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Firefox-Based Start-Up Gets Off The Ground

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the more-brains-make-light-work dept.

Mozilla 291

rudy_wayne writes "ZDNet is reporting that a new version of the Firefox Web browser is coming your way, but not from the Mozilla Foundation. 'When we launch our own services, in about a month or so, we'll be looking to offer the must-have companion to Firefox,' said Bart Decrem, Round Two CEO and a former staffer at the Mozilla Foundation. 'We see tremendous room for innovating on top of the Mozilla and Firefox platform, and we see ourselves as the first company outside of the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation that's fully dedicated to serving Firefox users.' Round Two planned a corporate launch Monday night with the promise of bringing 'a new crop of products and services that will enhance your Firefox experience.'"

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291 comments

Open Source Competition (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213175)

Isn't there a risk for their company that anything they implement will be replicated by the open source community?

Re:Open Source Competition (5, Interesting)

cuerty (671497) | about 9 years ago | (#12213338)

Like Wine [winehq.com] (The Windows API emulator for *nix variants) with Cedega (ex WineX) [transgaming.com] and CrossOver Office [codeweavers.com], there is always a space for the development over open source software from enterprises with restricted licences.

Re:Open Source Competition (4, Interesting)

stecoop (759508) | about 9 years ago | (#12213341)

Hmm, there are a few things that a company might be able to do. For example, I would like to store all my Mozillla preferences on a server that is backed up. I could do this on my own machine at home but companies like Yahoo and Google have a better data retention history than what I have.

Re:Open Source Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213517)

two words: bookmark synchronization.

Firefox/Mozilla/etc needs it and I will pay money for it if that's the only way I can get it.

Re:Open Source Competition (1, Interesting)

kangpeh (875381) | about 9 years ago | (#12213344)

In the open source community, even if one releases the source to their software, using the correct type of licensing, one can still achieve a patent/copyright on their idea which will keep others from directly tapping into their profits... However, I just don't believe FireFox can get more popular than it is right now, until changes in society occur. Many of my colleagues say, "Firefox? What's that? I don't trust it, is it going to give me a virus?" Firefox needs MAINSTREAM advertising; i.e., it needs to be put on the Television, in Paris Hilton's T-Mobile Sidekick 2, and so forth. In addition, more people need to switch to Ubuntu Linux - which packages Firefox along with it.

Re:Open Source Competition (3, Funny)

punkass (70637) | about 9 years ago | (#12213416)

Because nothing will say "secure" like putting Firefox on the device that was the target of the single largest celebrity hacking in the world, so well known that Jay Leno and David Letterman were taking pot shots at it.

Re:Open Source Competition (1)

Heem (448667) | about 9 years ago | (#12213465)

Right, cuz Ubuntu is the ONLY linux distro to include firefox. Frankly, I can't think of one distro that does NOT.

But if you think it's going to be hard for people to simply switch browsers (I agree) - what makes you think they'd be willing to switch their entire OS? (Linux? What's that? Is it going to give me a virus?)

Re:Open Source Competition (1)

kangpeh (875381) | about 9 years ago | (#12213531)

I'm not saying people will want to do anything. However, what I am saying is a serious boost in Firefox users would be people switching to Ubuntu. And, you are right, Ubuntu isn't the only distro that packages Firefox along with other software - however, Ubuntu has a theme/reputation amongst non-linux users as a friendly, easy to use Windows alternative. No other distribution, has the reputation of being FAST, simple, and including an incredible amount of support. That's why thousands of non-tech-savvy college and highschool students everywhere are actually switching to Ubuntu on their desktops -- and using a MacOS-X-like theme ;)

Re:Open Source Competition (1)

brontus3927 (865730) | about 9 years ago | (#12213529)

Most distros package firefox. You should have said more people need to switch to Linux.

But I agree that Firefox needs to get more needs mainstream attention before it can grow substantially. I recommend it to EVERYBODY. I package it and set it as the default browser on the computers I sell (which unfortunately aren't that many). If the only reason to switch to firefox was tabb-ed browsing, that would still be enough reason for me to recommend it.

