effective than the NSA.

  7. The main thing the Google toolbar adds is; the words on the search bar will search for themselves on the open page if clicked on the right side of the tool bar. I use that to death, as long as 2.0 doesn't accept the g-toolbar, I'll stick with the older version, deal killer for me.

  8. Google Toolbar works in Firefox 2.0, although some people experienced frequent problems (read "crashes") by combining the two products.


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