Mitchell Baker and the Firefox Paradox (Inc)
Posted Feb 27, 2007 18:35 UTC (Tue) by kirkengaard
Parent article: Mitchell Baker and the Firefox Paradox (Inc)
All open source projects, and indeed, all software projects, experience competitive pressure within their niche. Certain niches are broader than others, or have more subcategories in which to excel. To suggest the obvious, that Firefox can easily be replaced if it fails to live up to the expectations of its audience, is to declare the standard value of open source software in general. It resolves dependency and monoculture. If you don't like it for your itch, you can easily do something else. This is only threatening if your corporate existence depends upon the broad market adoption and success of your software product. Hence monopoly pressure and "market share" obsession. This obsession, not the ease of replacement, is the drive for Mozilla to move faster and "be more innovative", whatever that means, and therefore to market aggressively instead of relying upon quality and aptness for attracting users. Supporting the shareholders' investments instead of the users' needs. Mozilla relies upon creating dependency, and does so in a market where that scarcity myth already exists thanks to Microsoft.
Moving faster (than what?) and being more "innovative" (than whom?) become replacements for making software that Just Works (TM).
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