By Ingrid Marson, ZDNet (UK)
Published on ZDNet News: January 2, 2006, 9:01 AM PT
Bloggers around the world have been talking about the latest Firefox extension, even though it isn't yet available.
AllPeers, a company based in the UK, has developed a peer-to-peer tool for the open source browser, which it claims is "the best thing to happen to Firefox...since Firefox."
"AllPeers is a free extension which combines the strength of Firefox and the efficiency of BitTorrent to transform your favorite browser into a media sharing powerhouse," states the company Web site.
The extension is will be available "soon", according to the company, which has posted screenshots http://www.allpeers.com/more_f.htm on its Web site showing the tool's interface.
Over the last few days, interest in the extension has been building, with over 50 blog postings talking about the AllPeers extension over the last day, according to blog search engine Technorati.
U.S. blogger B.D. was excited about the new extension, claiming that this extension could increase the number of people using Firefox, at the expense of its main rival, Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
"This is exciting news as it really moves Firefox into a realm that IE can only dream of at the moment," he said, in a blog posting on Thursday.
"By using a peer network of some sort, Firefox will exploit the publicity surrounding this functionality which has the potential to multiply the number of people exposed to the Firefox application tremendously. This could be huge," he said.
Other bloggers agreed that this could increase Firefox' market share. "It sounds like AllPears gives us yet another reason to use Firefox," said a blogger known as JonnyGuru on Thursday.
Some bloggers were more skeptical about the new extension. Mike Linksvayer said he was reluctant to write about software that was not yet available, as it "could be vaporware". Another blogger warned that being associated with peer-to-peer file sharing could damage the open source browser's reputation.
"I'm afraid the "peers" or "P2P" moniker will end up sullying Firefox's name to those out there not in the know," said the blogger, who describes himself as a golfing tech-geek.
It's not just English-speaking bloggers that are interested in the new Firefox extension. Blogs in a number of other languages, including Chinese, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, have also mentioned the AllPeers extension.