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Marketing Mozilla 263

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-thought-better-sold-itself dept.
garzpacho writes "Despite a 10% market share, Firefox isn't quite mainstream, especially with fairly flat growth after its initial explosion. With the approaching October release of Firefox 2, the team is looking for ways to gain greater mainstream acceptance — and adoption. This article and slideshow look at some of the company's unusual marketing efforts to date and speculate on the future. From the article: '[T]o widen its current user base, Mozilla will need more than elaborate marketing events. Because the new version of Internet Explorer is expected to be more competitive with Firefox, Firefox may need to evolve into more than just a browser. Seth Godin, author of several books on the Internet, including Small Is the New Big, says Mozilla needs to incorporate tools like tagging or... [linking] to eBay's Skype calling service that will help keep friends connected. The idea being, the browser becomes more valuable the more your friends use it, so you've got a reason to become a Firefox evangelist. Mozilla isn't giving many details on the soon-to-be-launched Firefox 2, but... there will be new features not found in current browsers.'"
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Marketing Mozilla

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  • by Bromskloss (750445) <auxiliary,address,for,privacy&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:37AM (#16006479)
    It sure gives me the warm fuzzies, mabye the warmth could spill over a little to others too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 4solarisinfo (941037)
      I'm guessing people don't care about the 'free' aspect of it, because nobody is used to paying (directly) for Internet Explorer, Netscape, AOL's keywords or anything else that mainstream public use to find their way around the inter-web.
    • The best way I can think of getting firefox into the hands of the masses is to have OEM's bundle it and put an icon on the desktop labeled "Internet".

      I'm sure many OEM's would jump at the chance to stick it to MS. The same bundling bullshit that has hurt them can be thrown in their face. Not even the Dells and HPs of the world, but the Emachines and small systems builders.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:37AM (#16006485) Journal
    Seth Godin, author of several books on the Internet, including Small Is the New Big, says Mozilla needs to incorporate tools like tagging or building tools like a link to eBay's Skype calling service that will help keep friends connected.
    Wow, that sounds like a great plug-in. I cannot wait for other people to start using that. That should be right down some of my friend's alleys. Some of my other friends, I couldn't even show them how to use StumbleUpon [mozilla.org] or the GMail Manager [mozilla.org]. Keep it simple for the people like my parents, please.
    Mozilla isn't giving many details on the soon-to-be-launched Firefox 2, but Dotzler says there will be new features not found in current browsers.
    Once again, I look forward to these plug-ins. And let's hope they're either plug-ins or disabled upon installation. You see, something that makes plane jane Mozilla so amazing is that it doesn't come as a bloated application waiting to error. More complicated programs suffer more memory and more bugs. I don't want my Mozilla to have a bazillion functions, keep it simple or you'll lose me as a fanboy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GundamFan (848341)
      Amen...

      Unfortunatly no one outside of IT gets this. They want to use one utility to do everything and I mean everything even if it doesn't do anything particularly well.

      Take AOL... there biggest selling point is that by paying for the service you get the program suite which does a number of things and provides a number of services that could be had free or for little cost. Non technical people see this as presenting value.

      IF you want to market to the computer illiterate public you need to tell them about al
      • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:10AM (#16006664)
        Firefox is fine the ay it is but it's biggest selling point is that it is a plain jane browser that can be customised... and that isn't very sexy.

        Maybe, and here you're echoing a point in the OP:

        Because the new version of Internet Explorer is expected to be more competitive with Firefox, Firefox may need to evolve into more than just a browser.

        The trouble with this is that they effectively killed off the original Mozilla suite because it was getting too bloated, and hence Firefox was born. Now it seems they want to add new cruft into Firefox. I guess it all goes to show that the one thing we learn from history is that nobody ever learns anything from history.
        • by Damek (515688) <adam@nOSpAm.damek.org> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:07AM (#16007065) Homepage
          ...they effectively killed off the original Mozilla suite because it was getting too bloated... Now it seems they want to add new cruft into Firefox.