Unfortunately, tabbed browsing is a bit ahead of its time in terms of website coding. If you click a link that doesn't open in the parent tab, it opens in a new window. When I can have all my "new window" links open in a new tab instead, firefox will be more of a force.

Re:Open Source Competition (2, Insightful)

cesarcardoso (1139) | about 9 years ago | (#12213537)

Isn't there a risk for their company that anything they implement will be replicated by the open source community?

Yes. And that's good. It's called "competition". Something forgotten on desktop computing world :)

Mmmm (0)

Momoru (837801) | about 9 years ago | (#12213177)

Mmmm Blatent Plug/Free Advertising for someones product....

Start Up - Shut Down (3, Informative)

bheilig (516136) | about 9 years ago | (#12213236)

I hope they have some good ideas for innovations. But if they do, MS will eat them into their `free' browser and subsequently shut down this start up.

hah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213178)

first post

Company? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213189)

But if it's a company, won't there be drawbacks? (Ads, etc...)

1/1, Rakh it up.

Re:Company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213469)

Probably, but not necessarily. Mozilla is a company, too.

Want to bet? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213193)

Want to bet that this "company" won't be around for long?

These people will find out the hard way that the types of people that thinks FireFox is just the most absolutely, unbelieveable, best thing EVER, are the same types of people that believe they should get everything for free. Good luck trying to get 1 penny out of any of them. So unless they are funded by their mothers and live in their basement, they won't survive for long. It's the harsh reality of going the open source way.

Re:Want to bet? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213240)

i agree with you, not many people are willing to pay a dime for firefox.... and anything that they can add as a feature will be reversed engineered in zero flat, unless they have business specific needs that they meet for other clients, which they very well might *shrug*

Re:Want to bet? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213276)

Want to bet that this "company" won't be around for long?

I know that nothing is as easy as getting money from humans. You can sell shit to them and they will buy it. (There is at least one company in Finland which been selling chicken shit for years.)

So, how much money did you want to bet?

Chicken Shit (was Re:Want to bet?) (2, Informative)

samfreed (572658) | about 9 years ago | (#12213351)

Hey, Got any Chicken Shit? It is really good for the garden, and not so easy to come by any more around here. It is considered such a potent fertilizer that one should not use too much of it, or it will "burn" the roots of your more delicate plants....

Thunderbird (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213438)

Hey, Got any Chicken Shit? It is really good for the garden...

You are off topic here. Go to the discussion about Thunderbird

So? (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | about 9 years ago | (#12213444)

People will also pay for "fill dirt", or dirt taken from a construction site where they dug a big hole in the building process.

But the thing is, there's a reason that people will pay for dirt or manure or whatever. Dirt and turds have legitimate uses. If you have a big hole in your yard after tearing down the old shed out back, you need some fill dirt to fill in that hole. If you need to fertilize a field, go buy yourself some animal feces. People pay money for these because making enough dirt or crap themselves is prohibitively inconvenient (do you really feel like raising chickens or cows yourself just for their excrement?).

On the other hand, browser extensions - which appear to be all this new company offers - are much easier either to create by oneself or to find a free version that someone else has created. Yes, the usefulness might still be there in some cases, but when you eliminate the prohibitive inconvenience of self-production, it reduces the value of the commodity tremendously.

The only way I can see this company succeeding is if they have a lot of capital available to buy the extensions that other people have created in order to lock down the market, as well as to tie people up in farcical legal battles over patents and copyrights.

Come to think of it, maybe they could hit Microsoft up for some investment prospects. [newsfactor.com]

Re:Want to bet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213474)

fecalgram.com [fecalgram.com] sells shit for the low, low price of $24.95 + shipping.

Re:Want to bet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213283)

Yeah, try to convince investors that you are going to make lots of money "selling" a free product. Ha!

