Home > Mozilla, Gecko > Mozilla Plans Faster Growth for Its Browser Mozilla Plans Faster Growth for Its Browser Thom Holwerda 2005-08-03 Mozilla, Gecko 41 Comments The Mozilla Foundation, developer of the Firefox Web browser, plans to announce Wednesday that it has created a for-profit subsidiary to pursue wider potential for the software. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 41 Comments 2005-08-03 10:38 am I think IE7 would put a stop to mozillas attempt. I tested it very briefly and it is almost identical to firefox so why would people download firefox? I think mozilla should start to make it easier for people to use their speciall features like themes/extensions. These are the parts that microsoft still has not implemented. 2005-08-03 10:42 am Ronald Vos How about standards compliance? 2005-08-03 3:04 pm adya33 welcome to the world of JOE users standards? what are those? 2005-08-03 10:51 am Not metioning that IE7 will be aviable only for Windows XP, that it won’t be standard compilant and a heck – I guess it will have lot of holes in the first place. IE7 is ‘too litle, too late’. Damage is already done. 2005-08-03 11:04 am asharism I think IE7 would put a stop to mozillas attempt. I tested it very briefly and it is almost identical to firefox so why would people download firefox? 1) IE7 is only for XP users who have SP2… Not all do… 2) The WPA s**t is not going to allow many to use it 3) People don adopt MS because they like it… MS products are only for biz… only to make money… My 2c. 2005-08-03 12:10 pm “I think IE7 would put a stop to mozillas attempt. I tested it very briefly and it is almost identical to firefox so why would people download firefox?” 1) IE7 is only for XP users who have SP2… Not all do… 2) The WPA s**t is not going to allow many to use it 3) People don adopt MS because they like it… MS products are only for biz… only to make money… I’m not an IE fan boy. Hell, I don’t even run Windows if I can avoid it (and not at all at home). That said… #1 – XP users should install SP2. #2 – Why not? You use Windows, you follow the rules Microsoft sets forth. WPA is one of them. (Not that I like it or think it is a good way to treat your customers.) #3 – I make money with Linux and OSS. Windows is definately not required. It is entrenched and people think they ‘must’ use it…though they do not in the vast number of cases. MS Exchange and Outlook is similarly abused in this way. 2005-08-03 1:07 pm I think the point about WPA is that the number of people running a ‘borrowed’ copy of XP is quite a significant proportion of XP users. WPA makes their life a little more difficult, and there will be a significantly better version of FF for them to update to rather than relying on a cracked version of IE7. I mean would you trust a cracked version of IE7? 2005-08-03 12:01 pm You are comparing curretn Firefox to future IE7. By the time IE7 hits the market Firefox will have moved on, having better standard compliance. Besides almost 50% of all businesses still run win2k, making that the dominant OS for business use. They will not be able to upgrade. 2005-08-03 12:03 pm I think IE7 would put a stop to mozillas attempt. I tested it very briefly and it is almost identical to firefox so why would people download firefox? Perhaps because it works on other platforms than “Microsoft Windows XP SP2” ? I’ll test IE7 when it comes for Mac OS X, Linux, BSD or Solaris 2005-08-03 12:11 pm I think IE7 would put a stop to mozillas attempt. I tested it very briefly and it is almost identical to firefox so why would people download firefox? There’s an interesting article by Paul Thurott, the guy who runs winsupersite.com. His advice is to boykott IE7: http://www.windowsitpro.com/windowspaulthurrott/Article/ArticleID/4… Extract: “Put succinctly, the company has gone its own way for so long and now has to support so many developers who use nonstandard Web technologies that it will be impossible to make IE Web-standards-compliant without breaking half the commercial Web sites on the planet.” I think mozilla should start to make it easier for people to use their speciall features like themes/extensions. These are the parts that microsoft still has not implemented. Agreed. 2005-08-03 7:25 pm Why go through the trouble of switching to a knock off when you have the real thing? As far as I know IE7 dosn’t include some configuration import tool that Firefox/Thunderbird have touted. 