          I disagree. They killed the original Mozilla suite because it was bloated with things you don't need while browsing. As a web browser, it did a basic job - "but wait, there's more! You also get this email client you may not need, which doubles as a newsreader; you get an IRC client, an HTML editor, and let's see what else we can cram in here!"

          To compete with Internet Explorer, you want to pare it down to just a browser, and enhance the browsing experience. All those other things are completely different products. If I feel I need to replace my existing email client, let me decide separately. Same for the rest. I just want the best browsing experience I can have. Firefox is an attempt to deliver that, and nothing else.

          So I say, if they can incorporate clever extensions as default options that enhance the everyday browsing experience, like tabs or better bookmarks or even bittorrent (a transparent download enhancement?), that makes perfect sense. However, extra tools that are effectively different tasks altogether unrelated to browsing, like IRC chat or internet telephony - those should probably stay as user-installable extensions.

          I'll browse the web efficiently with Firefox, and if I decide I need to get on the FooBar internet bandwagon, maybe there's a neat extension that does that job for me right from firefox. But if it has little to do with browsing, it doesn't belong in the default download.
          • by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75&yahoo,com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:07AM (#16007548)
            So I say, if they can incorporate clever extensions as default options that enhance the everyday browsing experience, like tabs or better bookmarks or even bittorrent (a transparent download enhancement?), that makes perfect sense.

            Well, I would argue that bittorrent has nothing to do with web browsing, and that it's exactly the type of application you were talking about in the Mozilla suite that shouldn't have been there. I mean, if you're adding bittorrent, why not an emule client? Why not a binary newsreader? Why not all the other ways people download things? And hey, while we're at it, people get files through email too! And then suddenly you're right back where we started with the bloated Mozilla suite.

            The problem is everybody seems to say the same thing, "oh, Firefox should just be a web browser, except for this one extra feature that I think would fit in perfectly!" But that "one extra feature" is different for everybody, and if you include one, there's going to be a temptation to try to include them all. This is how feature bloat starts, and it's exactly what happened to Mozilla.

            The Firefox team needs to stay focused like a laser beam on Firefox's core function. It's what differentiates Firefox from every other browser. I don't see what the point is in even trying to compete with IE, honestly, especially if it degrades the experience. I mean if the way to compete with IE is to make the browser as bad as IE and as bad as the Mozilla suite, then what are we actually gaining? It's as if a great indie rock band decides they want more fans, so they emulate Britney Spears. I mean, maybe that'll get them more fans, but it's sure not going to make the music any better.

            People use Firefox because they don't want all these "features". If I want tons of features and I don't want to use IE, I can just use Opera. I use Firefox because it's a lightweight browser that does nothing but browse and does it well. I do agree that enhancements to the browsing experience can be added (e.g. tabbed browsing), but every single feature being considered needs to pass that litmus test first and foremost. When somebody proposes a feature, everybody needs to ask first "is this directly related to web browsing?" and second "will the majority of users want this?" If the answer to *either* of those questions is "no", then the feature should not be added.
        • by CTho9305 (264265)
          Fortunately, the suite still exists as SeaMonkey [mozilla.org].
      • From the parent comment: "(it's funny users will download spyware at the drop of a hat but get nervous around legit software)"

        That's because spyware is marketed in a more effective fashion. Yes, the spyware marketing is a lie, and a destructive lie. However, spyware is marketed as simple. If you investigate Firefox, you will find many, many articles with the general subject: "How to spend a day doing highly technical things that may or may not make Firefox work correctly". For example, Google "Firefox memory" [google.com]. Or, Google "Firefox unstable" [google.com]. Or, "Firefox Crash" [google.com].

        Sure, Firefox has extensions, but they often make Firefox unstable. The Firefox team thinks that it is entirely acceptable to market Firefox extensions, but when the extensions cause Firefox to be unstable, to excuse the instability by saying that it is caused by an extension.