Re:Want to bet? (5, Interesting)

LnxAddct (679316) | about 9 years ago | (#12213334)

Really? Because I see a huge need in the enterprise arena for some sophisticated permissions in firefox along with a central managemnet application for enterprises who want to deploy firefox. As long as the price is right I think it'd be huge. There are plenty of other things that I can think of that would sell well as additions to firefox's base. And as far as Open Source not being able to make any money... please go tell that to Red Hat and Novell and come back to me when your worth even just 1 thousandth what they are. I hate responding to trolls but sometimes it must be done.
Regards,
Steve

Re:Want to bet? (3, Interesting)

PaxTech (103481) | about 9 years ago | (#12213403)

I agree with you. People need to realize that a lot of enterprise type companies will simply not standardize on any application that lacks real enterprise level support.

Not to say that I agree with that attitude, but it is reality. There has to be someone standing behind the software, so that if some disaster happens, the suit who recommended the app has some CYA ammunition for himself.

Re:Want to bet? (1)

ajs (35943) | about 9 years ago | (#12213360)

"These people will find out the hard way that the types of people that thinks FireFox is just the most absolutely, unbelieveable, best thing EVER, are the same types of people that believe they should get everything for free."

Well, if those are his target customers then anyone could have told hime that he was doomed to failure (and probably would have).

I imagine that that's not at all the target. Instead, if I were him, I'd be targetting the mid-sized corporations that rely on IE now, and are just starting to think about looking for a way out.

very impressive troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213390)

thanks.

There are a number of solutions to that problem (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213524)

Using the GRE to provide licensed plugins to companies that want their particular product integrated with Firefox. Entire XUL apps integrated as plugins or on remote websites with appropriate privilege elevation through imported certs.

Integrated advertising. Hey, it can work. Especially if not overdone.

Support. Yeah, not likely to earn that much here. But could happen. Especially if they are offering maintenance services.

Re:Want to bet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213530)

When are you going to wake up and learn the
rules of the game?

OF COURSE the company won't be around long.
That's the hidden agenda.

Look, these open source guys know a little
coding, and are good at making a big splash.
They can get /. traffic, good vibes, perhaps
even a quote from an open source luminary
if needed.

That's ALL they needed to impress the VCs.
Now that they have first round funding, they
all have jobs. And they get to code, using
someone else's investment money.

Don't worry if they go out of business soon.
THAT'S THE PLAN, DIMWIT! You're analyzing
the problem from some sort of rational,
what's-best-for-society point of view.
Let them burn through the VC cash. They
might even get a second round of VC funding.

The point is they got jobs, and get to give
away the source. That's good for everyone
who isn't rich.

DOOMED TO FAILURE LIKE YUOR FP ATTAEMPTS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213195)

Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213197)

First Post!

Re:Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213225)

You think this [freerepublic.com] web site could handle a slashdotting?

First time first comment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213210)

whohooooo
Maybe they'll add to it a mail component and call it Firezilla.

OSS Zealots Beware! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213212)

This company is out to steal your wares!1!1!!one

Wrong Place to Advertise (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213217)

Uhh... you're posting something about a software company trying to turn a profit... on slashdot?

Let them come (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213230)

I sincerely hope for thousands of browsers in the market so that you have to code for a standard not for a browser.

Re:Let them come (2, Interesting)

afd8856 (700296) | about 9 years ago | (#12213489)

That's very very true.
Unfortunately, being based on Firefox / Gecko, it won't create too much diversity.

On the other hand, being back up by a company, perhaps they will improve it and market it so that it will take a considerable portion of the market, and then the true standards, which the mozilla engine follows, will be respected by web designers.

I don't like that phrase (5, Interesting)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | about 9 years ago | (#12213233)

"'a new crop of products and services that will enhance your Firefox experience.'"

That sounds a lot like Ads and spyware toolbars!
If that happens, I will be returning to IE! ;-)

Re:I don't like that phrase (2, Insightful)

Rhaythe (868600) | about 9 years ago | (#12213486)

Oohhh, bandwagon!! Everyone jump on, quick! There's a buck to be made!

the bubble is back? (4, Insightful)

gimpimp (218741) | about 9 years ago | (#12213243)

is it? it must be if they think browser extensions are going to make money. people aren't going to shell out for things they don't really need.
what's the business plan?

