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Firefox Exec Says Windows Bundling Is a Bad Idea

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the bounce-test-failed dept.

Mozilla 413

eldavojohn writes "The Firefox executives say they don't want to be bundled with Windows. Firefox architect Mike Conner also said this of Opera, 'Opera's asserting something that's provably false. It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face. As people become aware there's an alternative, you don't end up in that [monopoly] situation. You have to be perceptibly better [than Internet Explorer].' He also told PCPro that they are worried about becoming the next monopoly just like Microsoft is now."

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why "bundling"? (2, Insightful)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784463)

what's even good about windows, except that you can play some shitty games on your pirated copy?

It's Bull Shit (TM) from the Wintel People. (2, Funny)

freenix (1294222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784589)

"Bundling" is a lie [slashdot.org] . OEM manipulation and technical sabotage are the truth. Calling Mozilla a "Monopoly" is just plain stupid.

Re:It's Bull Shit (TM) from the Wintel People. (5, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785289)

I can't even get myself to read the article when I see quotes like this:

"It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face."

And if anyone falls for this, they need to look in the mirror and ask themselves, who they'll be suckered by next.

When you own the distribution channel as Microsoft does, bundling is _instant_ market share. And it helps when your have a very ignorant customers who take little to no time to try another product to see if it is better. _Better_ doesn't matter to most Windows users because they are mostly have very little understanding of the thing to begin with. And don't tell them that, they think they know everything there is to know about computers. After all, they know how to use MS Office. IMO.

LoB

Way to Miss the Issue, PCPro. (1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784465)

The problem has never been "bundling" it's been technical and business sabotage. "Bundling" is like a gift, the naive user asks themselves, "How can having a free program be bad?" "Bundling" that forbids vendors from including other programs is where M$ falls foul of the market and law. Technical sabotage, such as erasing user preferences and book marks, is another issue. These are the kinds of things that M$ continues to do and making vendors carry the cost of installing additional programs won't fix the problem. Massive fines for M$ and vendors who submitted to the practices might do better.

I can't believe that people working at Firefox could have missed these issues and suspect PCPro of selectively quoting people to deliver a M$ friendly message. Netscape is the poster boy of anti-trust in the US and people at Mozilla are intimately familiar with the issue. The message delivered undercuts the weaker remedy that might have been implemented as a compromise. That Mozilla would be accused of anti-trust practices like M$ is pure FUD, the practices and size of the two companies could not be more different. The editors at PCPro have some strange filters for what they consider newsworthy.

Re:Way to Miss the Issue, PCPro. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784757)

STFU Twitter, we like our lie.

Re:Way to Miss the Issue, PCPro. (0, Troll)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784783)

I can't believe that people working at Firefox could have missed these issues and suspect PCPro of selectively quoting people to deliver a M$ friendly message. ... That Mozilla would be accused of anti-trust practices like M$ is pure FUD

More like the Mozilla folks are lacking some strategic business sense and they made a statement that is either wrong or could be construed as such.

That wouldn't surprise me one bit, but then the Mozilla Foundation is not exactly a business powerhouse. They're bound to make mistakes like these. No need to go berserk with the "M$ IS TEH GHEY" routine. No one is dumb enough to believe that you can make a monopoly with free software.

Re:Way to Miss the Issue, PCPro. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785039)

SOCK PUPPET!!

Re:Way to Miss the Issue, PCPro. (0, Troll)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785147)

They're already out [slashdot.org] shilling for fun and profit. Expect a few more [slashdot.org] to jump in shortly.

Re:Way to Miss the Issue, PCPro. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785573)

Mod twitter funny. He's not a pathetically deranged person with a persecution complex; he's a performance artist giving a living critique of why it was bad to shut down the mental hospitals.

Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784487)

Kind of interesting how he says bundling does not lead to market share advantages. I wonder what he thought about IE being bundled with Windows? Didn't he think that was a bad idea? And if bundling doesn't lead to any advantages, what would the objection to IE bundling be?

Re:Ironic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784663)

Kind of interesting how he says bundling does not lead to market share advantages. I wonder what he thought about IE being bundled with Windows?

The key thing that you have to remember is that IE5 was honest to God the superior browser in its day. It was small, it was fast, and it was more standards compliant than the competition. Plus it didn't crash when you nested DIVs or TABLEs. In comparison, Netscape was a joke. A joke that quite a few users hung to religiously, but a joke none the less.

Now the tables have been turned. IE6/7/8 is the Netscape of today. It's a joke compared to the competition. Some people hold to it religiously, but most are ready to move on. Bundling is definitely helping to prop up IE, but there's more to it than that. IE is primarily held in place at corporations where the "corporate standard" requires IE. (Usually IE6.) This is partly due to a lot of poorly written applications on the market. But partly it's due to the mono-culture idea that Microsoft perpetrated in organizations. i.e. If it's made by Microsoft, it's made for Windows, and therefore is superior to a product that is not made for Windows.

