Mitchell Baker and the Firefox Paradox (Inc)
Posted Feb 28, 2007 2:42 UTC (Wed) by njs
Parent article: Mitchell Baker and the Firefox Paradox (Inc)
I might quibble with the article's phrasing, but, c'mon guys, it's entirely correct that Firefox is in a unique place. The competition for Firefox is not Konquerer; the competition for Firefox is Internet Explorer. Can anyone name a single other FOSS project that has gone toe-to-toe with a marquee MS product, on the desktop, and gotten double-digit market share doing so? We hope that our office environments, desktop environments, kernels, etc., will do the same someday, but so far... we've failed at that. Firefox is the only project managing it, and it's a very interesting question how they're doing it, and whether they'll continue to do so.
Furthermore, the stakes are not just whether Firefox happens to be more pleasant to use than Epiphany or whatever... you can use whatever you want, I don't care, it doesn't affect me. But if we don't have something breaking the monoculture (i.e., getting at least double-digit market share on the desktop), then we hand control over the web's development to Microsoft and Adobe. Since they have no stake in the web remaining open and interoperable, that would not be the preferred outcome. The Firefox crowd seem to be the ones with the best chance of preventing this, so I'm rooting for them even if I don't use their browser...
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