        From the Slashdot story: "With the approaching October release of Firefox 2, the team is looking for ways to gain greater mainstream acceptance - and adoption." This is nonsense, in my opinion. Firefox is, once again, the most unstable program in common use [slashdot.org]. If anyone on the Firefox team actually cared about Firefox acceptance, they would fix the bugs, which were first reported 3 years ago. Note that the main bug report linked is always marked invalid. That's not because anything has been done about the instability of Firefox; it's because people on the Firefox team don't want to, or don't know how to, fix the very, very serious bugs.

        The 1.5.0.4 version of Firefox was quite stable, if the Flashblock extension was installed. The 1.5.0.6 version is unstable again. The CPU-hogging bug is back!

        This comment posted from a copy of Firefox that is constantly using about 5% of the CPU, even when all pages have been loaded, and there is no active content. That's 2.8% on the way to 70% or more, which will soon make it necessary to close Firefox and reboot Windows XP.

        The problem appears to be that Firefox does not allocate enough resources. If you open several Firefox windows and several tabs in each window, and leave them open for several days, or suspend or hibernate your computer a few times, you will find that Firefox has started to hog the CPU.

        Apparently everyone on the Firefox team wants to add features or work on easy bugs. Apparently also, browser programmers are not necessarily heavy browser users. People who often do research on the internet are likely to cause Firefox to become unstable.
      • by saskboy (600063)
        Extension installation needs to be simplified badly.
        By the time I say, "You just have to click Tools - Extensions/Add-ons..." I've lost them. Make an Extensions button at the top of every installation, and with one click it presents a list of teh top 10 extensions with a big MORE link to the rest.
    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:58AM (#16006599) Journal
      I'll agree with you, except that the largest portion of the market isn't going to enable those functions, or go through the bother of downloading and installing extensions. They'll end up thinking that FF is inferior only because they don't have the ability or knowledge to take full advantage of what it has to offer.

      Why not offer a few different builds with pre-installed extensions so that Mom & Pop can just download a version with the features they want?
      • by sgtrock (191182)
        You know, that's not a bad idea. I took a small business class back in the Stone Age. One case study that we did of a small print company did exactly that; moved from a default display type with an intimidating array of options to a half-dozen or so basic layouts with limited options for each. Their business tripled overnight because people could get a much better feel for the benefits of each layout.

        While this isn't exactly a perfect analogy, I think that it's close enough to at least consider. For exa
        • by glsunder (241984)
          Here's my thoughts for a mom & pop version (in addition to what others have mentioned):
          1. beef up the highlight/search feature to the level of dictionary search and have it come wikipedia search set up. Maybe have include every search installed in the search box up top.
          2. fix the installation of shockwave and quicktime. They're annoying. Just make it work without having to do it manually.
          3. include IEview or IEtab.
          4. include an image zoomer such as zoom fox.
      • by radarsat1 (786772)

        Why not offer a few different builds with pre-installed extensions so that Mom & Pop can just download a version with the features they want?

        One thing I recently thought of that would be a great thing to include in FF is some kind of "extension profile". Every time I install FF (not that often, but it happens) I find myself going to addons.mozilla.org and re-installing the same list of extensions. It would be really nice to be able to have an XML file or something with my list of extensions, and have FF

      • I'd like to offer an improvement to that suggestion. Build an installer that OEM's can deploy to new machines (so no download required) that includes the most popular and stable extensions. On first use, guide the user through what these extensions can do and ask whether to install them.
      • How about presenting the user, who installs FF with a screen that has a list of all (mozilla supported?) extensions/plugins that can be installed once FF is done installing. The user marks the features (s)he wants and those extensions/plugins will be installed with the FF.

        Once in a while prompt the user with a new, updated list.
    • +1 on that. It used to be like pulling teeth to get them to add a feature to the core, even if many people wanted that feature and it seemed like something that would have a positive impact on the day-to-day browsing experience while using Firefox. Now there's talk of "features" like Skype tie-ins? Sounds like bloat to me.

      If they could just fix up their RSS support so that quotation marks, question marks, and ampersands showed up properly rather than in html code in my /. RSS bookmark, I'd be happy.
    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:34AM (#16006811)
      Small Is the New Big

      -snip-

      Wow, that sounds like a great plug-in.

