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IBM Makes Firefox Its Corporate Browser

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the good-thing-orange-goes-with-blue dept.

Firefox 152

e9th writes "Ars Technica reports that IBM has adopted Firefox as its company-wide browser. Firefox will be installed on all new employee computers, and all 400,000 employees will be encouraged to use it. Speaking of encouraging Firefox use, IBM VP Bob Sutor blogs: 'We will continue to strongly encourage our vendors who have browser-based software to fully support Firefox.' I hope this means that if IBM can't navigate a vendor's site with Firefox, they'll just look elsewhere."

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152 comments

Great News for Companies Scarred by IE6 (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772350)

I hope this means that if IBM can't navigate a vendor's site with Firefox, they'll just look elsewhere.

Oh, I couldn't care less about that. Let me explain "What freedom means to me." My company has more than a few apps that kept us on IE6 for the longest time. Why did they select IE6? Well, at the time, Internet Exploder was the only browser that allowed them to maintain strict policies and security settings across the company. It's still one of their big selling points [microsoft.com] that they have "slipstream installation" and "Group policy enhancements (total of 1,500, with 140 new in Internet Explorer 8)." Well, now that IBM has developed the Client Customization Kit [google.com] and maybe -- just maybe -- they can get it to a point where an administrator can control proxy and policy settings in Firefox from one central IT position. It's this. It's this concept that is the answer to my question why I'm still developing to support the browser from hell. And I know I'm not alone.

So I'm adding one marble to the 'like' side of the scales of IBM (which they'll need a lot more of to tilt it back to even). I hope to see some serious support come out of this for FF's CCK.

Re:Great News for Companies Scarred by IE6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32772480)

It's an extension. Can it be installed for all users? Can you stop users disabling it? Last time I looked this didn't seem to be possible. And if you can't, it's not much use.

Re:Great News for Companies Scarred by IE6 (3, Informative)

mrt_2394871 (1174545) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773296)

Globally-installed extensions can't be uninstalled from the browser UI (see /. passim for the Sun & Microsoft extensions which highlighted this).

And if you're locking down a desktop, you can restrict r/w access to the Program Files hierarchy, and the registry bits that matter.

So, yes, it can be locked down.

Re:Great News for Companies Scarred by IE6 (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774532)

But - do globally installed addons prevent a guy from firing up his portable Firefox? Hmmmm. I'll just bet it doesn't. I've found a few computers that were locked down pretty tightly. Portable FF ran on all of them. To prevent me doing so, they would have needed to uninstall and remove devices with which I can read portable media.

Re:Great News for Companies Scarred by IE6 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775804)

Does a GPO configured IE prevent you from running portable Firefox?

No. Because the two things aren't at all related, just like in your example.

Re:Great News for Companies Scarred by IE6 (4, Informative)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772532)

This is why I encourage the use of Google Chrome in our company . It has this neat feature to use IE settings.

¨P.S: I'm a Firefox fanboy.

Re:Great News for Companies Scarred by IE6 (1)

theverylastperson (1208224) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772990)

I've been pushing Chrome to all our users too. It seems to run a lot cleaner and I have fewer problems with the users that have jumped on the Chrome bandwagon.

Personally I only use Firefox when I need firebug to debug Javascript and I only use IE for a small handful of sites that intentionally block Chrome. As a developer I've realized if I code to Chrome I have almost no issues with IE or Firefox.

Re:Great News for Companies Scarred by IE6 (2, Interesting)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772764)

Its great news that they have decided to go with Firefox, which will probably become a good example for other organizations who are sitting on fence. The blog also mentions that they will encourage their partners and customers to use it.

Kudos to Firefox and thanks to IBM, I can use arguments like "If IBM can go for it, why can't you?"

Can someone explain this to me? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32772770)

At the place in which I work everyone is supposed to use IE. It has all these policies, lock downs, etc. For example they disabled tabbed browsing (???) . So instead I use Firefox or Opera. I don't have adminstrative rights, so I installed them in my personal directory and run them from there.
What is the point of strict browser management? Shouldn't security be managed via the network?

They also offer an "open client" (2, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772848)

IBM offers a fully supported open client based on Linux. The Red Hat and Ubuntu versions are very mature, but there is also support for other distros. There is even a Mac client. While it isn't widely used yet, an IBMer can perform their job using it. Using Firefox and Symphony (IBM remix of OO.org) is just common sense, when you have 100K employees.