2005-08-03 8:58 pm “I think IE7 would put a stop to mozillas attempt. I tested it very briefly and it is almost identical to firefox so why would people download firefox?” ———- IE7 does not and will meet WC3 web standards especially CSS1, HTML4 and PNG anytime soon! Opera is very close, Apple claims it’s Safari browser has passed the test in preliminary builds which remains to be seen and the Mozilla Foundation said it was committed to “full support” of Acid2 in its Firefox browser but did not say when it expected to pass the test. On the other hand MS has no intentions of making IE7 WC3 compliant anytime soon and refer to the features as a “wish list!” With their money you would think they would be able to make IE7 WC3 compliant, however all they are going to do is add tabs which have been on numerous other browsers for “years” now and foist yet another piece of crap web browser on those who don’t know any better. :/ “Next Explorer to fail Acid test” http://news.com.com/Next+Explorer+to+fail+Acid+test/2100-1032_3-581… 2005-08-03 10:39 am Ronald Vos Nice move, although I still feel something as easy to use as a browser doesn’t need support. What could possibly go wrong not already covered by regular IT departments? (like setting up proxies: if the networking people don’t know how to figure that out they need to get fired) But where does this leave Netscape? After having massively funded Mozilla development, they ended up with a browser engine to use for their own browser, and being eclipsed by their project. Now with support on offer, what does Netscape have left to make it attractive? 2005-08-03 3:40 pm The support will lalrgely be for coporations, I believe. 2005-08-03 3:46 pm “Nice move, although I still feel something as easy to use as a browser doesn’t need support. What could possibly go wrong not already covered by regular IT departments? (like setting up proxies: if the networking people don’t know how to figure that out they need to get fired)” How about development of bespoke XUL applications for corporations ? 2005-08-03 10:51 am I don’t see how going corporate will really help. But they’re free to do whatever I suppose. 2005-08-03 11:21 am rapont I thought that when I saw the headline, but when I read the news.com article it makes sense. What they’re basically saying is that currently paid-for support is done on their behalf by a third-party. That company is making money off the free software they creat (which is not a crime after all). What they’re essentially doing is taking that function in-house. Why not use the profit that the third-party company made and instead of having that money go to that company’s shareholders actually be plowed back into the FireFox project by directly employing developers. I think its a good move! 2005-08-03 11:17 am I think IE7 would put a stop to mozillas attempt. I tested it very briefly and it is almost identical to firefox so why would people download firefox? Duh – the issue is to get them to download something. If they don’t care to d’load FF, will they d’load IE7’s dozen megabytes? 2005-08-03 11:55 pm drsmoothy Duh – the issue is to get them to download something. If they don’t care to d’load FF, will they d’load IE7’s dozen megabytes? Point well taken. This will really depend on whether they have a choice. Most “home users” I know just use the default “Auto Update” function. This does not automatically download new programs normally, just fixes for what you already have. If Microsoft sets this as a fix, this will be done for most “home users” when they get there. Now if they’ve already downloaded Firefox, they’ll probably stick to that. In order for Firefox to grow the following needs to happen asap: 1) Release a version with delta patching asap, don’t wait for Firefox 1.5. Downloading the entire installer every minor update is both a waste of bandwidth and a waste of time. and 2) Blitz the Corps with Active Directory Integration for Windows asap, make it easy for admin’s to lock down and manage Firefox the same way they can with IE and it will spread more amongst the companies. Release MSI Packages too! Copying stuff in and out with scripts is for Linux weenies and not the way things are done on Windows. (Before I get flamed, I am a Linux weenie. Scripts on Windows just aren’t the way Windows Admin’s do things!) People are creatures of habit, and if everyone gets use to downloading Firefox when they get a new computer then that’s what they will do. I don’t care what Netscape claimed in court! People didn’t leave from Netscape to IE until after Netscape 4 was unleashed as a buggy plague on the internet using population. All the non-geeks I knew were happily using Netscape 3. Later moved to Netscape 4, hated it and started playing with IE3. If these two things aren’t available by the time Windows Vista is released, Firefox, Opera, & Safari will be screwed (along with anyone who wants a standards based Intarweb). 2005-08-04 12:43 am I agree and I disagree drsmoothy. I’m a Windows admin and I’ve no problem with scripts and use them all over the place. But AD is the proper tool for changing the kind of settings I need in Firefox. I can do it with scripts but a double click and editing a setting AD is much easier and more efficient in a corporate environment. If something goes wrong and I have to send a change to our 400 PCs immediately, AD group policy does it for me. With a script I have to write it, test it, deploy it, check if it ran on all PCs, troubleshoot ones that caused problems (there are always a few). It’s possible and I can do it but with a 101 other constant problems why wouldn’t I want to go down the path of least resistance. I’m one of the ones that left Netscape after they released that stinking, slow, bloatware pile of crap in version 4. Then I moved to IE because there was no reasonable alternative. Then I moved to Opera because of it’s features. Firefox is good but there’s no reason for me to leave Opera (yet). 