Re:the bubble is back? (4, Insightful)

aesiamun (862627) | about 9 years ago | (#12213361)

people aren't going to shell out for things they don't really need.

Let's see:

Nintendo DS
XBox
PSP
Ferraris
Televisions
Cable TV
Satellite TV
DVRs
Pez
Porn
Music
Movies

is that enough of a list? Do you need more?

Leather jackets
$3000 a month Loft apartments
XM radio
McDonalds
Pot
Cigarettes
Liquor
Gasolin e
Cellular Telephones
Blackberry PDAs
"Teach yourself Anything in 21 days"

Re:the bubble is back? (1)

gimpimp (218741) | about 9 years ago | (#12213492)

you took my comment out of context. they're luxuries, yes. People NEED a browser these days, but they don't need a weather applet built into it, or the choice of n amount of download managers. And if they could get that, they won't pay for it.

They are aiming at the OEM (2, Insightful)

rbanffy (584143) | about 9 years ago | (#12213408)

They must be aiming towards OEMs.

Smaller computer makers, who can't get a good deal with Microsoft, would love to be able to customize the browser well beyond what they can do with IE. They must also be considering selling their stuff to the likes of Linspire, who have no problem with including proprietary extensions with their products.

The end-user is way below their radar.

And, if I were them, I would stay away from that layer.

Re:the bubble is back? (2, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | about 9 years ago | (#12213420)

"people aren't going to shell out for things they don't really need."

Three words: supported, secure browser.

Medium sized companies that have had to purge about 20 rounds of viruses that snuck past firewalls, mail scanners and anti-virus programs (usually via social engineering) are just about as fed up as they'll ever get. They're moving to web-based mailers to avoid Outlook, and they're eyeing Firefox, but FF is just a browser... they want a company they can sink their teeth into. AOL's Netscape browser isn't a core product, and is in the "might be gone tomorrow" camp....

I think these guys have a serious niche, just as Red Hat did, back in the day.

Enterprise Application Platform... (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 9 years ago | (#12213523)

They are probably thinking along the lines of what Internet Explorer really is, an application platform. They will probably be marketing proprietary plug-ins and extensions for Firefox to run enterprise level applications in the browser like IE.

Spyware? (0, Redundant)

Tackhead (54550) | about 9 years ago | (#12213253)

> Round Two planned a corporate launch Monday night with the promise of bringing 'a new crop of products and services that will enhance your Firefox experience. '"

Oh, I get it. It's spyware! No thanks.

not a new version (3, Insightful)

brontus3927 (865730) | about 9 years ago | (#12213270)

I RTFA, and don't see how they are providing a new version of Firefox. They're just providing more extensions for it. Also, I have an issue with reporting "to swipe considerable market share from Microsoft." The link in that sentance links to a page that reports Firefox has 8.3% marketshare. When Firefox reaches 20% I'll call it considerable. But 8.3% is small. Personally, I hope they reach 40%+ with other non-IE browsers taking up enough to knock IE under 50%

Re:not a new version (1)

op12 (830015) | about 9 years ago | (#12213418)

From how I read it, they're not providing more extensions, but new products of their own (that somehow integrate?). As for extensions, they are increasing the resources available to the developers in the way of servers and bandwith and tech support.

Re:not a new version (2, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | about 9 years ago | (#12213490)

8.3% of the market is huge. It's big enough that companies can no longer have an IE only site, that would lock out nearly 10% of their market.

Really, it's past the tipping point now, that critical mass needed to ensure web developers pay attention to it.

Maybe they are following a .com tradition ... (4, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | about 9 years ago | (#12213282)

... or I missed their business model completely.

While I understand that you may base a business on for instance ZOPE [zope.org], here I have trouble to imagine how they want to earn from whom.

