Monday, 15 February 2010

Why Fire Fox is not Doomed?

Okay I was going to comment on the article it's self. However InfoWorld appear to be afraid of feedback and require some sort of lengthy vetting process after registering. Like seriously!?! What is that all a bout!?!

So Firefox is doomed. I would disagree. Google might cut funding to better support it's own browser. But then again the whole point of Google funding Firefox is to get the default search position in the search bar. So far as I know Google don't intend to exit the search business just yet. So while Chrome is something of a threat or competition at least to Firefox. It's not the end game until Chrome gets significantly more market share.

IE is an immovable object? Clearly Randell is deliberately ignoring the fact that IE is well into decline. It's only actual strong hold now where Microsoft can still feel safe is on the corporate desktop. Everywhere else is up for grabs. Which is why every other major web browser on the market namely Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome are all gaining market share while IE is losing market share. What's more these browsers are gaining as much market share between them as IE is losing. Which means they're taking it from IE.

If that wasn't enough at least 3 or 4 countries have advised their citizens to ditch IE and use something else instead. Then of course there are countries like Brazil where significant numbers of people don't even use Windows let alone IE. They're all on Linux. So IE an immovable object? I hardly think so.

As for the critique of Mozillas intention to opt for smaller updates? This is what the Ubuntu developers do. They focus on one major thing they want to make better and by and large deliver on their goals. That doesn't mean other things don't get fixed or don't change. Clearly they do. But the developers do well out of that intense focus. Which is perhaps something Firefox actually needs.

I also don't think it's fair to compare Mozilla to Microsoft or to compare incremental updates to hot-fixes. First of all Microsoft and Mozilla are two entirely different companies with different motivations and goals. They have totally different business models that dictate how much funding they can dedicate to a single project and how the end product is marketed.

Hot-fixes are also intended to be temporary fixes to tide Windows over until the service pack arrives. Again that's a different coding style from an incremental update. A hot-fix is a quick and dirty patch to fix a problem in the short term. An incremental update is something that is integrated properly to the existing code base. That is what Mozilla does at the moment. The fact that it might want to do less but do it better doesn't mean the product will suffer.