2005-08-03 12:21 pm TBPrince When I read the headline I thought: how could that be? Then I read article and I understood it was going to happen. Let’s just say that a Foundation (i.e. non-profit organization) doesn’t need a for-profit company to pursue its goals, neither to charge for support or the like. A foundation, however, has this little problem of being a non-profit organization, meaning you can’t make money out of it. Easy. The only meaning of this move is Firefox leading executives and top players want to make money out of Firefox. They want their revenues and not to depend on donations of big companies. Two comments on this: #1: it’s good that they’re trying to free themselves from influences “donations” bring. They’re just trying to be able to fly with their wings and make money out of it. #2: this is another indirect confirmation that even successfull OSS projects aren’t that successfull from economic point of view. They’re either starving or they just want to get revenues, pay their bills and so on. Bad hit to so-called OSS business-model (if it ever existed) Now, on with things I don’t like about it: a big one. They should have courage to turn Mozilla Foundation or at least Firefox dept into a commercial company and end this false thing. Founding a commercial company side-by-side with foundation is a bad action and bad faith because you will also exploit and gain money from work done by contributors who won’t see a buck out of it. A blatant interests conflict where work done by singles won’t be paid and will only be acknowledged but real money will end up into pockets of founders of this company. That’s bad. If I were a Firefox contributor (which I am not),I would just say: “going commercial?Pay me or bye bye…”. Yet someone exploiting underpaid workforce to make real money. Bad. 2005-08-03 12:34 pm Only 5% to 10% of users use firefox, the other 90% uses internet explorer, so internet explorer still the best browser out there… and wait for internet explorer 7 with TAB browsing in windows vista “longhorn” and it will boost to 100% The problem of IE6 was that it doesn’t have tab browsing very important when we are browsing and security problems. Windows vista will be the best operating system out there. I can’t wait to see my desktop running WINDOWS VISTA code name LONGHORN with IE7 with tab browsing and lots of more features:) 2005-08-03 3:13 pm unoengborg I have no doubt Microsoft Vista will be a good OS. The problem to Microsoft is that XP and win2k are good enough. Most companies will not go through the trouble of upgrade as teh return of investment will be far too low, so we will see many desktops running win2k even in the future. The time when you could invest in new IT infrastructures without any questions asked is long gone. Nowdays, companies do profitablity analysis, just like they would before buying into any piece of machinery. I also think that you underestimate the number of firefox users. Your figures may be true for the US, but if you look at other parts of the world you would se much higher figures. E.g in Finland the Firefox share is about 20%, in Sweden its about 15% 2005-08-03 12:45 pm Bobmeister I haven’t seen mentioned that by the time IE7 comes out, Firefox will have already moved on to bigger and better things in the version of Firefox2 (or soon therafter). This one will always be a step ahead (or two) than IE so that the comparison will again be obsolete. Tabbed browsing is OK. The other problem is that unlike the guy posting above who loves his Windows so much (which is fine), there are a lot of mixed networks now and it’s nice to have ONE browser for all of the platforms. Firefox wins again in that fold until Microsoft opens up IE to install on my Linux machines (HA!) 2005-08-03 4:18 pm cilcoder Remember that at one point Microsoft made IE explorer available for both Mac OS and Unix..(Probably still available for both of them but they are older versions.) So an up to date version for Linux and other platforms isn’t THAT ridiculous. Not anytime soon but in the *distant* future if they see a need for it. 2005-08-03 12:53 pm I think IE7 would put a stop to mozillas attempt. I tested it very briefly and it is almost identical to firefox so why would people download firefox? One word … Adblock 2005-08-03 1:18 pm Usually whenever someone tries to post an Opera thread the Firefox droids come out in squads to hijack the thread to their own product. So I thought I’d repay the favour. Hey everybody, how about the latest Opera browser, isn’t it better than IE or Mozilla?! nyuk nyuk nyuk 2005-08-03 2:32 pm ma_d Last time I used opera (8.01 I believe) it kept segfaulting. Before that I was entranced with the tiny size, speed, and amazing agility of the browser. At that point the romance died and I realized that it trades off stability for those things. Firefox crashes too, usually on certain websites which are so horrifically messed up (think opendiary type sites). Anyway, I like Opera. But it’s not the perfection that its over-zealous