In a comment to a German version of the note (at best), someone thought they would later consult with respect to mass migration from IE to FF. Maybe.

CC.

Wow! Three cheers for MSIE!!! (0, Troll)

ChaosMt (84630) | about 9 years ago | (#12213286)

This is the best news they've had in quite a long time.

Point: I don't think there's enough room in the market for competition amongst minor players to be successful. Yet another win for overlords.

Re:Wow! Three cheers for MSIE!!! (1)

ajs (35943) | about 9 years ago | (#12213498)

You could have said the same for Linux, back when Red Hat started shipping CDs.

I think the only likely market for this would be companies who are now using IE and thinking about switching, but wanting a corporate "face". Nifty new features would be a nice selling point, but "we offer Firefox's security and extensibility as a supported product," is really what a lot of small to mid-size companies are looking for right now.

right... so in summary, (2, Informative)

Machine9 (627913) | about 9 years ago | (#12213291)

they want us to pay for extensions that were previously available free of charge.



These include FlashGot, which lets Firefox work with third-party download managers; Bandwidth Tester, which lets people determine their connection speed; and SwitchProxy, which lets people surf anonymously with Firefox by configuring Firefox to work with multiple Web proxy servers



I know I'm not paying for any of those.

Re:right... so in summary, (1)

op12 (830015) | about 9 years ago | (#12213343)

From TFA: While Round Two--formerly known as MozSource--puts the finishing touches on its own products, the company is sponsoring development of several other Firefox extensions.

Round Two is providing developers of these extensions with technical resources including Web servers, bandwidth, project management resources and some financial support.

While the article is quite vague, it doesn't seem like they're making people pay for extensions that were previously free. That's regarding their products. They are just increasing resources for the existing extensions. At least that's how I read it.

Re:right... so in summary, (1)

The-Bus (138060) | about 9 years ago | (#12213379)

I'm not even using any of these. My best estimate is that installing these things will now let you "hear about cool offers" when you visit webpages.

It's 1999 all over again.

Re:right... so in summary, (5, Informative)

David Ziegler (5030) | about 9 years ago | (#12213392)

Right, except you only copied/pasted the part that you wanted to. The quote is actually talking about how they are sponsoring those projects, providing servers, bandwidth, and money.

While Round Two--formerly known as MozSource--puts the finishing touches on its own products, the company is sponsoring development of several other Firefox extensions.

These include FlashGot, which lets Firefox work with third-party download managers; Bandwidth Tester, which lets people determine their connection speed; and SwitchProxy, which lets people surf anonymously with Firefox by configuring Firefox to work with multiple Web proxy servers. Round Two is providing developers of these extensions with technical resources including Web servers, bandwidth, project management resources and some financial support.

(Emphasis mine.) They're also supporting (again, from TFA):

Round Two also said it was supporting StockTicker, TinyURL Creator, Copy Plain Text, Extension Uninstaller, Lorem Ipsum Content Generator, OpenDownload, Open Long URLs, Search Plugins and Secure Password Generator.

They're also developing their own extensions (which presumably you can buy):

As for Round Two's own extensions, Decrem said the company was considering antivirus software to integrate with Firefox.

Now, whether that (and possibly other future products) is useful, sure, let's debate that. But don't read the article and completely misrepresent what's written.

Re:right... so in summary, (0)

cloudmaster (10662) | about 9 years ago | (#12213497)

They're providing hosting for some crappy extensions - the most popular extensions are hosted elsewhere, so it seems - so presumably they'll be the repository for the crap extensions. At least, that's what I got from the article.

IMHO, the only things missing from Firefox are things that don't belong in a browser anyway. Maybe I'm just not a visionary, though...

Re:right... so in summary, (2, Informative)

2*2*53*4127 (874924) | about 9 years ago | (#12213400)

thats what I thought at first... but:

While Round Two--formerly known as MozSource--puts the finishing touches on its own products, the company is sponsoring development of several other Firefox extensions

Funny, the entire article simply doesn't say what this miraculous "must-have companion" is... simply that they are sponsoring several other extensions while we wait with baited breath... worst... journalism... ever...