Re:They also offer an "open client" (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774282)

I use the for-Debian "open client." It's actually pretty good and generally has pretty good support, etc. I have Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all installed, too. Most IBM sites work with all of them... actually, it's mostly embedded hardware stuff that doesn't work with certain browsers.

Re:Great News for Companies Scarred by IE6 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32773204)

The Client Customization Kit has a URL of http://code.google.com/p/ff-cckwizard/ ? I'm so not looking forward to forwarding that to my boss :-s

Re:Great News for Companies Scarred by IE6 (2, Interesting)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773380)

Except if you have your security customer-side, you're doing it wrong.

IBM tells Microsoft... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32772380)

to go Blue itself.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (-1, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772572)

It was Big Blue IBM that invented the PC (and AT and XT and so on). Do they still produce IBM-branded personal computers? Or have they conceded defeat to the clone makers?

As annoying as Apple's various lockdowns are, at least they've managed to maintain control of their hardware. Like Nintendo they may be small but they are still a profitable company.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32772632)

God you're so fucking stupid.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (0)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772756)

The PC was invented by Apple, and the first computer ever sold as "PC" was the Apple ][. What IBM did, was creating the IBM PC based on the ideas incorporated in the Apple ][ like the extensibility with cards that fit in a standardized port.
During the whole of the 1980ies it was always the "IBM compatible PC", and only with the advent of the new standards set by Intel (and not IBM) like PCI and AC97 and USB, it became just the "PC".

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772866)

Extensibility by standardized ports was one of the big innovations in the IBM S/360, which predates Apple by more than a decade. Mostly what IBM did for the PC was legitimize it, saying 'this is a serious tool which can be used for business'.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774138)

You lost me. Could you expound on your comment?

The IBM S/360 was a mainframe. The Apple ][ was a personal computer.

I would assume that all mainframes had ports, otherwise how would you hook up the peripherals?

Anyway let's get some facts straight:

The first "Personal Computer" meaning a computer that was sold and designed to be used by a single person was the IBM 601 Auto-Point Computer [columbia.edu] it was billed as a Personal Automatic Computer (PAC) and was announced in 1957.

The first "Personal Computer" aimed at the hobbyist (soon to be renamed home) market and sold already assembled was the Apple I in 1976.

The first All-In-One computer Personal Computer aimed at the home market was the Commodore PET introduced in 1977.

The first personal computer aimed at the home market that featured internal expansion cards was the Apple ][ introduced in 1977. The expansion bus was open and created the first consumer level third-party expansion market due to the successful sales of the Apple ][.

Mostly what IBM did for the PC was legitimize it, saying 'this is a serious tool which can be used for business'.

The Apple ][ was already legitimized by its sales and the great word processor for its time (Wordstar and Magic Windows), and the all-time killer application called VisiCalc.

IBM came late to the party, and when it introduced the IBM PC in 1981. IBM instead used its established business in mainframes to sell it's PC to medium size businesses. This is when the adage "No one gets fired for buying an IBM" really took off. Because of its price, the IBM PC didn't really take off in the home computing market. However IBM didn't protect its design and an IBM PC Compatible market was soon created. The clones flooded the market with cheap PCs. This allowed home users to buy a cheap computer and use the same software at home that they use at work (a marketing whisper campaign that promoted software piracy as a means to sell computers *wink wink*).

IBM could never get its act together. They did everything they could to shoot themselves in the foot.

First they decided to fight the clones over the use of the ROM BASIC (called BASIC A). Microsoft came out with GWBASIC that didn't need the ROMs. I believe this is where the term "IBM PC compatible" became forever replaced with "MS-DOS Compatible".

Then came the IBM PCjr which was introduced in 1984. IBM desperate to keep its business oriented IBM PC out of the "low end" value priced market, introduced one of the biggest flop in PC history - the IBM PCjr. Almost everything on it was purposely crippled or ill designed to give you an incentive to buy the more expensive IBM PC. Too bad IBM completely disregarded all the clones that were on the market. Why pay for a PCjr when you can get a PC Clone for around the same price (or cheaper).

The final straw was when IBM in 1987 decided that they couldn't beat the clones and instead introduced the MCA bus with the idea that they could make money by licensing the bus. Then they got greedy and decided to make the license fee too expensive in order to make their computers (the infamous PS/2 line) more competitive. The clone industry countered with the EISA bus, which eventually was replaced by the PCI bus.