Some IT professionals even believe that using IE means that they can rely on the Windows Update Service to keep their desktops secure. They are suspicious of Firefox and other alternative browsers because their update services are separate from Windows. Little do they seem to know that they are walking right into the lion's mouth...

Re:Ironic (0, Offtopic)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785263)

One word: Citrix. We've had to recommend that users upgrade to IE7 because some things wouldn't work, allegedly, with anything below. I am sticking to 6 and it still works but still, that's how a lot of people get to use IE7.

I religiously uninstall IE7 from any server I come across and exclude it from future updates. Unfortunately, not all colleagues are this thorough.

Re:Ironic (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785655)

So you're saying you're part of the problem.

Re:Ironic (4, Insightful)

Oqnet (159295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785675)

Exactly. I end up using IE at work because all of the users log into their email wich is run on an exchange server. So when they are logged into their email account they loose some features if they are using firefox compared to using IE. I try to secure things as much as possible using GPO's and such but it still is something that's sore with me. The people who run the mail servers decided a few years ago to only use microsoft solutions. So we are pretty much stuck with it as a standard for almost everything just because of that one system. So far it works pretty good but I could see a few different solutions that would not only run as good but be cheaper and just as easy to maintain. In some cases things could be done better if we weren't so stuck on Microsoft. They really get you hooked all their systems tie together and it's so easy to just say hey were running active directory so we migth as well run exchange. Hey were running those so why not use sharepoint and so on until your in a situation where you don't even want to think of switching to something else. They're like meth dealers. They get you hooked and the shits gonna kill ya.

Typo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784513)

... provably?

Re:Typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784951)

Able to be proven.

Re:Typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784999)

No

What does a Open Source monopoly look like? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784527)

I think Mozilla in a monopoly situation would be an interesting case study because it would be completely unique - somehow it manages to dominate market share, and yet its competitors can copy any of its features or redistribute their own flavor of the same product?

Is a monopoly even possible for an open source company? Is a monopoly possible for anyone possible when everyone is using a share-and-share-alike license like the GPL?

Re:What does a Open Source monopoly look like? (4, Insightful)

debrain (29228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785153)

it would be completely unique somehow it manages to dominate market share, and yet its competitors can copy any of its features or redistribute their own flavor of the same product?

Unique is a bit strong. See: Apache. Bind. Sendmail. Wordpress/Drupal/Joomla. Virtually any open source project that can be said to "dominate market share" would apply.

Re:What does a Open Source monopoly look like? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785647)

He also told PCPro that they are worried about becoming the next monopoly just like Microsoft is now.

I, for one, welcome our new monopolistic overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground coding caves.

Re:What does a Open Source monopoly look like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785741)

Is a monopoly even possible for an open source company?

Cisco [linksysbycisco.com]
Tenable [nessus.org]

Re:What does a Open Source monopoly look like? (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785927)

Is a monopoly even possible for an open source company?

Just because another company can rebundle open source software doesn't mean that they can make money with it, after all its hard to compete with a product that costs $0. So its completly possible to run all the competition into the ground with an open source product. That of course doesn't mean that your monopoly will run forever, when it gets to bad somebody might create a better fork, but that can take years. And the chance of starting a completly new product with similar goals is also rather smallish, since most of the community will go to the already existing one, so nobody is left starting a new one.

It would of course be a very different kind of monopole then in classic commercial software development, but still very much monopoly like since you wouldn't have that much alternatives left to go to. Luckily there exist enough alternatives to most Open Source products, so that you can chose between Abiword or OpenOffice, Linux or BSD, KDE or Gnome, Gimp or Krita, etc. so only very few, if any, real 'open source monopoly' exist.

POOP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784549)

YEAHHHHHHH!!!!!

Re:POOP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785173)

Yeeehaw

horse shit (1)

Neotrantor (597070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784613)

someone please tell me what difference it makes what browser is bundled with the OS... if they had to stick a free and oss package in there (giggity) would it make a difference is nobody is "profiting" from default marketshare?

LOLWUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784615)

So bundling doesn't provably affect market share? For example a certain operating system comes to mind.

On the other hand I can well understand they wouldn't want to be bundled with the operating system of the beast.

Note to self (4, Insightful)

not already in use (972294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784619)

Mozilla execs have absolutely no business-saavy or sense. Are they joking? They couldn't have a monopoly considering their business model. Their product is free, and does not prevent competitors from entering the market. Someone in Mozilla's PR department needs to shut these clowns up.

Re:Note to self (4, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784887)

Considering the fact that they stole 21% of Microsoft's market share, encouraged new competitors and continues to grow new market share based on a grassroots campaign and Google backing, I'd say their track record refutes your statements quite effectively. Until you can show how Microsofts shrinking market share stolen by Firefox was not a direct affect of their growth, I'd say your argument is rendered inneffective.