What are they offering? (1)

Tlosk (761023) | about 9 years ago | (#12213298)

I'll get excited when they say what enhancements they are actually selling. Promises of "something better" don't hold much weight.

Where's the content? (4, Insightful)

DoubleDownOnEleven (690607) | about 9 years ago | (#12213313)

This story has no information about the "product" this "company" will soon be selling. It sounds like a company without any outstanding products attempting to get a little advertising. A search for "round two mozilla" on google doesn't seem to find anything either. What gives?

Initially Funded by Google? (2, Interesting)

rouge86 (608370) | about 9 years ago | (#12213314)

With all the buzz about a Google browser and hiring mozilla developers, is it possible that this startup is funded by Google?

Re:Initially Funded by Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213504)

I hope not, or else this means googles about to start sucking.

a question to the slashdot audience (2, Interesting)

Savatte (111615) | about 9 years ago | (#12213327)

If you were looking for an "enhanced" browsing experience, what would you want?

Perhaps if we post some ideas of what we want, this company could do something useful

personally for me, I'd like a button up in the toolbar that when clicked, opens every link in the current window in a new tab.

Re:a question to the slashdot audience (1)

op12 (830015) | about 9 years ago | (#12213389)

What if you accidentally clicked the button on this page [yahoo.com]?

Run away from the tab explosion!!

Re:a question to the slashdot audience (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 9 years ago | (#12213462)

personally for me, I'd like a button up in the toolbar that when clicked, opens every link in the current window in a new tab.

... or every link in an area defined by Mouse Gestures [mozdev.org]?

CC.

Re:a question to the slashdot audience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213476)

this is an interesting idea. how much are you willing to pay for it?

maybe there are already "bounties" for firefox plugins, but it sounds like a good way to make money. the buyer could determine if the plugin gets released to the community or not

Re:a question to the slashdot audience (1)

bmalia (583394) | about 9 years ago | (#12213483)

That'd be a dangerous button to press while reading slashdot. Let's see here.. *going through tabs* ..goatse...goatse...tubgirl...goatse...

wtf. (1, Interesting)

2*2*53*4127 (874924) | about 9 years ago | (#12213332)

Soooo. Exactly what is "it"... aka the "must-have companion to Firefox" that this company is selling?

Re:wtf. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213526)

Soooo. Exactly what is "it"... aka the "must-have companion to Firefox" that this company is selling?

Naked chicks with large hooters that will come out to your house and dance for you, of course!

Uh yeah (4, Insightful)

Auckerman (223266) | about 9 years ago | (#12213333)

I got on the web when Mosaic was the way to do it. In all that time, I've never bought a single web browser (you could download Netscape for free from their site, yet it was sold in the store). I've never bought a plugin. I've always considered web browsers free. I think most people see the web that way. I don't see how these guys are going to make a profit.

Anything they come up with for Firefox will be copied by the OSS community and offered as a free download.

Good luck

Re:Uh yeah (2, Informative)

cloudmaster (10662) | about 9 years ago | (#12213459)

The in-store version of Netscape included an HTML editor. The browser was always free.

I still run Mosaic on my NeXT machine...

Re:Uh yeah (1)

RailGunner (554645) | about 9 years ago | (#12213527)

Opera is profitable, and they sell their browser (also an ad supported one.)

Opera's biggest money flow is selling the web browser to mobile phone companies, as Opera does a fantastic job of rendering things to a small screen.

Perhaps this is the business model they're going after with Firefox?

Most interesting tidbit is in the last paragraph (4, Interesting)

The-Perl-CD-Bookshel (631252) | about 9 years ago | (#12213354)

The article is very short on information, but there is one tidbit that might shed light on what they are doing:
"As for Round Two's own extensions, Decrem said the company was
considering antivirus software to integrate with Firefox." emphasis mine

With Microsoft expected by many to offer antivirus software for free with windows, could they be beating them to the punch? I know that there are a lot of free antivirus packages (I use AVG myself) but if they can leverage Firefox's large user base then they might be on to something. I personally think that its a bad move to play Microsoft's game, which is effectivly making antivirus software worthless in the market.

