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Marketing Mozilla

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-thought-better-sold-itself dept.

263

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

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How about the free software aspect? (2, Insightful)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006479)

It sure gives me the warm fuzzies, mabye the warmth could spill over a little to others too.

Re:How about the free software aspect? (3, Interesting)

4solarisinfo (941037) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006557)

I'm guessing people don't care about the 'free' aspect of it, because nobody is used to paying (directly) for Internet Explorer, Netscape, AOL's keywords or anything else that mainstream public use to find their way around the inter-web.

How about... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006680)

How about a new slashdot poll?!

Re:How about the free software aspect? (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006720)

I'm guessing people don't care about the 'free' aspect of it, because nobody is used to paying (directly) for Internet Explorer, Netscape, AOL's keywords or anything else that mainstream public use to find their way around the inter-web.
I wasn't referring to price!

Re:How about the free software aspect? (5, Insightful)

4solarisinfo (941037) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006786)

People who care about open source are already using it - if you want MORE people to adopt it, you need a better reason, or education programs, because the average user dosen't care.

Re:How about the free software aspect? (2, Interesting)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006930)

People who care about open source are already using it
Only if they know it exists. I think most people don't.

Keep Mozilla Simple (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006485)

Seth Godin, author of several books on the Internet, including Small Is the New Big, says Mozilla needs to incorporate tools like tagging or building tools like a link to eBay's Skype calling service that will help keep friends connected.
Wow, that sounds like a great plug-in. I cannot wait for other people to start using that. That should be right down some of my friend's alleys. Some of my other friends, I couldn't even show them how to use StumbleUpon [mozilla.org] or the GMail Manager [mozilla.org] . Keep it simple for the people like my parents, please.
Mozilla isn't giving many details on the soon-to-be-launched Firefox 2, but Dotzler says there will be new features not found in current browsers.
Once again, I look forward to these plug-ins. And let's hope they're either plug-ins or disabled upon installation. You see, something that makes plane jane Mozilla so amazing is that it doesn't come as a bloated application waiting to error. More complicated programs suffer more memory and more bugs. I don't want my Mozilla to have a bazillion functions, keep it simple or you'll lose me as a fanboy.

Re:Keep Mozilla Simple (2, Interesting)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006555)

Amen...

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

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

IF you want to market to the computer illiterate public you need to tell them about all the neat stuff you can do to justify taking the risk of downloading something (it's funny users will download spyware at the drop of a hat but get nervous around legit software). Firefox is fine the ay it is but it's biggest selling point is that it is a plain jane browser that can be customised... and that isn't very sexy.

Re:Keep Mozilla Simple (5, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006664)

Firefox is fine the ay it is but it's biggest selling point is that it is a plain jane browser that can be customised... and that isn't very sexy.

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

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

The trouble with this is that they effectively killed off the original Mozilla suite because it was getting too bloated, and hence Firefox was born. Now it seems they want to add new cruft into Firefox. I guess it all goes to show that the one thing we learn from history is that nobody ever learns anything from history.

Re:Keep Mozilla Simple (4, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006599)

I'll agree with you, except that the largest portion of the market isn't going to enable those functions, or go through the bother of downloading and installing extensions. They'll end up thinking that FF is inferior only because they don't have the ability or knowledge to take full advantage of what it has to offer.

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

Re:Keep Mozilla Simple (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 8 years ago | (#16007027)

You know, that's not a bad idea. I took a small business class back in the Stone Age. One case study that we did of a small print company did exactly that; moved from a default display type with an intimidating array of options to a half-dozen or so basic layouts with limited options for each. Their business tripled overnight because people could get a much better feel for the benefits of each layout.

While this isn't exactly a perfect analogy, I think that it's close enough to at least consider. For example, how about FF with AdBlock and NoScript as one package? Now, /there's/ a winning combination! :)

Re:Keep Mozilla Simple (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 8 years ago | (#16007029)

They'll end up thinking that FF is inferior only because they don't have the ability or knowledge to take full advantage of what it has to offer.


Good for them! What makes you think that group of people ever stopped using MS IE?

Why not offer a few different builds with pre-installed extensions so that Mom & Pop can just download a version with the features they want?
That can be done. It just doesn't need to be part of the browser. At www.getfirefox.com you could get the browser and then "related downloads" "other people are downloading this...". Just add a big ZIP file with a bunch of plugins and there you go. No need to fix something that's working just for the sake of competing with IE7. It's not like the growing number of Linux users will suddenly start using IE7 like crazy.

Re:Keep Mozilla Simple (1)

denebian devil (944045) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006709)

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

If they could just fix up their RSS support so that quotation marks, question marks, and ampersands showed up properly rather than in html code in my /. RSS bookmark, I'd be happy.

Re:Keep Mozilla Simple (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006811)

Small Is the New Big

-snip-

Wow, that sounds like a great plug-in.

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

-Eric

Re:Keep Mozilla Simple (1)

solafide (845228) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006837)

You see, something that makes plane jane Mozilla so amazing is that it doesn't come as a bloated application waiting to error.

Indeed "plain jane" Seamonkey is amazing that it doesn't come as a bloated app. But I think you meant plain jane Firefox. Since when has Firefox not taken up as much memory as it can? Firefox not bloated? Ha.

Re:Keep Mozilla Simple (5, Insightful)

Dikeman (620856) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006888)

I agree,

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

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

That would make my parents happy, I'll tell you.

Re:Keep Mozilla Simple (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006960)

keep it simple or you'll lose me as a fanboy.

