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Mozilla The Internet

Firefox Plans Mass Marketing Drive 304

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the selling-what's-already-free dept.
Ivan Mark writes "Christopher Beard, the VP of products at Mozilla Corporation, told ZDNet UK on Monday that there is a 'strong likelihood' that Firefox 1.5, the next major version of the open source browser, will be released on 29 November. Beard said they are planning a 'big marketing push.' 'You will have real people telling you about Firefox's features-- what's cool and great,' said Beard. 'People can create the video and upload it to the Mozilla site. The video will then be reviewed and put on our Web site, with a link from their location.'"
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Firefox Plans Mass Marketing Drive

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:11AM (#14112508)
    This might be a real good way for film student to get some real world pratice. Might even land them a job.
  • mmm...tasty (Score:3, Funny)

    by Connie_Lingus (317691) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:15AM (#14112520) Homepage
    Genetically-modified viral marketing...tastes great with chicken!
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:16AM (#14112523)
    While I appreciate Firefox's achievements, marketing will not persuade me that much if I still have to tweak it to have sites with streaming media work properly. The popular URL http://zdnet.com.com/1606-2_2-5967129.html [com.com] comes to mind. Heck, it might not be Firefox's fault but if the other browser on the other platform works, then Firefox should work in a lay man's view.

    Do not tell me I'll need a Media Player installed because I have Linux media players of all colors installed on my system.

    • Firefox 1.5 RC3, MPlayer plugin 3.15, works fine here.

      Any more questions?
    • Works perfectly fine here.

      Firefox 1.5 RC3 with WMP 10.

      What is the exact problem?
    • by dwandy (907337) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:46AM (#14112637) Homepage Journal
      Well ... maybe you're the exception then, because there is plenty of evidence that marketing works. People are susceptible to the advertisements that they see, and people do respond to them.
      If marketing didn't work, and products really had to stand on their own merits the world would be a whole lot different than it is today.

      Personally I think that what the open-source community needs in general terms is more marketing. The closed-source guys get it -- they get it because they didn't win market share by writing a better product (not even better than the other closed-source guy). The closed-source companys won market share by MARKETING.
      Plain and simple.
      And now that they face a new competitor (open source) they respond in a time-tested manner: marketing.
      It should be plain and obvious by now that the steady stream of "articles" (c|net [com.com], zdnet [zdnet.com] etc) are just part of a marketing campaign; hidden under the umbrella of 'news'.

      • by WWWWolf (2428)

        Personally I think that what the open-source community needs in general terms is more marketing.

        Yeah! Open source needs marketing. I think the developers just are too modest, as in "Oh, if this thing is any good, it will sell itself". Well, may be true, but they also need to catch people's attention by telling them how good it is.

        Open source folks often don't try to communicate this properly. They don't try to answer people's questions. They make the information available, they just don't try to make

      • Well ... maybe you're the exception then, because there is plenty of evidence that marketing works. People are susceptible to the advertisements that they see, and people do respond to them.

        And for the most part, marketing works very well in those areas you aren't able or willing to investigate in such detail as to look past the fluff. As far as Intel vs AMD or nVidia vs ATI or whatever, I'm pretty immue to marketing because I visit tech sites and know the numbers. Ask me about dish washers or car accessori
      • Reminds me of a Lego story a while back. Lego brought in 250 model train enthusiasts to help design a new Lego train set.

        The new locomotive, the "Santa Fe Super Chief" set, was shown to 250 enthusiasts in 2002, and their word-of-mouse [sic] helped the first 10,000 units sell out in less than two weeks with no other marketing.

        It is a well known fact that if you can influence the purchasing decisions of a few dedicated users (enthusiasts) they'll market the product for you for free.

        Sometimes its better not to

    • Do not tell me I'll need a Media Player installed because I have Linux media players of all colors installed on my system.

      Try mplayer-plugin [sf.net] (known on ubuntu as mozilla-mplayer), and the win32-codecs package. The site you point out works perfectly on my system if I choose windows media (mplayer-plugin) or realplayer (realplayer 10 for linux). As does Apple's trailers site (presently otherwise viewable only with quicktime 7) and a bunch of other stuff -- in fact, everything I've tried except some VRML st

    • Uh, works fine with Firefox 1.0.7 and mplayerplug-in 2.85 on my Gentoo box.
    • They will work for the lay man, because he will be simply installing firefox on Windows rather than Linux. Then he can directly launch RealPlayer or Windows Media Player (yes, these are not the best players, but they are the ones the lay man will have.)
  • Beard said they are planning a 'big marketing push.'