In the end, Microsoft was what made the PC Computer what it is today - not IBM.

I really need to switch to decaf...

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (5, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773054)

First off "IBM PC" is a brand name and that's what I was referring to, and you knew very well that's what I meant. Second.....

>>>The PC was invented by Apple

WRONG. The first personal computers were sold in the early 70s, and the most popular of those was the Altair (1975-77). The Apple I was not the first PC. ----- Then Radio Shack introduced the TRS-80 in 1976 and it quickly became the most popular computer up to that date (approximately 1 million sold), followed by the 1979 Atari 400/800 (1.5 million), and finally the Commodore 64 and Amiga 500 (30 million and 15 million respectively).

And now you know..... the Rest of the story. And you can erase that Steve Jobs 101 revisionist stuff from your mind. Apple I was not the first personal computer - the early 70s hobbyist computers were the first PCs.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773558)

The Altair never sold as "PC". The Apple ][ dit. The Commodore PET sold as... well, as PET.

The name "Personal Computer" entered the market with the Apple ][. And the idea to have a personal computing device where the specification of several identical extension slots was open to everyone to develop new hardware for, is something different than an S/360 slot where IBM could sell you additional components that plugged in there.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (2, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772762)

IBM sold the PC division (desktops and laptops) to Lenovo years ago.

Lenovo compatible (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772784)

Do they still produce IBM-branded personal computers?

IBM sold the PC business to Lenovo half a decade ago. So now most desktop and laptop PCs are "Lenovo compatible".

Re:Lenovo compatible (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772874)

I think I'd go with with "Intel compatible". That's a little messy because of x86-64, but most of the parts on a modern PC are the way they are because of some decision Intel made at some point in time. Even the ones that run an Apple operating system.

Re:Lenovo compatible (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773214)

Itanium (nicknamed Itanic) is an Intel architecture, though not Lenovo-compatible. The original Xbox used a Celeron CPU, though the surrounding chipset was deliberately not Lenovo-compatible.

Re:Lenovo compatible (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774004)

Yes, there are many pedantic quibbles available. Lenovo compatible is probably a quite clear description, it is just stupid.

Re:Lenovo compatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776334)

The IBM PCs and todays PCs have very little things in common.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772840)

Apple is among the largest consumer electronics companies in the world. That defies small just a little bit.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773174)

Sorry I keep forgetting.

I still think of Apple as that little third-party company that almost went bankrupt in the mid-90s (as happened with Atari and Commodore). I forgot they have a virtually monopoly with their iPod and iTunes divisions and are now raking in big bucks. However the MAC division is still rather small. What's Mac's share? 10%?

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32773420)

What's Mac's share? 10%?

It depends on which market you're looking at. For PC sales overall they're still fairly small, but for high-end consumer grade ($1000+), they're sitting pretty with 91% [betanews.com].

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32774290)

That's because, unless you're some uber gamer, you'd struggle to spend more than $1000 on a computer when you could get one that would exceed your needs for far less. That's as ridiculous a metric for their success as saying they own 100% of the market for computers with a picture of an apple on them - the fact that they're the biggest seller in the inredibly niche market they're specifically exploiting is no big surprise.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776090)

I don't see it as ridiculous at all. They have over 90 percent of the market they choose to compete in. If they suddenly decided to cut the price of macbooks in half, they'd be competing in a new-for them-market. And they'd sell a lot of macbooks at that price point.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775922)

What's Mac's share? 10%?

More like 6.4% [electronista.com].

Lenovo got 8.8%. I had never heard of Lenovo until now.

Having a quick look at the Lenovo web site, they have the same computers as IBM branded machines we have here in the UK. I guess they use the IBM branding instead of Lenovo here.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32772968)

It was Big Blue IBM that invented the PC (and AT and XT and so on).

That's like saying, "It was Ford Motor Company that invented the Model T (and Galaxy and Taurus and so on.)"

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773154)

> As annoying as Apple's various lockdowns are, at least they've managed to
> maintain control of their hardware.

And I'n sure things would be just peachy had IBM done likewise.

Re:IBM tells Microsoft... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773286)

As annoying as Apple's various lockdowns are, at least they've managed to
maintain control of their hardware.

You say that as if it's a good thing. "Maintain control" when it comes to personal computing is not a feature, it's a defect.

How will they manage it? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772388)

And will they please release the management utilities via open source? K THX BYE

Re:How will they manage it? (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772462)

And will they please release the management utilities via open source?