      Must not make joke...must not make joke...

      -Eric

    • by Dikeman (620856) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:43AM (#16006888) Homepage
      I agree,

      There's a structural flaw somewhere in the brain of many software product marketeer. When asked on how to enlarge market share or how to make more profit, the answer apparently always is: Enlarge functionality, more functions means more market share means more profit.

      It's wrong. I always tend to flee away from products when they reach this phase and become bloated. That's why i ran into Firefox in the first place! Because it's light weight. I think a better market strategy would be: Firefox 2 is even more light weight, it runs smoother and faster than anything you've experienced so far. We dumped the features that nobody uses and made it even easier to use.

      That would make my parents happy, I'll tell you.
    • keep it simple or you'll lose me as a fanboy.

      Yes they will lsoe you but they will get a lot of other users instead.

      If Mozilla are going to get beyong 10%, market share they have to get the bells and whistels. The vast majority of people use the app with the most features - look at how successful MS Office is.

      Most non-geek firefox users use it because it has tabs, now IE is getting tabs, Firefox needs something new to stay ahead - and it has to be built in.

    • by B11 (894359)
      I think certain extensions, like adblock or anti-phising for example, would be something useful for dear old mom and dad to include in the base installation. They won't need or want greasemonkey, etc. But yes, when they start loading it up with skype, etc, they will have lost me as well. Then again, couldn't someone always fork it and start a minimalist version?
  • Two things (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:39AM (#16006492)
    1) Speed

    I am running IE 7 RC1 now and it is slow. Dog slow. It makes molasses look like freaking Speedy Gonzales on meth. Firefox starts up quick and doesn't chew up as much CPU time when running.

    2) Greasemonkey

    If IE 7 has anything like Greasemonkey, I haven't found it.

    On the other hand, Firefox still uses up memory like it's got some birthright to as much as it can horde. And it doesn't have as large a viewing area as IE 7.
  • by Blahbooboo3 (874492) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:39AM (#16006494)
    It just needs to be installed with an icon on the desktop at a major computer manufacturer. HP, Dell, Compaq, whatever... All that other stuff is fluff/bloat. Users are not going to install Firefox to find out what it is unless they are either a nerd or have a nerd friend who puts it on.
    • You are exactly correct. Most users (the 90% who don't currently run Firefox, or something close to it) simply don't download much (at least on purpose) - especially replacements for existing stuff they already have. And to do so from some guys they never heard of named (scarily) 'Mozilla' goes against their better judgement. There are just too many reasons for them to stick with what came with their machines. After all, if this Firefox thing was better, then HP/Dell/Gateway/Lenovo would have put it on thei
    • by kbahey (102895)
      Seconded.

      This is the single most effective way of getting market share.

  • I still can't believe that God awful advert won the contest when the clear winner was Weeeee! [firefoxflicks.com]
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:41AM (#16006502) Homepage Journal
    The mozilla suite was replaced by discrete components because thats what people wanted - AND ITS WORKED.

    I hope history doesn't repeat itself, use the KISS principle.
    • That's exactly what they're doing, using he KISSASS principle. (Allow Separable Stuff)
    • Seconded!

      I tell people to use Firefox because it's a better browser, not because it has more bell and whistles.

      Leave the extra bling to extensions, which is the whole point of extensions.
    • One thing I would like to see is all of the XPCOM/NPR stuff separated out into a separate installer so you didn't have to download a big lump of libraries used by FireFox and Thunderbird twice if you used both. When you went to download FireFox, you would then get the option of 'FireFox - Stand Alone' or 'FireFox - I already have Thunderbird version n or later.' This would be great for people on a modem. Downloading FireFox and Thunderbird on my mother's computer took a really, really long time.
      • by cortana (588495)
        This used to be called GRE, and nowadays is called Xulrunner. Unfortunately it won't catch on until the Mozilla developers get a clue about shared library versioning. :(

        There is a reason that every damn bit of software on Windows bundles private copies of all the libraries it uses that are not themselves part of Windows. No program is immune.
      • Your suggestion will confuse non-geeks who will inevitably download the wrong version, then complain that it doesn't work, and then go back to using IE, dismissing firefox as "broken".
        • Not if the installer is written properly. It would check whether you had the libraries installed, and if not download them and install them before proceeding. In fact, a better approach would be to have a single installer for all of the Mozilla suite that, when run, would download the required components and install them.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      The mozilla suite was replaced by discrete components because thats what people wanted - AND ITS WORKED.

