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Firefox Faces Uphill Battle, Analysts Predict

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Despite handing out positive reviews over the latest version of the open-source Firefox Web browser, market watchers are saying that the Mozilla Foundation will need to publicize the product heavily in order to lure new users.

The Mozilla Foundation is planning a renewed marketing push around the latest update to its Firefox open-source Web browser in order to boost the product's visibility among consumers.

Despite the effort, some industry watchers contend that it will remain a significant challenge for the nonprofit group to win more users away from Microsoft Corp.

On Tuesday, Mozilla released Firefox 1.5, the much-awaited update to the free browser software that promises a slate of improvements ranging from faster Web page downloads to improved security features.

Based on open-source code, or programs developed in a public community within which the underlying design of a software program is shared among developers, Firefox claims to be a more reliable alternative to Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

By midday Wednesday, Mozilla officials said the browser had already been downloaded the group's Web site well over 1 million times.

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