From the article

A number of third-party tools have been developed over the years to simplify certain aspects of organization-wide Firefox roll-outs. One of those tools is the Client Customization Kit [google.com] (CCK), which was developed by Firefox modification consultant Michael Kaply while he was employed by IBM. Kaply still actively maintains the tool and released an updated version [kaply.com] for Firefox 3.6 in March. IBM is using it alongside other tools to ensure that its Firefox adoption plan goes smoothly.

IBM already has developed the initial version. CCK is currently Mozilla Public License 1.1 [mozilla.org] and I have not seen any notice that they're changing that so your question is answered.

K THX BYE

Anytime, brah.

Re:How will they manage it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32772518)

RTFA THX BYE

IBM can't navigate a vendors website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32772508)

I get so pissed off just trying to find something the IBM Lotus Notes website .. what a mess ..

Encouraged to use it? (3, Interesting)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772534)

FTA:

IBM plans to roll it out to employees on new computers and will encourage its staff of 400,000 to use it on their existing systems.

Sounds like this will be a slow adoption if they are only setting it as the default browser on new computer systems and simply "encouraging" their installed base to use it. It probably does make sense to go slow like this with it, but it doesn't make for a sensational headline to say "IBM to slowly roll out firefox as the default browser as they replace hardware; encourages existing users to use firefox too".
Anyway, hopefully this does result in more robust corporate deployment tools for firefox as IBM spends more on it. Because frankly the ability to deploy and manage it in a large corporate environment now pretty much sucks compared to Internet Explorer. That corporate manageability is really the only thing that has been missing from firefox.

Re:Encouraged to use it? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772782)

That corporate manageability is really the only thing that has been missing from firefox.

Conversley, that's really the only thing that IE6 has going for it. There needs to be a little balance in priorities.

Re:Encouraged to use it? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32772810)

FTA:

IBM plans to roll it out to employees on new computers and will encourage its staff of 400,000 to use it on their existing systems.

Sounds like this will be a slow adoption if they are only setting it as the default browser on new computer systems and simply "encouraging" their installed base to use it. It probably does make sense to go slow like this with it, but it doesn't make for a sensational headline to say "IBM to slowly roll out firefox as the default browser as they replace hardware; encourages existing users to use firefox too".

As an IBM employee I can say that the Firefox install was recently pushed as a required update to existing machines, so not only new machines will be receiving it.

Re:Encouraged to use it? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774366)

Well that's good to hear, although it being pushed as a required update doesn't necessarily follow that people will switch to it if they're used to their IE while ever there's a choice (and I'm loathe to say that there shouldn't be a choice because that's what got us into a mess in the first place, but I hope they do enough internally to make it an informed choice).

Re:Encouraged to use it? (1)

AlexiaDeath (1616055) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772924)

In today's enterprises, hardware is cycled pretty fast. 3 years is pretty common I believe. In that large enterprise anything but a hardware rate adoption would murder the IT staff.

Default most important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32773444)

Most people barely know what a web browser is, much less how or why they'd want to choose a different one. After all, that's how IE came to dominate -- simply by being the default. Making Firefox the default is the single most effective thing a large corporation can do to reverse the process.

Re:Encouraged to use it? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775230)

Sounds like this will be a slow adoption if they are only setting it as the default browser on new computer systems and simply "encouraging" their installed base to use it.

True; they should do this the normal corporate way: disable IE and only reenable it for the whiners.

Bad news for banks (4, Insightful)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772582)

This is bad news for banks and other big orgs that dodge supporting browsers other than IE giving the "cover story" that other browsers are wildcards in term of security.

People will ask if IBM can do it, why can't they.

I guess the admins of such orgs could always say
"Well, we do not have the resources of an IT company giant"

Yet, with all of those employees, going to all of those sites......

Re:Bad news for banks (1)

nawitus (1621237) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772700)

There are still banks that only support IE? I don't remember seeing an IE-only site for years.

Re:Bad news for banks (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772822)

I share your surprise, but there was an article about such a bank on /. just the other day

Re:Bad news for banks (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773164)

That article was about Chase going IE/Firefox/Safari only, not IE only. It means Chrome and Opera users have to install Firefox, and set-top device uses have to buy a PC.

Re:Bad news for banks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32773282)

There are still banks that only support IE? I don't remember seeing an IE-only site for years.