Except for enterprise solutions, Symantec and McAffee could be in for a big hit in the personal antivirus protection department. Competition is an engine for innovation, but the most efficient engines for R&D come from within the firms that are actually selling the products and getting the most feeback. Something to think about, perhaps Symantec and Mcafee will continue to innovate and stay ahead of the curve.

Well, now that I opened the can of worms at both ends...proceed

Re:Most interesting tidbit is in the last paragrap (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | about 9 years ago | (#12213452)

That thing about antivirus software caught my eye also.

What I was wondering was: why should a virus scanner be "integrated" with a browser? The only thing I could conceive was that it would scan all downloaded files, but the file system virus scanners have that covered pretty well already (well, except for buffer-overrun-style exploits, but presumably Mozilla will just fix those in the browser).

The other thing about virus protection: there's an enormous effort involved to keep up with new viruses, and the for-profit antivir guys are pretty competitive. They might have a lot of ongoing work just to keep their scanner up with the latest attacks.

The unbeatable punch (0)

eno2001 (527078) | about 9 years ago | (#12213387)

It looks to me like the days of the Microsoft monopoly are at an end. They are quickly losing market share because they made the mistake of thinking that their monopoly status ensures their hold on most computer users. Their IE 7 release is going to be a little too li[tt]le a little too late. And with .Net falling out of favor with most developers (nay, never having gotten favor in the first place)... I believe that the dark clouds for MS approach.

The open source revolution has fired yet another salvo at the hegemony that is MS. Firefox was the the harbinger and now this new approach of treating Firefox as a platform is going to steal the thunder from under MS for sure. Imagine a day when all applications on your PC are Firefox based web services and they work on ALL platforms. The OS no longer matters to the end user since it's just support for the browser platform. And once those apps are ubiquitous, the move to a better platform (like Linux or *BSD) will be easy. When vendors start offering these alternative OSes per-installed and secured, the end user will have cheaper options with better performance. HP has already lead the charge by selling new systems with FreeDOS on them. Why do they do this? So that the end user is free to install whatever OS they want on the box without paying the MS tax.

The end approacheth. I can hear the hooves of the angry peasants as they apprach the gate of Gates' empire with torches and pitchforks. The evil that has gripped the computer world for far too long is surely to be ousted in short order! Victory is at hand!!!

Does anyone know where I can get a good chili dog for lunch in Clevo?

...And prompty crashes and burns (1, Insightful)

Zapraki (737378) | about 9 years ago | (#12213388)

...Upon the realization that shamelessly trying to make a buck by coercing people to pay for something that they can currently get for free is exactly the antithesis of everything the open-source community stands for.

I think it's Round Over for Round Two.

Could expand to other products... (2, Funny)

Rorschach1 (174480) | about 9 years ago | (#12213394)

How about doing the same with the Segway IT?

That way we could all get a Round Two IT.

And the enhancements are ... ? (3, Funny)

drix (4602) | about 9 years ago | (#12213409)

Funny, I couldn't discern any actual product amidst all that vapor :)

a little late for the dot com era (1)

wingsofchai (817999) | about 9 years ago | (#12213412)

hmmm, it would seem they missed the lessons learned from the dot com era.....you can have all the good concepts and ideas your college buddies think are way cool but it doesn't mean you have an effective business plan/model...

Seems like a great way to show support for firefox (1)

neckdeepinspecialsau (756133) | about 9 years ago | (#12213426)

Let's be realistic without financial support firefox would not have the marketshare it has today and some of the added functionality they are mentioning might be fun/useful and worth a few bucks to have. The one that item they mention that was interesting was SwitchProxy but I wonder how long before there are government suits looking into this.