Re:Note to self (3, Insightful)

xoboots (683791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785107)

You mean bundling IE did not kill Netscape, which at the time, was the dominant browser? Yes, it assuredly did. Bundling provably leads to market share when the bundled product has equivalent or near equivalent properties of the alternatives. IE currently lags far behind the alternatives -- so of course there is room for competitors. Still IE manages over %60 share and its peak (prior to *compelling* alternatives) had over 90% share. This can only be satisfactorily explained by the fact that IE was bundled with the OS that was bundled with the PCs that users were buying.

Re:Note to self (2, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785343)

No... I mean his argument that a grassroots campain that stole 21% marketshare is an invalid argument when the stats show that Firefox's campaign is consistently working and still is working. His initial argument is that they don't know how to run a campaign and my statement was that the stats over the last 4 years show otherwise.

Your comeback is that 'vs Netscape we did AWESOME when bundling' which has nothing to do with the Firefox campaign since Netscape was another company entirely and we were talking about the Firefox campaign NOT bundling.

If you wish to discuss bundling, the point of the Mozilla exec's arguments is that bundling is bad for the market and bad for competition which is what most open source advocates have been saying. As a dominant browser, they are merely being a responsible player in the IT market... especially considering they are open source. Because being open source, if they BECOME dominant, they actually DO stifle innovation and crush other players since free AND dominant will stop other free open source browsers from getting a foothold.

Re:Note to self (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785929)

It was more than just bundling. If all they did was bundle, it wouldn't have been a problem.

It's the integration of MSIE to Windows, the integration of MSIE to MS Office, the integration and support of only MSIE into other Microsoft products that is a problem. It is the active encouragement of developers to develop only for MSIE to the exclusion of others that is a problem.

Just having an application there is no guarantee that anyone would use it.

Re:Note to self (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784889)

Perhaps it prevents competitors from entering the market by virtue of its obviously unsurpassable niftyness? I mean really... why bother? ;-)

What are you talking about? (2, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784911)

If Mozilla were to end up with 95% of the market like IE once had, Opera would no doubt accuse them of price dumping [wikipedia.org] . Not to mention going after them as a non-profit saying that they are a sneaky business masquerading as a non-profit a la the "Church" of Scientology!

I used to like Opera, but they just strike me as a pack of whiny bitches complaining about how it is unfair that Microsoft is so successful. It should be disconcerting to the regulators in the EU that Firefox is also better off, Safari is probably there too and Chrome is also in a position to move past Opera in marketshare. The reason, I think is simply that Gecko and WebKit have become incredibly powerful and between them and IE's rendering engine for desktop Windows developers, who needs a fourth?

Re:What are you talking about? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785295)

If Mozilla were to end up with 95% marketshare? Oh, don't worry. They'll drop the ball long before that point.

Re:What are you talking about? (2, Interesting)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785653)

Shouldn't that be "jump the shark".

Consistently, every new version of Firefox comes with a larger installation footprint, larger use of resources, larger lock in to Google who "sponsor" their development in return for a default search etc etc. They seem to have lost their way from version 1, which was a great little browser.

By the time they reach version 7, do you think they'll be any less corporate influenced, any less bloated and any more useful than anything MS will have to offer at that point ?

Re:What are you talking about? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785345)

Let's not forget that opera wasn't even free until after firefox started becoming popular. If you accept that firefox become popular because it was free, standards compliant and friendlier to the developer (which are the factors I believe led them to where they are today), then opera missed their chance at widespread desktop popularity.

Re:What are you talking about? (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785523)

It's still like $5 to download the Opera browser for the Wii, so it isn't totally free

Re:What are you talking about? (1)

Simetrical (1047518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785761)

If Mozilla were to end up with 95% of the market like IE once had, Opera would no doubt accuse them of price dumping [wikipedia.org] .

That's been tried before. [wikipedia.org] It didn't work so well.

Re:Note to self (2, Insightful)

pbrammer (526214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784945)

Not to metion how many users they are losing to Google Chrome I hardly run FF anymore.

Re:Note to self (1)

MoellerPlesset2 (1419023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785021)

Mozilla execs have absolutely no business-saavy or sense. Are they joking? They couldn't have a monopoly considering their business model. Their product is free, and does not prevent competitors from entering the market.

Yet.. Netscape had a virtual monopoly on the web browser market, which was then replaced by the IE monopoly (leveraged by Microsofts OS monopoly).
Both products were more-or-less free (as in beer).

Given that Mozilla Corporation has a bigger revenue than Netscape ever had for their client, and that IE has probably never earned a dime for MS directly, I'd say they have some pretty good business-savvy.

Re:Note to self (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785051)

Their product is free, and does not prevent competitors from entering the market. Someone in Mozilla's PR department needs to shut these clowns up.

You do not understand antitrust laws.