Verifone and FDMS are two that I've seen just this week.
I guess you don't deal with merchant banking

Re:Bad news for banks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32773324)

This is about internal systems. You won't see those IE-only sites unless you actually work for the banks. They do exist in abundance.

Re:Bad news for banks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776148)

only in yank land.

In Europe Banks support Firefox and Mac browsers and others BIG TIME.

As usual, America is behind the world. No news here. Go back to your pagers :)

Not using a "Facebook" browser (3, Interesting)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772688)

Notice that IBM is not going with Chrome, though it is a faster and better browser for the moment.

IMHO that is partly because Google could become competition in other IT areas for IBM. Who wants the competitions browser, on their machines, possibly spying on them?

Even aside from that, though Google has been more responsive ( & apologetic ) than Facebook, they have been (rightfully) censured for making things public that people always felt would be private ( and without notice).

In that regards, they are in same category of trust as Facebook ( low trust ).

I asked a Chrome enthusiast coworker if Facebook made a web browser, would he use it.

His answer. "HELL NO!".

I think it would take a lot of big organizations and many regular people to trust Google to provide software on their desktop that doesn't snoop on them.

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773118)

Chrome isn't a better browser, it is faster at the moment, but it uses a lot of memory and isn't mature at this point. It's mostly fast by virtue of not having all the features that have made the competition somewhat bloated. But rest assured that Google realizes this and is in the process of larding it up.

Being fast is one thing, but it's really pointless when it's spying on you and makes it a headache to use sites because it randomly refuses to show images without explanation. I have a sneaking suspicion that, that whole spying things probably has something to do with it not being chosen.

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (3, Insightful)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774146)

In my job I use the various browsers to varying degrees.

However, for my own use, I stick to Mozilla for ideological reasons: Firefox is their raison d'etre. They have a vested interest in keeping the web open and standards-based.

Apple and Google might someday decide that it's not worth developing their browser any further, or decide that it should really be a vehicle to promote their core services (media sales, QuickTime, ads, analytics etc) to the detriment of the user. I think it's revealing that neither Apple nor Google chose to invest in Mozilla instead of going it on their own - either it's impossible to work with the Mozilla folks, or they wanted to retain control, in which case you have to ask why.

Nevertheless, it's good for everyone that there's a bit of competition, so use what you like!

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32774524)

Google HAS invested in mozilla, that's why firefox uses google by default for searching, and why the default homepage is a mozilla-branded google search box, but the deal is valid until 2012

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774176)

but it's really pointless when it's spying on

Then go into tools and uncheck the 3 "please spy on me and give me goodies" boxes, and stop whining about it. This isnt rocket science, the instructions for disabling the "spying things" are posted in EVERY one of these discussions, and are simple enough for a 6 year old.

I know im being naieve here, but can this stupid FUD rumor just die? Chrome is NOT hard to make as "privacy safe" as any other browser, and unlike many others, is actually open source.

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774456)

LordLimeCat;

You are writing about other people being naive, but have you considered that not all of the "spying" issues in Chrome are have visible controls for the users to turn off by their choice?

Yes, the browser is open source but maybe the people examining the source code make mistakes, miss things or have a vested interest in not telling everyone.

Maybe Google has two sets of source code. One the publish and one with "spying" stuff in it they use to make binaries.

Google Buzz has already proven that Google is willing to take peoples private information without permission.

Things like these things happen in the business world.

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (2, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774992)

but have you considered that not all of the "spying" issues in Chrome are have visible controls for the users to turn off by their choice?

Except chromium is open source, and SEVERAL people (including myself) have audited Chrome to verify this. One poster mentioned that he ran it through a sniffing proxy for several days with no extra data. There are TONS of tools out there to verify what Chrome sends to Google; Sysinternals has FileMon and ProcExp which show you everything you need to know about what Chrome does, and Wireshark shows you all data that it sends.

The problem is its all to easy to throw out such accusations with NO proof or shred of evidence whatsoever, and you can then pretend that the burden of proof falls on others to prove you wrong (which they HAVE), when Google in general has shown itself to be completely open about what data it collects. This all basically amounts to people mindlessly bashing Google because for some bizarre reason their success has made them a bad guy in the news, and now on Slashdot.

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (3, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773184)

Notice that IBM is not going with Chrome, though it is a faster and better browser for the moment.

Well, there's also the fact that Chrome is only a year or so old. Firefox, in all its iterations, has been around for almost six years. Which one do you trust more?