    ...and obviously it has already started...

    .haeger

  • by ServaL (161778) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:25AM (#14112562)
    The 1.5 release has some nice new features, but there is one constant in every release: Firefox gets an augmenting chunk of memory.
    After a couple of hours, it is getting some 100 Mb of memory.

    And counting.

    I hate it to restart with all those tabs open.
    • Indeed. It's rather annoying, that I have to close Firefox after a whole day at work while leaving all other programs running over night.

      For your tabs, there's an extension which saves your tabs (or other stuff) when you close Firefox and reopens all of them when you start it up again: SessionSaver [mozilla.org].
    • by n0dalus (807994) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:41AM (#14112619) Journal
      I hate it to restart with all those tabs open.

      Get SessionSaver [mozilla.org].
      It will restore your open tabs on startup or after a crash. It is also great for when one of the plugins (flash, java, or maybe just Firefox itself) makes the browser slow down over time; after a lot of usage you can just close it and reopen Firefox -- with all your tabs but a fresh start on memory usage. This extension has almost entirely eliminated the need for bookmarks for me too.
      • A 3rd party program to make Firefox work correctly? Why, exactly, do you see this as acceptable? I certainly don't.
        • Isn't Firefox just a third party program that makes GNU/Linux or Windows or your OS of choice work correctly? Ok so you might use Opera or some other browser... in which case, isn't $browser just a third party program that makes your computer work correctly?
        • Perhaps it's accepted because people feel they don't have a better choice. I've been screaming that Mozilla was too bloated from the beginning, and the fact that this issue is still around might well prove my point. But then, what browser would you use instead of Firefox? I use Konqueror, myself, but some sites refuse to work with it, and it depends on lots of KDE stuff. I like Opera, but I can see some people not liking it. It also crashes once in a while. There's a whole load of text browsers, but navigat
        • MMMMM I'll bite.

          First of all, it is not a "3rd party program", it is an extension. In Firefox, pretty much all beavior is written using ECMAScript and XUL, so everything is in the same level of hierarchy. The issue that this is not included in the mainstream installer is an entirely different matter.

          It happens that this one extension gives you the behavior *you* are expecting. And what you expect the browser to do isn't necessarily the right thing.
      • Isnt it sad though that this plugin is so popular given what most people actually use it for? Wouldn't a better solution be to have Firefox simply not crash or not chew up so much memory. I think its laughable that in the same thread about how great Firefox is, there are always people suggesting this plugin and how useful it is. Surely when considering its usefulness and widespread use you should be thinking about the faults of the browser, and not how great this plugin is.

        Other browsers dont have this plug
        • Other browsers dont have this plugin, because they don't need it

          Opera has had it for as long as I can remember.

          Isnt it sad though that this plugin is so popular given what most people actually use it for?

          Well, I use it because I often want to come back later to a site, but don't bookmark it. By leaving the tab open, I can go back to it any time, even after restarting my laptop since SessionSaver will load it again next time I start it.

          I have never had stability problems with FireFox or memory problems and y
          • I found this feature in Opera very useful when I was running one of the 7-series betas. Being a beta, it was quite unstable - it crashed once or twice a day. When it crashed, it took about 10 seconds to get back to where I was. I had the same experience with {Star, Open}Office betas - they crash, but they are able to resume from the state they were in just prior to the crash. More developers should pay attention to this, it's Raskin's First Law:

            A program may not harm a user's data, or through inaction

        • Yes the problems in the browser need to be fixed.
          This might not be a "solution" but until they fix it I think people should know about it. SessionSaver wasn't created for this purpose (it's actually a very useful extension, and despite what you say it still great).

          Almost all of the crashes or memory leaks I've had in Firefox are related to third party proprietry extensions that Mozilla has no say over. Sure it shouldn't be able to crash the browser but they can't be stopped from leaking memory. If the Fl
      • Session-Saver is merely a band-aid for the bigger issue -- memory leakage problems. The current culture at Mozilla/FireFox of adding new "bells & whistles" to the browser without fixing core issues is disfunctional.

        (1) Why must 2 separate instances of the rendering engine be required when using FoxFire with Thunderbird?

        (2) Why is the Mozilla/FireFox version of a software "patch" a complete new version of the browser?

        (3) Why are 2+ year old security issues ignored in favor of shiney new "bells & whi
    • >The 1.5 release has some nice new features, but there is one constant in every >release: Firefox gets an augmenting chunk of memory.
      >After a couple of hours, it is getting some 100 Mb of memory.
      >
      >And counting.
      >
      >I hate it to restart with all those tabs open.