Mac-fan-boy-wannabe users make it out to be. And in the end: Firefox is free software. I’ll take mediocre free software and push it over amazing proprietary software anyday. Why? Because the free software will improve, the proprietary software will die out with a shift of the consumer winds. Two years ago Opera was the only serious alternative to IE. The Mozilla suite was enormous, I’d used it, and didn’t work on a good 5% of sites. Firefox was Phoenix, and while it was pretty neat it was horribly unstable; but it was young. Now, Firefox is one of the most adaptable, usable, stable, and more standards compliant browsers out there. It’s not as fast as Opera, but it renders as many and probably more websites. It strives for better compliancy. It’s still Free. And Opera users are whining because their $39.99 work of art never quite attracted users based on technical superiority. I’d really like to see this happen though: IE: 15% Opera: 30% Mozilla: 30% Safari: 15% Konqueror: 5% Netscape: 0% Other/New Browsers: 5% 2005-08-03 4:04 pm I will never ever use IE again. Firefox extension mechanism and search function makes it an easy choice. 2005-08-03 4:22 pm Further proof that OSS is a bad model for “software-only” developers. Only people to succeed will be guys who have hardware based offerings (IBM, HP, Sun, Dell). All others claiming allegience to Open Source are lying through their teeth. Off-the-record Novell, Redhat, Codeweavers, Trolltech, JBoss and others would love to see their open source offering die and everybody pay money for their close source version. Lets just drop this charade and have Mozilla return back to its roots as a browser company that charges for the browser and now lets see if Firefox can compete with Opera. I for one will pay money for Mozilla’s suite. 2005-08-03 5:28 pm Finalzone Lets just drop this charade and have Mozilla return back to its roots as a browser company that charges for the browser and now lets see if Firefox can compete with Opera. Basically, you are willing to trade off the ability to quickly fix bugs and the number of international hackers (in that sense, people improving the source codes). Personaly, I am glad that Firefox is not competing with Opera. Though the latter has nice features, it is not open source and it seems their developers mostly focus on flash than substances. Frankly, who want to pay for a browser? I prefer to have a basic browser with the ability to add extensions I want than a browser that has so many plugins that needs to be turned off. 2005-08-03 6:06 pm ability to quickly fix bugs and the number of international hackers (in that sense, people improving the source codes). What quick bug fixes and number of international hackers improving Mozilla?. Damn it Mozilla suite is stuck at 1.7 for the past two years, so there goes your theory. On the other hand, Opera’s been steadily improving. You gotta admit that Money is a great motivator. It’s easy to talk about free and open source stuff when you don’t work for free. 2005-08-03 7:07 pm Finalzone What quick bug fixes and number of international hackers improving Mozilla?. Damn it Mozilla suite is stuck at 1.7 for the past two years, so there goes your theory. Obviously you did not read news. Mozilla 1.7 (current version is 1.7.11) is the last Suite from Mozilla, there won’t be any release under Mozilla name. Seamonkey now replaces Mozilla suite and it is maintained by another community http://www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/. Mozilla Foundation now focuses their work on Firefox and Thunderbird. On the other hand, Opera’s been steadily improving. You gotta admit that Money is a great motivator. It’s easy to talk about free and open source stuff when you don’t work for free. So what? People who choose to spend their time working on the source code have job not necessarely related to IT. Firefox is also improving btw. Check at the major changes from 1.0 to Deer Pack (Firefox 1.5 alpha). 2005-08-03 6:40 pm cr8dle2grave Further proof that OSS is a bad model for “software-only” developers. So, the financial performance of the Mozilla Foundation, which has no business model as it was not set up to be a business but a non-profit, is to be taken as evidence for the failure of what is explicitly a development model to play the role of business model? You’ve got a lot of work to do in order to remove the outright nonsense and gibberish from your argument. Off-the-record Novell, Redhat, Codeweavers, Trolltech, JBoss and others would love to see their open source offering die and everybody pay money for their close source version. And I’m supposed to believe that some kid posting anonymously on a web board has an inside track on the private opinions of executives at the above listed companies? One would have to be an utter moron to believe that your statement is anything other than flat out lie. Also, it should be noted, that of the companies you list above only Trolltech even has a closed source version of their OSS offerings. Novell has closed source offerings, but none of them are versions of their OSS offerings. Redhat has no closed source offerings whatsoever. Codeweavers, on the other hand, has no OSS offerings, but does make contributions to the OSS codebase on which their product is based. And finally, JBoss, like Redhat, has no closed source offerings. Not only are you lying about having some insider knowledge, you obviously don’t5 even have an adequate grasp of the knowledge which is publically available. 