Re:Note to self (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785291)

The ability to prevent competitors from entering the market is not a prerequisite of monopoly. If you're talking about an artificial monopoly (achieved through government, or by exploiting the law), then sure -- but it is also economically possible to achieve a natural monopoly via sheer superiority of product/price. Considering the ubiquity of big government today, this isn't likely, but still possible.

Anyhow the lesson here is that artificial monopoly and natural monopoly are fundamentally different. The use of coercion (government/law) to achieve monopoly defines the artificial monopoly, and in turn rules out the possibility of natural monopoly.

Re:Note to self (1)

mrlibertarian (1150979) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785821)

Their product is free, and does not prevent competitors from entering the market.

The same could be said about IE. If Microsoft bundled Firefox instead of IE, what would the difference be, from an anti-trust point of view?

The Next Monopoly (1)

blcamp (211756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784657)

Opera's asserting something that's provably false. It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face.

"...they are worried about becoming the next monopoly just like Microsoft is now."

I'm not sure how either of these statements can be made with a straight face.

First of all, how are browsers being measured in terms of market share? What happens when there are multiple brands installed in the same seat? How about VM images?

And how twisted is logic of "we don't want to be offered with the most dominant OS ever produced because we may become the most dominant browser, which would be bad"...?! What's up with that?

Re:The Next Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784723)

Clearly, the transcription missed the long pause for another very large toke off a spliff the size of a baseball bat.

Re:The Next Monopoly (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785849)

First of all, how are browsers being measured in terms of market share? What happens when there are multiple brands installed in the same seat? How about VM images?

Well two things can be done to combat this. One, compare usage, not installs. Great you have IE installed on your computer, well duh you have windows and so do I, but do you use it? I ONLY use it on sites that require it (right now only OWA for me, but it used to be my bank - not anymore). So when they track Internet usage my share goes to FireFox. What happens when people have VM and each instance of VM has a different browser (which is odd in itself) - how many people use VM compared to the rest of the Internet using population? Not that much so it's impact would be minimal. Again, installation does not = market share...usage does. Otherwise, at one point I had five browsers on my computer (for QA testing).

This is a great thing coming from FireFox. I have been a long advocate that bundeling IE into windows (I believe the IE platform is a core component of windows) does not give Windows a monopoly. My opinion on IE (other then I have to use it for OWA), it's sole purpose is for me to be able to download FireFox on a fresh install. In fact, the FIRST thing I install after doing a fresh Windows install is go to mozilla and get FireFox. Then I go for installing/updating my anti-virus (avg, until ezTrust comes out with 64 bit) and firewall (pc tools).

Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (5, Insightful)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784661)

Tell that to anyone who refers to the blue 'E' as "The Internet".

Re:Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (2, Funny)

UberMorlock (1391949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784803)

Exactly. Just two weeks ago, I had to re-install Windows on my wife's aunt's machine. It took me almost an hour to explain that the blue E is not Windows and another hour to explain that she does NOT need the blue E. I installed both Firefox (w/Adblock, Flashblock, etc) and Opera for her and showed her she doesn't need the blue E. Then, I told her not to use Internet Explorer again.

Re:Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784973)

It took me almost an hour to explain that the blue E is not Windows and another hour to explain that she does NOT need the blue E. I installed both Firefox (w/Adblock, Flashblock, etc) and Opera for her and showed her she doesn't need the blue E. Then, I told her not to use Internet Explorer again.

Wouldn't it have just been easier to change the Firefox icon to the IE icon and been done with it? ;)

Not that I've ever done anything like that of course.....

Re:Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (1)

UberMorlock (1391949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785055)

I hadn't thought of that, but since you've mentioned it, I'll remember that for the future.

Re:Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (1)

TeXMaster (593524) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785561)

Wouldn't it have just been easier to change the Firefox icon to the IE icon and been done with it? ;)

Horrible idea, in case anybody else but him has to give tech support.

Replacing IE on dad's machine (3, Insightful)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785605)

For my dad's machine, I just delete the quicklaunch icon for IE, install FF, and tell him "just click this orange and blue thingie instead of the blue E. It's the same thing". Works fine.

Re:Replacing IE on dad's machine (2, Interesting)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785803)

I did the "replace the icon" thing to my dad once and he couldn't get his hotmail.com account to "work right". It was a real long time ago and I forget the exact problem, so don't reply saying FF works fine with hotmail.com. Needless to say, I begrudgingly switched it back so that it'd work.

Re:Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (2, Insightful)

maskedbishounen (772174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785685)

I tried that once with my father. It did not go over so well. He quickly realized the browser was "different", went back to IE, and then started blaming FF for trying to trick him into using it.

If anything, I'd say it's better to tell them up front you've switched browsers, and then change the icon.

Re:Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785901)

Wouldn't it have just been easier to change the Firefox icon to the IE icon and been done with it? ;)

Not that I've ever done anything like that of course.....

I did it for a couple of guys, it worked just fine!