      I hope history doesn't repeat itself, use the KISS principle.


      From a programmer's side, I got the impression this is almost a cycle long-term. You start out with a tidy core, then add some layers and layers until it looks like a bloated onion. Then you form a new, tidy core and the cycle starts over.

      On the application side, I got the impression that at least some software grows with the user base. Over tim
    • by gatzke (2977)

      That is not what I wanted. I want my email to work with my browser. I want an editor to make web pages.

      I know there is seamonkey. Why is there not just a new mozilla version, why force the name change?

      Who thinks up these names? Mozilla? SeaMonkey? Firefox is ok, but what does it have to do with the internet or browsing?

    • I hope history doesn't repeat itself, use the KISS principle.

      You mean Mozilla action figures, lunchboxes, pinball machines, condoms and caskets, right?
  • Um (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jalefkowit (101585) <jason@@@jasonlefkowitz...net> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:42AM (#16006508) Homepage
    Seth Godin, author of several books on the Internet, including Small Is the New Big, says Mozilla needs to incorporate tools like tagging or building tools like a link to eBay's Skype calling service that will help keep friends connected.

    Is Seth unfamiliar with Flock [flock.com], I wonder? It's exactly what he's asking for. And I haven't exactly noticed it threatening to swamp Firefox in terms of popularity (though in fairness it hasn't reached 1.0 yet -- but I really doubt it will blow FF away even then, except maybe among some niche audiences).

  • Bloatware? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mdboyd (969169)
    Some of the suggestions that the author makes seem like a strategy to turn Firefox into bloated software. I think one of the reasons Firefox is so great is that it's download size is so small. If the memory footprint were a bit smaller it would be even better.

    I think if Mozilla convinced more IT Managers that it is the browser that their users ought to be using, IT Departments everywhere begin to set Firefox as the default browser on all of their computers and more people start realizing the benefits of
    • by IflyRC (956454)
      It uses enough memory right now to where if it already isn't bloatware, my PC would crawl on its knees and beg for mercy if it ever was "truly" bloatware.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by smooth wombat (796938)
        I've said this in the Mozilla forums and I'll say it here: what the hell are you people doing with your systems that Firefox brings your system to a crawl?

        I have a W2K system at home with only a 1/2 gig of ram and I have never, EVER, had any memory issues. And yes, I do leave my browser open for days on end.

        Maybe people should look at things like Flash, Shockwave and extensions for memory leaks rather than complaining it is the browser which is the issue.
        • by IflyRC (956454)
          I've used it on Win2k and XP both - same results. 1GB of RAM and the thing starts gobbling up memory like like Pacman going for power pellets. Any web page you hit that uses flash or java applets and the CPU fan goes into vacuum cleaner mode and memory consumption goes through the roof.
          • Any web page you hit that uses flash or java applets


            Which is what I said above. It's not the browser, it's something else. Particularly that annoying security risk Flash. That alone will kill a system.

            Though I do have to ask, why have java turned on at all? 99.9% of pages don't need java to work. I never have it turned on except in those 1 in a million pages which for some reason needs it. Java, like Flash, will also muck up your system.

            • by IflyRC (956454)
              Maybe its Firefox's use of those components (or inability to use those components). I do not have the same issues with other browsers - only Firefox. Even IE seems to handle those cases better. Maybe if web developers would just stick to standardized html and css instead of using flash or java we wouldn't even have these issues.
        • by Inda (580031)
          I'd tell you the spec of my machine but you'd all laugh at me. Its tenth birthday will be here soon...