2005-08-03 9:09 pm Dr_J There are lots of common misunderstanding above about not-for-profit organizations. They ARE businesses, and they CAN make money and profits. They just cannot return those profits to the owners (shareholders, in a traditional corporation). Non-profits often are not very lucrative, but they can be as long as investment capital is not required. Dr_J 2005-08-03 10:59 pm butters They want to have a business relationship with companies like Google. They have already received payments from Google to include prefetching features for the Firefox Google search bar. Basically, Mozilla is now accepting corporate investment in return for implementing features beneficial to the investor as well most users. They explicitly state that all profits from Mozilla Corporation go to the Mozilla Foundation, where they get funneled 100% back into development and marketing efforts. Unlike community projects, Firefox/Thunderbird have a closed development process. Patches submitted to the development team are not guaranteed to receive any consideration. The corporate side allows commericial interests to buy into the development process, as long as the intent jives with the development team and the principles of the Mozilla Foundation. There is a low chance of these commercial interests pushing Firefox/Thunderbird in a direction inconsistent with the needs of its users, and a great opportunity to get some innovative features developed that otherwise wouldn’t have seen the light of day. 2005-08-04 1:26 pm TBPrince Basically, Mozilla is now accepting corporate investment in return for implementing features beneficial to the investor as well most users. They explicitly state that all profits from Mozilla Corporation go to the Mozilla Foundation, where they get funneled 100% back into development and marketing efforts. This is only what *they* said. If you’re a foundation, you are *forced* to do that. If you’re a business company, that’s only a *promise*. If such goals were real, they wouldn’t have needed to start a business company. If they did, they know they need/want to do something which they couldn’t do via Foundation. Which is basically getting money for them, as that’s the only difference. Again, I consider that not only a false reasoning, but even a bad faith action because they will be double-faced because they will also be exploting contributors’ work to get money. 2005-08-04 2:53 pm rycamor You can second-guess them all you want, but don’t consider it a “bad faith” move until you see proof. In fact the reasons for doing this are far more in the interest of protecting Mozilla than in finding profit. There is an incredible array of legal strictures that hamper a non-profit organization that you might know nothing of. For example, a foundation cannot get too much money, in too big an amount, from any one contributor. So for example if Google wants to donate a large chunk to Mozilla for feature development, that alone might threaten the Mozilla Foundation’s non-profit status. This is more problematic than most people realize. If in fact anyone successfully challenges a non-profit’s status in court, then that non-profit organization can be subject to serious damages, to the point of being disbanded and all assets given to *another* charity. Non-profits like the Mozilla Foundation are so new in America’s legal landscape that there are often no legal precedents for the types of things they do, so it is often *very* difficult to know what the boundaries are, which makes these things even more risky. Thus, the decision by the Mozilla Foundation was purely a pragmatic move to lower risk. 2005-08-04 4:46 pm Dr_J It is hard to figure out who you mean by “they.” Assuming it is Mozilla the corporation, this entity is controlled entirely by Mozilla the foundation — the foundation owns all of the stock. So the corporation can do nothing without the consent of the foundation, because the foundation controls the board of directors. And there are very good reasons for changing the corporate structure of Mozilla the foundation, as the previous reply indicated. Honestly, I find all of the misunderstandings about business, profit and business structure in this thread to be very troubling. Too much GIGO — Garbage In, Gospel Out. Dr_J 2005-08-03 11:17 pm Dr_J The new Mozilla Corporation is NOT accepting corporate investment. The Mozilla Foundation will retain 100% ownership of the stock, and will not accept new stockholders. As long is this is true, there simply can be no investment. Now, contracts for services or other deliverables are another matter. Dr_J 2005-08-04 2:47 am like all linux tightarses, i’m not going to hand over my hard-earned cash. so all you open source freaks will have to keep working for free forever!!! suckers!!!