      I would not minimize thee importance of continuing heroic efforts of memory optimization, which I know they have spent a lot of work on in the past, and hope the continue to pursue fiercely, but here are some points you might conside

      • 1. "All those tabs" means all those pages active simultaneously. Presumably they are also not trivial pages containing only text, and the more-complex the pages, the more memory they consume.
        But when I close a tab, no memory seems to be freed. Have been running firefox for a couple of hours now, with loads of tabs active. I close all tabs (leaving only a blank page), and the virtual memory usage of firefox stays at 181M, with resident memory staying at 74M.

        2. What is the memory for, if not to be used b

      • One of the major problems is when you "close" the tab besides just the last page, the memory doesn't seem to be freed.
    • Yup, Firefox leaks memory like a sieve, seemingly independent of platform. I guess for many home users this is not a big problem, but after a day at work with 10 tabs open the swapping needed to switch tabs can be quite annoying.

      I hope this is one thing that has been looked into for 1.5.
    • Why? Since you are making that complaint you must be using Windows as I am while I am typing this (Windows Server 2003 Enterprise here). These are NOT the days of DOS where you have to have free memory before a program can load. Depending on buffering requirements, any program can request more memory than it may need at any moment and if another program should come along requiring memory, the operating system (we really have modern OS's now with the NT series, sort of) will tell all programs to free up w
  • by lpangelrob (714473) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:28AM (#14112569)
    Okay. I'm confused.

    To an end user, what is there to tout so that they can be 'more convinced' than when the 1.0 marketing first came around? Automatic updates? A better preference menu? Works more with sites than the last time around? Less bugs?

    Don't get me wrong — these are good, useful features for those of us intimately familiar with browsers. But I'm not sure what marketing can say to Joe User that they didn't say the first time in order to get him to switch.

    • It's faster than IE in some cases, and you don't have to call your relative every few days to clean up your system.
    • To an end user, what is there to tout so that they can be 'more convinced' than when the 1.0 marketing first came around?

      Coca-Cola hasn't changed its formula since the famous fiasco in the 80s; but that doesn't mean they need to stop promoting the product.

      ~Rebecca
    • ``To an end user, what is there to tout so that they can be 'more convinced' than when the 1.0 marketing first came around?''

      Just saying the same things again is good. Especially if the ad looks different. The more you hear things, the more you're inclined to remember and believe them.

      Maybe the first time people thought "hmmmpf, I don't need a new browser". Now they've had some more time with their old browser, maybe a few more incidents with their computer, and now when they get confronted with Firefox aga
  • Am I the only one... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by msh104 (620136) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:29AM (#14112573)
    who would like to know what those "amazing new features and stuff" are?
  • Open Document Format (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pubjames (468013) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:31AM (#14112581)
    How much work would it be to get Mozilla to display Open Document Format documents? Presumably it's already got 90% of what is required.

    It would be a big boost for the format if anyone with Firefox could read it.
    • No offence, but your comment reminded me of this Dilbert strip [cafepress.com]. :)

      Having said that, someone could write a plugin to display OpenDocument documents, just like any other browser plugin, although I would get annoyed that every time I clicked on a link to an OpenDocument file, I had to wait for OpenOffice.org to load...
      • by Nate B. (2907) on Friday November 25, 2005 @11:18AM (#14113074) Homepage Journal
        I don't think the parent was talking about a MIME link to open OpenOffic.org, but rather Firefox actually rendering an ODF file itself. After all, ODF is just XML with a custom DTD. What it would take for Firefox to read that would be support for the DTD and displaying spreadsheet cells as table elements, etc.

        Firefox would be an ODF reader that could also print ODF. It has little to do with OOo. While ODF and OOo have an historical relationship, implementing ODF is not dependent on OOo.
    • Konqueror can open OpenDocument through KParts and KOffice. The same way, it can open a whole lot of other formats, too. This seems to be the way to go if you want your web browser to display all kinds of file formats.
  • 'People can create the video and upload it to the Mozilla site. The video will then be reviewed and put on our Web site, with a link from their location.'"

    Expose + Goatse, here I come!
  • Firemonger (Score:5, Informative)

    by asciimonster (305672) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:45AM (#14112630) Journal
    Would showing of the Firemonger CD [firemonger.org] also qualify for this competition?