          I have none of these memory issues. I do block flash but I notice it loads then hides the object. Java is fine if the applet is not bloated. Properly written AJAX webpages are fine. Poorly written AJAX webpages (yes, you eBay) suffer.

          My homepage is 8 tabs. Slow to display but fine after that. AND I run other programs alongside it like StrongDC, Newsbin Pro... on another screen via a second GFX card, I might
  • Uhm (Score:3, Informative)

    by taskforce (866056) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:44AM (#16006512) Homepage
    Mozilla isn't giving many details on the soon-to-be-launched Firefox 2, but Dotzler says there will be new features not found in current browsers.'" Is it just me, or has there been an RC out for FF2 for a while now? And we even have a FF3 alpha, Minefield?
  • by Gotung (571984) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:46AM (#16006529)
    That is what happend to Netscape and turned it into a bloated steaming pile that opened the door for Internet Explorer to gobble up all the marketshare in the first place. Please keep it what it is: a simple, elegant, feature-rich BROWSER.
    • While a free, fast web browser is beautiful, consider:

      a single cross-platform, cross-protocol GUI platform.

      I find little joy in writing UI code. The concept of a single target that Just Works on all known OSs and lets me blow off Tcl/Tk, Gtk, Qt, wxWidgets, Swing, Windows.Forms, and every other kinda-the-same-only-different GUI kit is highly attractive.

      Not to besmirch the fine efforts of people smarter than me, but I lack the attention span and patience required for the aforementioned smattering of technol
    • As I recall, what turned Netscape into a steaming pile was its acquisition by AOL, and the AOLification of the app.
  • by giorgiofr (887762) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:46AM (#16006532)
    Make it 100% compatible with current standards, uncrashable, give it a much MUCH smaller memory footprint, integrate it with the main OSes (a skin does not integration make), make it fast in rendering. And please work WITH the community: most Linux distros are based on a package manager and don't like software to go all upgrade happy on itself every two days.
    That would make it worth using again. After a promising start, it got worse and worse with every release.
    But instead, they are focusing on marketing techniques and gimmicks in order to spread the fox. It would be cool to have a good, not a well marketed, browser. Besides, do they really think they're in MS's league when it comes to marketing software?
    • by cyfer2000 (548592)
      Question #1: what is current standards?
      Question #2: how to make an uncrashable software?
      Question #3: how to integrate it with main OSes?
      Question #4: what is the relationship between community and most linux distros?

      Wish #1, I hope they can make the memory footprint smaller. But I got 3G memory, and I don't really care.
      • by sloth jr (88200)
        #1: CSS, XML, (X)/HTML, ECMAscript (JavaScript), DOM. A good start. [webstandards.org]
        #2: Um... write better code. Code reviews. Smoketests. Purify. Seriously, that's what Computer Engineering's all about - writing robust and scalable code.
        #3: Native look-and-feel. Support for the drag-and-drop methods of their respective OS'. Support for their native text rendering and printing facilities. Adoption of that OS' accessibility functionality.
        #4: don't understand that question.

        sloth jr
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:46AM (#16006534)
    that 10% ins't mainstream.
  • Hmmm. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jim_v2000 (818799) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:47AM (#16006535)
    All I have to say is don't start bundling it with a bunch of crap or loading it with a bunch of extra "features" that hardly anyone will use. It just makes everything clunkier and more difficult to find the settings/controls you're looking for.