Re:Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785131)

Inside "Program Access and Defaults", you can uncheck Internet Explorer, which removes it from the desktop, start menu, etc., effectively keeping those family members from using IE again without going straight to iexplore.exe.

Re:Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (3, Insightful)

fork_daemon (1122915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785411)

The problem does not lie just with your wife's aunt. A friend of mine fixes PCs that come to him usually infected with Virus or Spyware. I keep on telling him to install Firefox to prevent Driveby Downloads. His argument is, it is difficult for people to re-learn using a new browser. I asked him what people had to learn when all they had to do was enter a URL in the URL bar which is at the same location as in Internet Explorer and everything works on clicks. But he still insists on not installing Firefox. I had to convince him to install and use Firefox on his own machine after being infected several times and almost loosing important Company Data,

Re:Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (3, Interesting)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785575)

I'm so tired of this mantra. Elitists have been chanting this line for at least 5 years now. It's not insightful. It's not informative. It's just the same old shit that adds nothing to the discussion.

Are we going to keep modding it up when there's still 1 user left who thinks "the blue E is the internet"?

Hell, even my grandpa uses Firefox. He may think it's the internet, but god damnit, he knows it's the better internet.

Re:Bundling doesn't crearte market share? (2, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785861)

I deal with end users every day, lots of them think "the blue e" is "the windows", "the internet", "windows internet", "microsoft outlook" and so on. These are people who don't care and even if you carefully explain why maybe they should care just a little they become irate and lash out since "it's your job to make sure my internets work!"; try pulling that one on your mechanic after you just drove your car into a river because "well cars SHOULD float, now fix it and stop telling me how to drive!"...

/Mikael

Weird view (4, Insightful)

renoX (11677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784713)

If being better than IE at the same price (free) leads only to a 20% marketshare, then to me this *strengthen* the argument that bundling is an effective way to assert a monopoly, not disprove it.

Beside given the size of Firefox or Opera, users on dialup may feel quite annoyed by having to download them..

Re:Weird view (4, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785101)

If being better

How to you quantify "better?" I know you can say FF is faster, or more standards complaint or whatever.. but I supsect the average user doesn't case about these things. If both FF and IE display the webpages they want, and the user don't care about anything else... in what way is FF "better?"

Re:Weird view (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785837)

Firefox is also not faster on Windows, or at least never has been for me. I actually switched FROM Firefox to IE at one point for performance+stability reasons.

Re:Weird view (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785865)

If both FF and IE display the webpages they want, and the user don't care about anything else... in what way is FF "better?"

Better interface. Almost every user I met complained about the IE7 interface. It makes terrible use of space, while the FF interface uses the standard File/Edit/View bar, and the tabs area goes all of the way across which provides more room for tab labels. FF also crashes less. It also takes less time to display webpages. And if you show the average user what can be done with extensions they find interesting, they are totally sold on FF (I had one user switch just for the Colorful Tabs add-on).

Re:Weird view (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785325)

You missed the part where he mentioned awareness of the alternative.

Bundling bad? (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784759)

Like MS or not, bundling has made MS the company they are today, with more than enough money to pay fines from those who object... as for Mozilla becoming the next big monopoly, they are getting ahead of themselves. They need to keep doing their good work to keep growing the business... dream big, but keep doing the little things... they have along way to go

Re:Bundling bad? (2, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784983)

Yeah. I can see Firefox getting 30% of the market. Chrome getting 10% if they push it via gmail and their other services. Safari getting 15% if Apple keep increasing market share. Opera could get 1%. That leaves 44% for Internet Explorer.

And because Windows 7 doesn't currently look like a trainwreck, and it comes with IE8, I think that a lot of people buying new computers will stick with what comes with it, even if they used Firefox before.

This is because bundling does give a massive advantage, because people are lazy and if something is there that does the task, they will just use it.

However if Firefox had a service whereby you could save all your favourites, history, etc, to a web service, and then retrieve them on your new Windows 7 laptop later on, that would be an incentive to re-download Firefox despite the presence of IE8.

Re:Bundling bad? (2, Informative)

TyIzaeL (1203354) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785277)

And because Windows 7 doesn't currently look like a trainwreck, and it comes with IE8, I think that a lot of people buying new computers will stick with what comes with it, even if they used Firefox before.

Clearly you have not done much work with IE8.

However if Firefox had a service whereby you could save all your favourites, history, etc, to a web service, and then retrieve them on your new Windows 7 laptop later on, that would be an incentive to re-download Firefox despite the presence of IE8.

Like Foxmarks [mozilla.org] ?

Spelling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784785)

I feel like the spelling on the summary should provably get checked over again...

Why Not Bundle? (4, Insightful)

TheGreatDonkey (779189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784817)

I Believe Conner's somewhat contrary to himself in his overall viewpoints. He claims that one of the challenges of Opera is that it is a bit to technical and "gets in the way," implying that it is geared towards a more technical user. However, I am not aware of that many non-technical users who go out looking for alternative browsers.