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32774010)

Well, there's also the fact that Chrome is only a year or so old. Firefox, in all its iterations, has been around for almost six years. Which one do you trust more?

IBM has been working on this cut-over for several years. Chrome didn't even exist when the effort that let to this announcement began. Even with multiple years of work, there is still a list of applications that IBM folks need to use where the best it gets is IE-TAB in Firefox (or citrix and IE for those of us running Linux)

An organization the size of IBM will _never_ move to the browser of "the moment"

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (1)

Renegade88 (874837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774192)

Facebook is held together with baling wire and duct tape. From a technical standpoint, Facebook is very poor quality Just count how many times any query times out per day.

I wouldn't use a facebook-built browser not because of privacy concerns, but because there's no way it would perform well. Just look at Facebook performance. That should speak to their technical competence.

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32774294)

I work for IBM and I use Chrome. You're allowed to use any browser you like. Firefox has been the default alternative browser for IBM for sometime, everyone was advised to switch to FF when IE was found out to have critical security hole. So it's certainly not some anti-Google thing going on here. IBM also stopped stop pre install MS office on it new workstations a while ago, you need special approval for using MS office, otherwise you use Lotus Suite.

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (4, Interesting)

s4nt (613785) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775044)

Notice that IBM is not going with Chrome, though it is a faster and better browser for the moment.

As stated before, IBM wants to build a stable linux environment to eventually replace windows internally, and the chrome port for linux sucks ATM.

Also, IBM started testing Firefox for internal use for over 4 years now, when chrome didn't even exist.

That is why they went with Firefox.

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776296)

the chrome port for linux sucks ATM.

This is not true in the slightest. I'm posting this in Chrome on Ubuntu 9.10 and Chrome is excellent in every practical way. It's fast, stable, full-featured, well integrated... I'm not sure what else you want before you can say it doesn't "suck".

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775198)

IMHO that is partly because Google could become competition in other IT areas for IBM. Who wants the competitions browser, on their machines, possibly spying on them?

Google has long been in competition with IBM in a variety of areas. Their appliances are direct competition for some of IBM's smaller offerings. and of course don't forget Google's cloud offerings, which more or less compete with owning your own cluster, which is one of the few places IBM is competitive on a price:performance basis.

Re:Not using a "Facebook" browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32776188)

I of course didn't rtfa, but this is more of an IBM is now supporting Firefox for its internal sites than choosing over Chrome. I was an IBMer 3 years ago, and Firefox was on every standard build. It was just not all intranet sites worked well with it. So, they have finally gotten around to choosing Firefox over IE for internally support. Chrome might creep its way into a build in the future. Also, the great thing about IBM is that they don't cripple their end-users. They allow them to install apps, so there's nothing stopping employees from messing around with Chrome.

Ok back down just a sec (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772708)

I'm a strong supporter of web standards (a real one, unlike Steve). But this?

I hope this means that if IBM can't navigate a vendor's site with Firefox, they'll just look elsewhere.

The fact that a company employed wrong web designers/programmers doesn't mean it's not good in what *it* does (save if what they do are websites, of course).

Re:Ok back down just a sec (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772880)

It also doesn't really take into account the fact that most of the companies that supply a company like IBM are not the type of companies that "end users" would be buying from directly. I mean, how many of us are in the market for chip fabrication equipment or something of that nature? There might be some spill-over effect, but just going by the statement in the summary, I fail to see how it would be of any benefit to us for IBM to take that stance.

Re:Ok back down just a sec (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773072)

> I fail to see how it would be of any benefit to us for IBM to take that
> stance.

Most of IBM's suppliers probably contract out their Web site. The more often such contractors hear "Our site is broken. It doesn't work with Firefox. Fix it. Now." the better.

Better yet, of course, would be an IBM boycott of all-Flash sites.

Re:Ok back down just a sec (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773252)

I fail to see how it would be of any benefit to us for IBM to take that stance.

Regardless of if end users have to use a site, other vendors will, and that affects what browsers are in use at those other vendors. It also determines what Web development skills, developers, and tools benefit most moving forward. Companies being pressured to spend money and comply with standards or lose deals will suddenly care about standards, which means their Web developers will and their tool providers will. So now you have more Web development tools and developers who make standards compliant sites and that will almost certainly bleed over into other Web sites that average people do use.