About Bart Decrem (2, Informative)

praseodym (813457) | about 9 years ago | (#12213445)

Bart Decrem was actually one of the founders/maintainers of SpreadFirefox.com. He left a week ago or so.

it's a vapor company (1)

brian6string (469449) | about 9 years ago | (#12213453)

So in the gushy article, they don't even mention a website, or what any of their "products" will/would/could do.

Safe haven for non-geeks? (5, Interesting)

Neoncow (802085) | about 9 years ago | (#12213461)

Intitial reaction on Slashdot: "They're trying to charge for something we already know and love! Oh noes!!"

Somehow, I don't think this product is targetted towards most geeks. It seems to me that they should be aiming at people who are starting to hear about Firefox. People have heard that Firefox is supposed to solve their security problems and introduce new features to make browsing easy. It's supposed to come with all sorts of cool extentions that you can download and customise your browsing experience.

Most of the cool stuff that geeks do with Firefox is free and easy; we install extensions at a whim, customise the security settings, and tweak about:config to our liking. The problem is, most people find these activties confusing and time consuming.

Extensions: Which one do I choose? How do I know which one has bugs? What do I do if it breaks the browser?
Geeks know that you: a) Try them all! b) Read up on some forums for past experince. c) Backup your settyings and do a quick re-istall!
Well, there you go. People think you need to be a super computer genius to do all of those things.

Perhaps this company could be useful as the AOL of the open source community.

All they have to do... (2, Interesting)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | about 9 years ago | (#12213463)

...is get acquired by a large-pocketed firm that sees a demand for Moz coding experience. I mean, come on, do you think Flickr would have survived the next recession on photo sharing? These people are in it to get acquired.

Maybe they are not selling to consumers... (2, Insightful)

cca93014 (466820) | about 9 years ago | (#12213468)

I only skimmed TFA but it could be that they are going to be developing third party XUL apps for other companies.

Like this one [faser.net]. Imagine if AmEx wanted a XUL app for their customers to check their statements etc. etc., but dont want to pay to skill up a dev team to write the XUL app...

Won't work in the community... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213470)

They see an opportunity and they jump. But this ship is already full of community developers giving of their time and talents for free.

And in the end, do we want a non-GPL participator offering features that may end up reflecting poorly on our favorite browser(s). Many FF proselytes are sick of the toolbars and _unique_ IE plugins. Last thing any of us wants to see is another IE

NEED URGENT REPLY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12213472)


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You know what enhances my Firefox experience? (3, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | about 9 years ago | (#12213482)

Not having an added layer or two of bloated advertising crapware between me and my web browsing.

Profit?? (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | about 9 years ago | (#12213484)

So they're going to

Step 1: Take a browser that appeals to tech minded people who don't use the default IE and provide enhancement and "integration" of plug-ins that are already available to said tech-minded people.

Step 2: Keep looking desperately for that "must have" widget that will appeal to "mainstream" Firefox users.

Step 3: They're going to either charge for the browser or put ads in it or collect user info for money?

Step 4: Profit???

I hope they're smarter than I am because this "business model" sounds hopeless to me.

"I'm not paying!" (2, Interesting)

Xarius (691264) | about 9 years ago | (#12213494)

Why is everyone saying "I'm not paying for that". Unless I RTFA wrong, it doesn't say anything about paying. As far as we know, they could just advertise on the site, as they seem to be a *support* place. I know it's not that likely, but it doesn't say anything about charging.

How to make money off of Firefox (5, Insightful)

Jokkey (555838) | about 9 years ago | (#12213535)

Make a corporate-friendly, highly manageable release of Firefox: an MSI installer, so it can be easily deployed via Active Directory; management via Group Policy; default settings that don't make a mess of your roaming profile.

If Round Two did this, I imagine that they could make a decent income from organizations that are tired of IE but want something easier to deploy and maintain than Firefox.

Mozilla bug #74085, comment 113 [mozilla.org] expresses these shortcomings of Firefox better than I did and provides more information on the above issues.

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