My own experience thus far has been that without bundling Firefox, it is primarily technical users who are encouraging the non-technical to actually use it. I know my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc. all generally use whatever comes with their computer, which is Internet Explorer. They knew nothing about Firefox until I heavily promoted it and provided easy to access download links for them. This was only done because I grew tired of trying to explain why they kept getting infected with malware and viruses through IE. Most did not even know it is possible to browse the web with anything else.

By bundling an alternative, the masses have access to choice. I don't agree with Conner that we should simply expect people to want to go out and research and naturally find Firefox. Bundling does not imply stuffing an alternative down someones throat. It merely provides an easy mechanism towards an alternative. And for the non-technical, just awareness of an alternative is a huge win.

Re:Why Not Bundle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785547)

Touche! That is exactly my experience. Parents, non-techie friends, grandparents....they all click Blue E ("The Internet"). Sooner (if I have my way) or later (after countless spam/malware repairs), I install FireFox and give them a quick lesson.

Then I DELETE that darn E icon off the desktop.

Microsoft should just GIVE UP....after 5 crappy versions....it's time to call uncle. Just pay FireFox and click that E and launch FireFox....and save all us Geek Squad for the family folks awhole bunch of headache.

FireFox is right. (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784863)

Bundling isn't the biggest reason IE users switched to IE, it was because IE4 was better than Netscape Navigator. I'm writing big and long posts about Vista being better than Ubuntu, and I think that it is, but I would never in my right mind use IE7 over Firefox. Although, frankly, right now my favorite browser is Google Chrome. In any case, this isn't like 1994 when people did not know how to download software. Right now, people download stuff all the time, from chat programs to games and utilities, and wallpapers, songs, and more. None of that is bundled, but people manage fine. Same thing with browsers.

I mean, Paint is bundled with Windows, but that hasn't stopped anyone from making their own paint programs, now has it?

Let's see here (-1, Troll)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784923)

You posted this 1 min ago.

You said that IE was actually a good product.

You said that Vista is better than Ubuntu.

You will be marked troll is about 3 min.

Re:Let's see here (5, Insightful)

Vladus2000 (1363929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785167)

Sadly he is correct about IE being better than netscape at one point in time. Netscape after being bought by AOL went down the tubes and IE was one of the best that was available for Windows in my opinion. Unfortunately there are still a few sites that do not work in firefox for me and I have to suffer through IE, but other than that I never use it anymore.

Vista for some uses (users) is better than Ubuntu. There are games that do not run on Ubuntu, I cannot easily update my blackberry (without hacks anyway) on Ubuntu. I still have to dual boot my laptop for a few things. It doesn't mean that Vista is a superior operating system, it just means for somethings/people it is better. If I get marked troll so be it.

Yes, but I'm fair. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785409)

Because I also say that I think Ubuntu is better than XP. I like Ubuntu/Kdevelop for C++ better than XP/Visual Studio 2005. But, with VS2008 and Vista, its a different story. For me, I'm into desktop applications development, so I prefer Vista. It's pretty simple.

But if you wanted to just throw up some web pages with a bit of Java, NetBeans on Ubuntu would suit you fine, along with MySQL as a back end.

IE is a good product. IE4 was a GREAT product, but, as of IE6, I think FireFox is taken the lead, but right now, Google Chrome is my favorite.

That's the other thing too. Instead of saying, "this or that is the BEST", I say, "this is or that is my favorite for what I do." It's less confrontational and allows people to exhange knowledge of what they prefer, so that other environments can steal ideas from each other.

Re:Let's see here (0, Offtopic)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785513)

I know you're joking, but it's been my observation that the opposite is true. If you say anything at all bad about Microsoft, no matter how true, you're modded "troll" or "flamebait".

OTOH look at the post you responded to: 2, interesting. And your post modded 2, insightful despite the fact that it is so obviously incorrect or the GP wouldn't have a 2.

There are a lot of people working at Redmond, they're all logged in to slashdot and many of them have mod points. I expect this (my) comment to be downmodded, but you never know.

Note: Uncyclopedia [wikia.com] is "the content-free encyclopedia" and when they quote Gates as saying "Netcraft confirms it - Slashdot *is* filled with Linux fanboys" you're NOT supposed to take it seriously.

Reasoning Fail. (2, Informative)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785187)

MSIE has the largest installation base because MS Windows has the largest installation base. If you don't think that this constitutes a biasing force, you are not thinking... and you are certainly not a Web developer who has had to deal with MSIE 5 and 6.

MS Paint is next to useless. Mentioning it does not support your position. MS Notepad has not stopped people from using real editors, or MS Word, either.

Re:Reasoning Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785529)

It is a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk2sPl_Z7ZU

Would I want to do that? No. But it is possible.