Re:Ok back down just a sec (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772936)

> The fact that a company employed wrong web designers/programmers doesn't
> mean it's not good in what *it* does

One of the things that a company does is support its products. These days that usually involves their Web site. If that's broken so is their support. Now, maybe your company's products and/or prices are so much better than those of your competition that you can afford to inconvenience your customers. Most companies, however, have competitors that are pretty damn close to them in all objective measures. If you make it hard for IBM to use your Web site while they make it easy...

Re:Ok back down just a sec (3, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773186)

I'm a strong supporter of web standards (a real one, unlike Steve).

Yeah, that will boost your credibility.

I hope this means that if IBM can't navigate a vendor's site with Firefox, they'll just look elsewhere.

The fact that a company employed wrong web designers/programmers doesn't mean it's not good in what *it* does (save if what they do are websites, of course).

That's completely true, but not really relevant. You see, doing business means being good at working with others. Standards are a big part of that. If you have to go out of your way to do business with someone, like if they refuse to be paid in US dollars and will only accept canned tuna fish as payment, well, they have to be a whole lot better for you to go out of your way. Normally, who cares? I mean really, if some company wants to make it hard to do business with them, well that sucks and we move on.

The difference here is "embrace, extend, extinguish". It was Microsoft's largely successful plan to break and fragment the Web itself to make it harder for companies to write cross platform solutions and to, in turn, use anything other than Windows. Because a monopolist specifically went out and leveraged their monopoly to encourage the bad behavior on the part of people who make Web sites, we all have a vested interest in correcting that market damage and allowing the state of the art to progress at a normal rate again. To continue with the analogy, imagine if the RIAA had required all purchases of music to be paid for with canned tuna fish for many years, then finally lost in court and now we're in the situation where many record stores don't even have cash registers, but just special canned tuna counting machines. A big player in the market encouraging a move back to normalcy, while the record stores still are being pressured to only take tuna fish, is then important to all of us.

Now I recognize my example was downright silly. That was by design. I'm trying to explain the concepts involved, divorced from any real situation so everyone can see why it is important in principal. Then, if necessary, we can have a discussion about how the principal applies in this case. This isn't about punishing companies with IE only Web sites. It's about pressuring them to correct our broken market. That they have to suffer for what has happened is just one more piece of damage to be laid at MS's feet.

Re:Ok back down just a sec (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773238)

At the same time, you have to recognize that the major historical reason to use IE is that one needed it in order to navigate necessary sites. The more that pressure that large companies can bring to bear on vendors to make their sites work across multiple browsers, the better off we all are.

Tell the vendors. (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772754)

> I hope this means that if IBM can't navigate a vendor's site with Firefox,
> they'll just look elsewhere.

I hope this means that if IBM can't navigate a vendor's site with Firefox they'll tell the vendor why he is losing the sale.

Buyer: "I tried to check on your Web site as you suggested but it doesn't seem to work with Firefox." Salesman: "Oh, yes. We only support IE." Buyer: "Get back to me when you've fixed your site."

I hope IBM listens to itself (1)

Biggseye (1520195) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772836)

It is good news that IBM is doing this, No if they will just write their own applications to work on Firefox better, I will be really happy.

Re:I hope IBM listens to itself (3, Informative)

djtwo (925751) | more than 3 years ago | (#32772932)

Ironically just before I read this, I got a "You must use IE6 or later message" using one of IBM's SPSS products

What a pipedream. (3, Insightful)

ageoffri (723674) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773206)

As an IBM'er who has run Firefox for years as my primary browser I can tell you that a large number of web based tools just don't work with anything but IE. Maybe some parts of IBM can get away with only using IE, but in ITD we just can't. Even the corporate education site works better in IE and pretty much everyone has to use it several times a year.

What we are really seeing here IMHO is an internal political battle that has spilled outside the corporate structure. One exec has decided to stake his name on adopting Firefox and will blame the every development group that only supports IE when this fails.

Re:What a pipedream. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32773478)

> and will blame the every development group that only supports IE when this fails.

And the exec will be right. There's no excuse for churning out IE only shit any more. A dev coding IE only is either a) lazy or b) incompetent.

Re:What a pipedream. (1)

Squib (124309) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773948)

You have to consider the fact that internal IBMers are still required to use internal mainframe software for some accounts. Because they're ingrained in the process. A lot of the philosophy is "if it ain't broke [obviously], don't fix it"

IIRC, every internal system comes with Firefox on it, or has it pushed via the IBM Standard Software Installer [ISSI], so it's not like people don't have the browser. It's just a matter of whether or not you have the resources to retrofit older processes to be Firefox-compliant. Given the general bean-counter-based perspective of the company, I doubt that this will gain much traction.

