Just one day after Google launched its toolbar software for Firefox, Yahoo has brought rain to Google's parade, releasing a refreshed build of its own Firefox toolbar.
Yahoo's Firefox toolbar replicates many of the features it already offers customers using Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser such as an integrated search box, content discovery, a RSS subscription manager, protection against spyware and server-side preferences that can be recalled from any PC connected to the Internet.
In addition to its baseline functionality, the toolbar has tie-ins to My Web. My Web is a customized search page that layers editorial content on top of standard aggregated search results and saves Web pages and queries so that desired content will not be lost.
While the products are similar in many ways, Google's toolbar does have some distinctions from Yahoo including a built-in spell checker, auto fill functionality for forms, a translator and Google AutoLink which maps street addresses.
Google routinely referred customers to the open source Googlebar project before it ported the software from Internet Explorer to Firefox, while Yahoo provided mainstream support for Firefox.
Firefox can offer advanced features even without a toolbar being installed. The browser has an extensions architecture that takes up where Mozilla developers left off. Extensions are add-ons developed by third parties that provide the browser with additional functionality. Likewise, Firefox already offers a pull down search menu that lists both Yahoo and Google.
Yahoo has made the toolbar available to Firefox users on the Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. The software is available for download at FileForum.