But trust me on this. The difference between netscape 3/4 and IE 4/5 and even 6 was OUTSTANDING. Netscape BLEW. The mozilla dudes even knew this. They rewrote it to be firefox. IE was faster more compliant and just plain did not crash every 3 minutes or lock up randomly. The tables are turned now.

To say otherwise is just deluding yourself that the choice that you made is the superior choice.

With software you need to revisit those once and awhile. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Re:Reasoning Fail. (2, Informative)

LogistX (814694) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785699)

You're obviously a relatively new web developer. The alternative at the time to IE5 was Netscape 4.7 -- that bastard child browser that no web developer in their right mind would make any attempt to support unless they absolutely had to.

Re:FireFox is right. (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785199)

I mean, Paint is bundled with Windows, but that hasn't stopped anyone from making their own paint programs, now has it?

The problem with that argument is that Paint is the worst paint type program ever written. I struggle to conceive of a situation where it would actually be useful (is it even in Vista?) so there is a lot of scope for other companies to write paint type programs. IE7 on the other hand is actually a pretty well rounded piece of software that does pretty much everything a web browser needs to do. It certainly ticks all the essential boxes and most of the desirables and even has a quite a few of the "why would I even want that" boxes ticked. Competing against IE7 is hard, my hat goes off to Opera and Mozilla for doing as well as they have.

And when it comes to downloading, I find the hardest part now training people to stop downloading things!

Re:FireFox is right. (1)

PerfectSmurf (882935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785593)

I struggle to conceive of a situation where it would actually be useful

It will print an image across multiple pages - something that a surprising number of "better" applications won't do. I hadn't ran, much less actually used, paint in years until my 72 year old largely computer illiterate father told me about this. Now I use it several times a month to "blow-up" web graphics and crochet patterns large enough that my mom can see to use them as guides in her hobbies and crafts.

Re:FireFox is right. (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785339)

"Bundling isn't the biggest reason IE users switched to IE, it was because IE4 was better than Netscape Navigator."

Damn straight. You'll get modded down for your comment about Ubuntu. But you're absolutely correct about IE. Does anyone here remember the first version of IE? It too was bundled with Windows but no one used it. How about version 2? Still crap. Version 3, interesting, but very buggy and still crap.

However, not only was version 4 of IE a major improvement, Netscape was resting on its laurels and Navigator bloated was going nowhere. By nearly any standard, IE 4 was better than what Netscape offered at the time.

However, like Netscape, Microsoft rested on its laurels and IE became a bloated mess.

I switched to Firefox (actually it was called Phoenix at the time) because it blocked pop-ups, it allowed you to temporarily block flash (with IE you either installed Flash or it harassed you for not installing it), and it allowed you to quickly resize fonts (you could resize fonts in IE after going through several menus and dialog boxes).

Certainly Firefox had other useful features, those were just my main three. To put it simply, when Microsoft stopped working on IE it stopped listening to users. So while the web was evolving anyone stuck using IE was stuck in the dark ages. To this day Firefox is listening and allows users to surf their own way.

"Although, frankly, right now my favorite browser is Google Chrome."

I also love Chrome, it seems so damn fast, but I'm still tied to the plug-ins offered by Firefox. When I use Chrome it seems like an amazing empty shell. I can't wait for someone to fill it up so it's more usable.

"I mean, Paint is bundled with Windows..."

And similarly people still buy Word even though Windows is bundled with WordPad.

Re:FireFox is right. (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785487)

However, like Netscape, Microsoft rested on its laurels and IE became a bloated mess.

I wouldn't characterize IE6 as bloated, just stagnated and requiring undue amounts of caution, security-wise.

I think the problem with IE is that once Netscape died (and I do believe they died because they sucked, not because Microsoft did evil anti-competitive things to them), Microsoft simply rested on their laurels and decided they could dictate the state of web standards because they had 95% market share.

Along comes Firefox, and suddenly you have Microsoft all worried about producing a viable browser again instead of just patching the old crap indefinitely. Without Firefox that would have never happened.

That's why I think Firefox is valuable. Not necessarily as a better browser (which it is anyway), but as disruptive of the status quo. My puny donations and recommendations to friends and family to use it cannot begin to repay the Mozilla Foundation for that.

Re:FireFox is right. (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785923)

Bundling isn't the biggest reason IE users switched to IE, it was because IE4 was better than Netscape Navigator.

Firefox is better than any version of IE so far and has been available for over 4 years, so why haven't people flocked to it in that time frame?

The webshare lost by IE & gained by Firefox ar (1)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784881)

...users of the Windows version. It's certainly not all the Mac and Linux Firefox users. For the typical "big-blue-e = Internet" household, if any of them get Firefox, it's because their tech family member hooked them up with it. You could, in a sense, say that Firebox was "bundled" for these types of households.

PCPro again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784971)

What's with all the unsourced PCPro stories lately? Now the architect for FIREFOX, posterboy of the open-source world, is giving an exclusive interview to anyone?

i agree with him completely (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784979)

after all, look how miserably microsoft failed trying to dent netscape's marketshare when it started bundling internet explorer with windows

will anyone ever take netscape down as top dog of the browser wars?