    Firefox appealed to me because of simplicity with the option of adding things that I wanted. IE7 is a clunky piece of trash...it looks like sh*t and I can't stand it. Keep it simple for the n00bs, the l337 h@x0rz can use extensions.
  • by gsasha (550394) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:47AM (#16006538) Homepage
    Mozilla isn't giving many details on the soon-to-be-launched Firefox 2, but Dotzler says there will be new features not found in current browsers.
    It's certainly not from the competitors - since it's still an open source project, Microsoft can get the latest development version, build it and see what new features are there for them to copy. However, we the ordinary users, who don't have time to hunt down the changelog, could use some excitement for the upcoming major release.
    • by Excors (807434) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:42AM (#16006883)

      They're not hiding details from anybody, although they're also not widely publicising details to those who aren't interested in trying out pre-release software – the beta 1 release notes [mozilla.org] include a summary of new features, and there's more information for developers [mozilla.org] on how to use the features. (Beta 2 is expected [mozilla.org] for tomorrow and is primarily bug fixes; there won't be any significant changes to the feature set until Firefox 3, which seems to be the real major release.)

      From the release notes:

      • Built in Phishing Protection.
      • Search suggestions now appear with search history in the search box for Google, Yahoo! and Answers.com
      • Changes to tabbed browsing behavior
      • Ability to re-open accidentally closed tabs
      • Better support for previewing and subscribing to web feeds
      • Inline spell checking in text boxes
      • Search plugin manager for removing and re-ordering search engines
      • New microsummaries feature for bookmarks
      • Automatic restoration of your browsing session if there is a crash
      • New combined and improved Add-Ons manager for extensions and themes
      • New Windows installer based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
      • Support for JavaScript 1.7
      • Support for client-side session and persistent storage
      • Extended search plugin format
      • Updates to the extension system to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions
      • Support for SVG text using svg:textPath

      Features like phishing protection were actually announced for IE7 over a year ago, but it seems that Firefox will be the first to ship with them. (Firefox also defaults to an implementation that better protects your privacy than IE [msdn.com], using an automatically-updated blacklist of sites instead of sending every URL you visit to a web service run by a company you may or may not trust.)

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @08:56AM (#16006584) Journal
    NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    Firefox may need to evolve into more than just a browser.
    Please don't do it!

    I use Firefox because it's simple, it has a minimal resource footprint (unless you start getting addicted to extensions (*looks sternly at Forecastfox*)), and above all renders QUICKLY.

    I don't know why IE can't replicate this, but still IE takes forever to render some pages long after Firefox is done loading. But that nimbleness is precisely what keeps me with Firefox. Start loading it with everything including the kitchen sink, and I personally will find the next, simpler browser.
  • Firefox may need to evolve into more than just a browser. Seth Godin, author of several books on the Internet, including Small Is the New Big, says Mozilla needs to incorporate tools like tagging or building tools like a link to eBay's Skype calling service that will help keep friends connected.

    Anyone else wishing someone would create a stripped down version of Firefox optimized for speed, without all the crud? They could call it something like Phoenix, or even Firebird, to distinguish it from Firefox.
  • Seth Godin, author of several books on the Internet, including Small Is the New Big, says Mozilla needs to incorporate tools like tagging or building tools like a link to eBay's Skype calling service that will help keep friends connected.

    Or maybe not.

    I'm a big fan of Mozilla (well, Firefox) and, unlike a lot of people here, I would dearly love to see a number of plugins actually come bundled into the default build because they truly are useful (for example, adblock) and some actually put directly into

  • Mozilla browsers are opensource, and as such can never be hijacked by any one company to change what standards they support, in order to try and extinguish or majorly harm opposition. That fact alone is a great reason to use eg. Firefox over anything else, as long as it's a good functional browser (which it is). If *ONLY* the general public could be made to understand that...
  • Although it probably depends on market segment, my site shows 32.4% Firefox in the last month.
  • by hcob$ (766699) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:11AM (#16006667)
    Firefox is a Web Browser. That's it. Nothing all that special. However, if you start to branch out and throw lots of untested software into this massive jumble of code, it's going to get slow, buggy, and will once again be relegated to the back burner. I would think that this team would realize this above almost everything else.
  • KISS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I've installed Firefox on about 1500 computers over the last two years. Why? I was a long time user of Opera becuase of it's flexibility and customizability. When I discovered Firefox extensions, I made the switch, and started switching my customers. Keep the browser nimble but highly customizable or I will switch again.
  • "Accidentally" leak a video of mozilla doing the nasty on the internet and it will become an overnight household name. Worked for Paris Hilton.
  • Firefox and usemap (Score:3, Interesting)

    by VGPowerlord (621254) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @09:43AM (#16006894) Homepage
    I'll consider using Firefox again once the developers stop marking bugs [mozilla.org] as INVALID, despite the exhibited behavior going against the standard [w3.org]. Particularly since it works correctly in the other [microsoft.com] major [opera.com] browsers [apple.com].

