Has Firefox Lost Its Edge?: Page 2

Once an emerging darling, the open source browser is now beset by a troubling handful of issues.
Posted January 16, 2012

Matt Hartley

(Page 2 of 2)

Well as luck would have it, Firefox is going to see support in two very important areas. The first area is in the enterprise space. Finally, we see Mozilla taking steps to making Firefox more "enterprise-friendly" with extended support releases of the browser.

The idea behind this move is that enterprise users are more likely to embrace Firefox, if only critical updates are pushed to their browser. Think of Ubuntu LTS, as an example of how this sort of concept might work.

The second area where Firefox has great support is with funding. Mozilla will continue to receive massive amounts of funding from the same people that brought us Chrome. The reason why Google is spending this kind of cash on Mozilla is not totally clear. The general consensus is that Google wants to promote both Firefox and Chrome in an effort to keep Internet Explorer on the ropes. And this translates into a huge win for everyone but Microsoft.

Firefox can win users back

There is no question in my mind that Firefox could make improvements to potentially win many of their departed users back. And thanks to the additional Google funding, Mozilla now has the extra resources to make this happen. The real question is how long it's going to take for Firefox to see the decentralized apps like Chrome already enjoys?

Another huge question is when will Firefox updates stop breaking the legacy extensions that current users are having to do without just to keep their browser current? If these two issues can be addressed, and we bundle the new enterprise focus mentioned above, I believe that Firefox could become relevant once again.

The comedy of this whole situation really comes down to this - no matter which of the two browsers mentioned in this article you use, Google wins. Because for them, the browser is merely a window to get you logged into their products and services. So in reality, Firefox is actually a mirror image of what Chrome is designed to do. Get users to Google based products and keep them there.

Chrome privacy issues are immaterial

By now, I realize that many of you are waiting for me to acknowledge Google Chrome's privacy issues. To be ultimately clear, I understand this is an issue. However, I would point out that running Firefox isn't really going to offer any additional privacy in the grand scheme of things. If Google remains a consistent destination, then I think the browser you choose matters very little. Think I am wrong? Ask a casual Google user to show you their Google Web History sometime.

You might escape the ad-tracking, but you're still tracked and your privacy is still at risk. Regardless of the browser one chooses to rely on, if you're using Google services already, you're gaining very little privacy or security by being concerned over which browser you happen to use at the moment.

The main takeaway here is this. Firefox can regain some of their users but for them to do so, they will have to seriously differentiate themselves from Chrome. At this point, this simply hasn't happened just yet. Then again, we have yet to see what Mozilla is planning to do with the sudden influx of Google cash they received. Perhaps, just maybe, Firefox will finally overcome the issues listed above and get their backsides out of the mud once and for all.

Page 2 of 2

Previous Page
1 2

Tags: Firefox, Google, browser

0 Comments (click to add your comment)
Comment and Contribute


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.