Barry Eitel

Adhering to its rather quick-fire release schedule, Mozilla released Firefox 18 today, the latest stable version of the company’s popular browser.

“The Firefox of today is significantly better than the Firefox of a year ago in every way,” wrote Mozilla Vice President Jonathan Nightingale on the company’s blog, “We’re seeing that recognized in our formal feedback channels, and in comments from strangers when they see a Firefox t-shirt.”

Nightingale’s post claims 2012 was a year of evolution and success for Mozilla’s signature product and its cabal of accessories.

“We passed 3 billion Firefox Add-on downloads and we shipped in 89 languages…with our recent introduction of the Social API and Facebook Messenger integration, we’re evolving at the speed of the Web,” he wrote.

Last year the company held tight to its values of empowering its users and internet activism.

“More than 19% of Firefox for Android users and 8% of desktop users have enabled Do Not Track, proving to the world that there is a real user appetite for choice on issues of Web privacy,” said Nightingale. “Our blackout campaign to oppose US SOPA legislation reached over 30 million people and we regularly work with standards, regulatory and legislative groups to represent user needs and Mozilla values.”

“We also empowered and activated the citizens of the Web with projects like WebMaker, hosting events which have attracted thousands of attendees in over 80 countries.”

Firefox 18 promises a faster internet experience and an optimized JavaScript engine. It also works much clearer in “retina-display” Apple devices than previous versions.

The latest release is just the beginning of an ambitious year for Mozilla.

“The path for 2013 is clear, but it won’t be easy,” claims Nightingale. “We need to deliver on the momentum we’ve built. Our browsers need to keep maturing and evolving as our users do, with features like the Social API expanding the concept of what a browser can be.”

This year Mozilla will focus on getting more people around the world more connected through the internet, especially with mobile devices.

“For Firefox OS, 2013 will be the year when the world can see and hold and try a real device powered only by the power of the Web and, for many, it will be the first smartphone they’ve ever been able to afford,” finishes Nightingale.

“To do this work will require every Mozillian to find a dozen more. We will need to mobilize the masses – developers, engineers, students, artists, entrepreneurs – to make and build the world that we want based on this amazing, open, transparent, powerful and humbling thing we call the Web.”