    The Firemonger project is also boasting a lot of new features [firemonger.org] when it releases its FireFox & Thunderbird bundle. Just have a look at the cool [firemonger.org] new [firemonger.org] screenshots [firemonger.org].

  • Go Firefox (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aaronmarks (873211) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:45AM (#14112631) Homepage Journal

    I've been a strong believe in Firefox since day 1 and I'm really glad to see that the browser is constantly making headway. The general rule of thumb is really that if a page isn't showing up right in Firefox, then it was either made by Microsoft or it just wasn't made right (almost the same thing). Firefox has always been rock solid for me and I love it's features. I also think that it's really important that the browser is made cross-platform; what good is the web anyways if everyone can't see it the way it was intended to be seen???

    I'm going to go put on my Firefox t-shirt now that my girlfriend got me for my birthday last year ;-)

    --
    Aaron Marks [aaronmarks.com]
  • How are non-tech people going to have confidence in Firefox when it breaks their favorite extensions? After upgrading, one must do a daily extension update until all of the extensions will work again.
    • 1.5 isn't out yet - you, like me, are using an RC. Many extension authors are lazy and will only update their extensions after 1.5 is *really* released.

      • 1.5 isn't out yet - you, like me, are using an RC. Many extension authors are lazy and will only update their extensions after 1.5 is *really* released.

        Yeah, I know that I've been using RC's, it just seems that 1.5RCn has been out for quite a while. After 1.5 is released I don't think that I will be upgrading or testing RCs until my "must have" extensions are updated to work with the latest release or RC (or unless there an upgrade due to a major security problem). At work I am using 1.0.7 and at home I
  • Firefox 1.5 (...) will be released on 29 November.

    Aw, on my birthday. They shouldn't have... Thanks, guys! :-)

  • by Nice2Cats (557310) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:14AM (#14112759)
    The main reason I use Firefox on my Mac over the otherwise pretty good Safari is the adblocker plugin. Not having crap blink in my face on every second site, not having a little bit of text squeezed in between fat columns of ads for stuff I simply don't want, let alone need, has really changed my attitude towards the web in general. There is no way I am ever going back to a browser that doesn't support this feature. If you are thinking about testing Firefox -- get that plugin when you do.
  • Too much hype (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Viol8 (599362)
    Am I the only one getting tired of all the hypoe surrounding browsers?
    "New and cool"? I don't think so. Theres little thats "cool" (unless you've
    just returned from a 15 year trip to another planet and have just found out
    about the WWW) about a web browser , which is little more than an HTML
    renderer with extra bits. Is a new RSS or HTML or Style sheet engine
    cool? Yaaaaawwwwn. Hardly. A true 3D holographic browser with touch
    interface , now THAT would be cool , but a few new features and bug fixes
    on a web brows
  • You will have real people telling you about Firefox's features-- what's cool and great [...]

    Maybe it's just me, but that kinda makes me think of dialogues like the following:

    Phone: *ring*
    User: *picks up the phone* Hello?
    Marketing drone: Hi! Have you ever thought about switching to Firefox?

  • Qwantz (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slvi (628811)
    Firefox renders all the sites I visit adequately, except http://www.qwantz.com/ [qwantz.com]. Qwantz is a zany web-comic where the punchline is often in the image's title tag. The tag's often quite long and Firefox refuses to show me all of it! I have to right-click it and view the image info. It gets tedious fast.

    IE shows me all the tag from just hovering over the image.

    What's up with that?

    • Re:Qwantz (Score:3, Informative)

      by jesser (77961)
      That's bug 45375. Fixing it correctly (so tooltips not only aren't truncated, but wrap when they need to) apparently requires a scary change to XUL layout, which is the main reason it hasn't been fixed yet. It looks to me like it will be fixed in Gecko 1.9 (Firefox 3).

      I think there are extensions you can use so you'll see a different kind of tooltip that doesn't suffer from the bug.
  • I don't mean to be an ass by writing what I am about to write. I like firefox and I use it work. I find the extension mechanism to be tremendously innovative, useful, and ample justification for the existence of firefox. Firefox 1.53RC for linux: 8.2 mb If I recall correctly ( and I could be thinking about windoze versions which ar smaller ) some of the original firefox versions were around 6 mb. Is firefox on the road to getting fat like mozilla?
  • I've still seen rendering errors on display: inline divs wrapping when there's more than enough horizontal space remaining. If I reload the page, they then display fine. This didn't happen with the 1.0.x series, but has plagued 1.5 RC's.
  • ...instead of "developers". It would be very cool.

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