    Until then, I'll stick with Opera, thanks.
  • Given that Firefox is somewhere around 10% of the browser market (and that is a *huge* absolute number of installations, sufficient to support active development), why do we care if its share grows? In fact, there are distinct benefits to being only 10% of the market: you're not the main target of 'badware through the browser' exploits.

    At some point, I was somewhat surprised that Mozilla made a good amount of money from its search box, and it may make sense for them to seek greater market share for that re
  • The main distunguishing feature I see from IE is the amount of customized ability that Firefox can have.

    Gaia Online pushes FireFox because of the Gaia toolbar.
    DeviantArt pushes FireFox because of the navigational apps available.
    Fanfiction.net pushes FireFox because it insists IE is just plain 'badware'.
    Webcomics push FireFox because of the Morning Coffee extension.

    Everyone has their reasons for FireFox, but no unifying purpose. What extension can FireFox use that EVERYONE wants?

    And no, ForecastFox doesn't c
  • Mozilla isn't giving many details on the soon-to-be-launched Firefox 2, but... there will be new features not found in current browsers.'" Click here to find out more!

    I guess those crafty open-source bastards were hiding their secrets [mozilla.org] pretty well!

  • Forget about all that fluff and bloatware. The best marketing move Mozilla can make is to get Firefox installed as the default browser in new PCs.
  • It's really about access to content. Seth is right that adding more features to access content will help drive more users to Firefox. Making Firefox into a Skype enhanced Flock is probably not the answer. Making it easy to add extensions and themes when you install could possibly be the right solution - or at least make the default home page show more about extending firefox. This way users could add the extra features they want and even pick a look as part of the process of getting to know FireFox. And
  • I managed to convert probably 1/3 to 1/2 of the staff here to using FF at home, and it wasn't even something I worked for. After certain vulns came out for IE last year with uncertain (but certainly distant) patch release dates, I convinced The Man that we had to dump it for something else. I got authorization, then went around installing FF on everybody's box and deleting all their IE shortcuts, and we set the policy to only a few select people for a few select sites that absolutely are necessary and abs
  • "Less is more" - not "Small is the new Big". I want my browser to only do what I want -- and nothing more. Don't fill my browser full of crap, please.
  • Firefox has to mate better with websites - especially those that require logon. It has to work the same as IE in a corporate setting. Until then and until we can figure out a better way to do MS Update, we'll have to keep IE around.
  • by 4D6963 (933028)

    Awesome, by the time they reach Firefox 4, in barely a couple of years, it will have so many 'functions' that it will be like an OS inside the OS, à la emacs

    OK, done trolling for today :-)

  • It doesn't matter what FF does: if people have never heard of it they won't install or run it. So I propose this:

    Buy 1 second of ad time for the next Superbowl (less if you can get it). Cost is about $85k per second. Not cheap. But it will be so odd that it will be discussed for weeks before it airs in newspapers and on TV. Probably run dozens of times like the 1984 Apple ad. And slowed down so people will have time to figure out "what the hell was that?" And that will be worth the equivalent of mill
  • I think mozilla has great marketing! How can this banner [mozilla.org] not appeal to people of all political stripes? In fact, the people who came up with the black/white PSP [gamespy.com] ads for sony really ought to take a lesson from Mozilla's marketing team. Mozilla's ads are the most inclusive and harmonious i have ever seen. In addition to the imagery, the messages on the banners ads [mozilla.org] are great too:

    Work and there will be flour! [mozilla.org]
    That really communicates the superior nature of mozilla's product.

    For the good of the code! [mozilla.org]
    That re

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