Of course, where do you stop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26784995)

I agree with the majority sentiment here - bundling definitely helps market share, but with regards to the anti-trust stuff, how exactly do you decide what to bundle?
If the logic of "IE has too much market share, we should bundle other Browsers to compensate" is used, then surely we shouldn't bundle the other popular browsers, rather we should bundle the ones with almost no market share since they need it the most?
Of course, that's a ridiculous argument, but I can't really find a way to justify installing Firefox and MAYBE Opera without installing Lynx and a few other obscure browsers. Where do you draw the line? Who decides what % market share a browser must have before it's forced to be bundled within an OS?
And is anyone going to tell Apple that Safari needs some competition on OSX?

Way to miss the real issue, pcpro (4, Insightful)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785007)

Way to miss the issue there, PC Pro.

The courts have found that the bundling of MSIE is anti-competitive and in violation of antitrust laws. Just how would bundling Firefox on Windows remove MSIE from the base sysem? Oh, I see, it wouldn't.

Look if the remedy for anti-competitive and predatory business practices is to remove MSIE, then just remove it. It doesn't matter how many other similar applications are pre-installed, when it is the presence of MSIE, not the absence of other applications, which is in violation of the law.

Re:Way to miss the real issue, pcpro (2, Insightful)

Renegade Iconoclast (1415775) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785377)

How is a normal person going to download Firefox without IE? Gopher (yes I'm an old-timer)? FTP? Where do they get Gopher and FTP clients from, without a browser?

Sure, you and I could work around it by burning a disc on another computer. What about mom?

Re:Way to miss the real issue, pcpro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785787)

What about YOUR mum?

Provable? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785029)

'Opera's asserting something that's provably false. It's asserting that bundling leads to market share.

Go on then. Prove it.

He is wrong. it does. (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785145)

there are millions of people in each country that have NO idea of what does even a 'web browser' mean. for them, they open up windows, and then connect to 'internet'. internet explorer is 'internet' for them. leave aside trying out new 'browsers' ...

and no, you cant discount these people. for, these are the masses.

package manager (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785175)

I would like to see the EU or some other entity force Microsoft to develop a package manager. The first time you start up Windows and you connect to the internet it asks you which browser you'd like to download and install.

Bundling doesn't help market share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785189)

Access costs are a big part of value. I know many users who simply use what is easily available to them.. And the thought of seeking out and installing an application is daunting... Anyone who thinks bundling an application will not increase market share is simply misinformed.

More probably not completely false (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785353)

Let's face it, MS realized they missed a market (the internet) and leveraged Windows to take it over by bundling IE, destroying the non-free browser market. IE won the browser wars because users associated it with the internet, and since they already "had the internet", they had no reason to look for another one. Whether IE was better than Netscape is debatable, in my opinion.

Firefox has made inroads because tech savvy people finally had something they could evangelize, backed by an organization that realized it had to market their browser to users, and brought with it real innovation that was relevant to the users: addons.

IE is now clearly inferior to every other browser, but its share won't wane as quickly as it waxed. Should MS give up on IE? I think so... they've shown they have little incentive or ability to make significant improvements to what a browser is supposed to do: correctly implement web standards. Will they? Doubtful, until MS decides that playing in the browser market is a drain. Which they've already hinted at.

I hope they become a monopoly!! (1)

tvlinux (867035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785485)

When a Open Source product becomes a monopoly, that is not really a monopoly. Because it is open source any person and change or add anything they want to it. "Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods" Open Source allow for a huge number of viable substitutes. Also it take "goods" out of the economic area and puts it into the technical area. For the user there is always choice with Open Source.

Idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785533)

Maybe they want to make an application that gives you the chance (when you click for the first time the IE icon) to choose between more than two flavors of browsers you want to install, like an automated process...

Make up your mind! (1)

Asmor (775910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785693)

Statement 1: Bundling does not lead to market share.
Statement 2: If we are bundled, we may become a monopoly.

Statement 2 seems to directly contradict statement 1...

Re:Make up your mind! (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785759)

Except for the part where he never said #2. He said he was worried about Firefox becoming another monopoly, but he never said bundling would contribute to that.

Firefox executive freelancing for Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785831)

I can't even get myself to read the article when I see quotes like this:

"It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face."

And if anyone falls for this, they need to look in the mirror and ask themselves, who they'll be suckered by next.

When you own the distribution channel as Microsoft does, bundling is _instant_ market share. And it helps when your have a very ignorant customers who take little to no time to try another product to see if it is better. _Better_ doesn't matter to most Windows users because they are mostly have very little understanding of the thing to begin with. And don't tell them that, they think they know everything there is to know about computers. After all, they know how to use MS Office. IMO.

LoB

With apologies to Loctus. I just thought more people should read it.

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