Remember a few years ago when IBM pledged to move to an entirely Linux environment? Hasn't happened yet and there never seemed to be any further push for it. Or when there was a company-wide push to use their awesome internal solution to remote VPN connectivity [IBM Connect]? It decidedly got shelved when a contract with AT&T was renewed. So, yeah, like I said, not gonna gain much traction

What tools do you use? (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773966)

Education is a crusty old app that has way more problems than working only in IE, but what other products are you working with that won't work with FireFox? Surely there will be an exception for those who's customers require the use of non-FireFox compatible software.

Re:What a pipedream. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32774554)

Whenever I hear someone say "can't work in" blah blah, I'm reminded of the words "Turing Complete", and suddenly the person saying "can't" looks like an idiot. I use Firefox exclusively, and push web content (my web content) to it all day every day. Graphics, text, audio, video, whatever. Firefox doesn't follow as exactly the W3C standard quite as nicely as Chrome or Safari, but sure beats the snot out of internet exploder. I suppose it all depends on whether people are coding for the labyrinth that is exclusive to microsofts browser, or coding for W3C compliance. I code for W3C because at least I know I'm shooting for a standard. Coding for something that isn't a standard means getting it right today, watching it fail tomorrow, getting it working again in 2 days, and watching it fail (for reasons not mine) in 3 days. I'm not playing catchup with whatever changes internet exploder does or does not have. I worked for an IBM shop for a while too. Mostly the system was MVS/XA but they also had other OS's in the place too. They had a lot of home-made software in the place and made a lot of money selling it to people, just like microsoft. I'm not big on selling someone software (not my business model). I am big on selling services to people where they get to choose the content delivery system (any browser they choose). I keep my side up and shoot for standards, and I don't ever have "doesn't work" or "can't" problems.

Re:What a pipedream. (1)

BShive (573771) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775814)

Also an IBM'er and you're probably right. They've been moving towards FF for years, but there are still some internal sites that have trouble with it. Microsoft Office is also slowly getting the boot in favor of Lotus Symphony.

Re:What a pipedream. (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776524)

One exec has decided to stake his name on adopting Firefox and will blame the every development group that only supports IE when this fails.

I fail to see why this is a bad thing.

Slashdot's great progress (-1, Offtopic)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773506)

So I see slashdot is citing a story on Ars Technica, presumably because slashdot doesn't have anyone on staff with any journalism credentials. That's OK, though, since slashdot has always preferred to be more of an aggregator than a reporter.

And naturally, people will come here for the great features that slashdot offers, like the metamoderation ... oh wait, that's broken and non-functional. Well, we have a great submission system ... oh wait, that is broken as well. Thankfully we have ... well, I'm sure there is something important that we have here that Ars Technica doesn't have.

Re:Slashdot's great progress (1)

naplam33 (1751266) | more than 3 years ago | (#32774062)

We have great moderators here dude. I always get -1 flamebait/troll/irrelevant/whatever Perma-bad karma

Go IBM (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32773836)

I only run Firefox I refuse to run any other browser. Firefox had its security problems but overall I like it better then any other browser.

it was nice knowing you, Firefox (0)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 3 years ago | (#32775000)

Just like any other OSS technology, when IBM adopts it for internal use, they will alter it and end up selling back to businesses, in bloated, constant maintenance form.

Just look at Notes, Unix, Java, Linux, Informix. They "reinvented them" into the IBM ecosystem, reengineered them with IBM parts and they all ended up being bloat ware versions needing IBM consultants to maintain them. Eclipse is useful, but still an over bloated "framework".

Just sayin.... Firefox has a good chance now of having the same fate. I'm glad I switched over to Chrome.

This seems backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32775384)

As an ex-web developer (during the mid-90s), I must say this gets at something that has always irked me: Browsers should support webpages, not the other way around.

If it wasn't a general standard, I didn't use it in my webpage.

Company-wide (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#32776418)

Firefox is our company-wide browser as well. Well, at least on the the Linux machines the programmers use.

However, it is only Firefox 2.0.

Some are able to run 3.0. Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 won't run on any Linux machine installed here. Programmers do not have sufficient access to install the necessary libraries (e.g. libpangocairo) required by newer versions.

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