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

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

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

Two things (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006492)

1) Speed

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

2) Greasemonkey

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

On the other hand, Firefox still uses up memory like it's got some birthright to as much as it can horde. And it doesn't have as large a viewing area as IE 7.

No Greasemonkey, what about Trixie? (1)

grandmofftarkin (49366) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006513)

What about Trixie [bhelpuri.net] .

I'm sold! (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006539)

I'm switching RIGHT NOW!

j/k

Re:Two things (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006553)

I've not used IE7, but I did use FF2b1, and it too was unsuably slow. I appreciate that optimisations haven't been put in place, it's compiled with debug symbols, etc, but it was slow enough (on a 3GHz P4 with 2gig of RAM) that I simply couldn't use it.

Re:Two things (1)

ArcticFlood (863255) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006595)

When I used to use Firefox nightlies from the trunk, it used absolutely tons of memory. I had it up to 1.3gb (no flash, no Java) in a few hours on my box with 512mb of memory. The amazing thing is that it still was responsive enough to use.

I realize that FF2 has different code in some places, but I can't imagine it being unusably slow on a computer faster than mine.

Re:Two things (3, Funny)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006675)

Slow? Sounds like you were using it wrong. Maybe you were pushing the buttons too hard.

Re:Two things (0)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006694)

His trucks were probably overloaded.

Re:Two things (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006726)

On the other hand, Firefox still uses up memory like it's got some birthright to as much as it can horde. And it doesn't have as large a viewing area as IE 7.



That's it! You hit the nail. Because only 10% of the real world people are zealots. I am a firefox fanboy (I admit it) and I use it whenever I have chance, with or without extension, because it is open source. I have been using it from when it was firebird. And since then I have seen all of my friends first start using it, and then change to either Netscape, or Opera, or back to Internet Explorer.



And the reason is simple: Firefox takes too much memory. Currently I am using Firefox 2.0beta1, on a 256 mb ram computer and every now and then it HANGS! You read it correct, and I then have to xkill and restart it. Right now I am running it from sshing to a 2gb ram computer. Then there are cache issues. Every now and then it starts to crawl and my harddisk starts to roar for about 5 mintues and then everything is back to normal.



What Firefox needs is to save its base. If it is better, and it has got fanboys to promote it, it will eventually catch up. Afterall, not everyone in the world will become a fanboy

Re:Two things (0, Troll)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006738)

Currently I am using Firefox 2.0beta1, on a 256 mb ram computer and every now and then it HANGS! You read it correct, and I then have to xkill and restart it.

Oops!

Currently I am using Firefox 2.0beta1. On a 256 mb ram computer and every now and then it HANGS! You read it correct, and I then have to xkill and restart it

Re:Two things (1)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 8 years ago | (#16007012)

What do you mean by viewing area? Do you know that you can move the buttons around and/or turn off bars you don't want on there?

Just get it pre-installed at dell/compaq/HP/etc (5, Insightful)

Blahbooboo3 (874492) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006494)

It just needs to be installed with an icon on the desktop at a major computer manufacturer. HP, Dell, Compaq, whatever... All that other stuff is fluff/bloat. Users are not going to install Firefox to find out what it is unless they are either a nerd or have a nerd friend who puts it on.

Re:Just get it pre-installed at dell/compaq/HP/etc (2)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006604)

You are exactly correct. Most users (the 90% who don't currently run Firefox, or something close to it) simply don't download much (at least on purpose) - especially replacements for existing stuff they already have. And to do so from some guys they never heard of named (scarily) 'Mozilla' goes against their better judgement. There are just too many reasons for them to stick with what came with their machines. After all, if this Firefox thing was better, then HP/Dell/Gateway/Lenovo would have put it on their machines in the first place, right? And nevermind the fact that many don't even have broadband, so even as svelt as Firefox is, it's a major commitment of time for dialup folks.

A Browser Suite (1)

Sub Zero 992 (947972) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006499)

Yes Sirree, a browser Suite is what we need.

We need a web authoring tool, integrated email and istant messenger clients. This is the way forward, the Firefox team just needs to ignore every lesson learnt in the Netscape vs. IE war.

Re:A Browser Suite (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006540)

You mean like Seamonkey? [mozilla.org]

Re:A Browser Suite (1)

Sub Zero 992 (947972) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006550)

Yes. Next time I'll apply the sarcasm in thicker layers.

Net Subtility (1)

doudou42 (691076) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006660)

Yes, always...
In term of electronic discussion, the more, the better...
Whenever you try something subtil (and sometimes not so subtil) either other will miss the point or misunderstand...

[joke]Why not try to tag your post ?[/joke]

Marketing efforts (1, Offtopic)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006501)

I still can't believe that God awful advert won the contest when the clear winner was Weeeee! [firefoxflicks.com]

Re:Marketing efforts (0)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006762)

thanks for that, i nearly died laughing, and i'm at work.

Wasn't firefox designed as the simple mozilla? (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006502)

The mozilla suite was replaced by discrete components because thats what people wanted - AND ITS WORKED.

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

Re:Wasn't firefox designed as the simple mozilla? (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006590)

That's exactly what they're doing, using he KISSASS principle. (Allow Separable Stuff)

Re:Wasn't firefox designed as the simple mozilla? (1)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006610)

Seconded!

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

Leave the extra bling to extensions, which is the whole point of extensions.

Re:Wasn't firefox designed as the simple mozilla? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006638)

One thing I would like to see is all of the XPCOM/NPR stuff separated out into a separate installer so you didn't have to download a big lump of libraries used by FireFox and Thunderbird twice if you used both. When you went to download FireFox, you would then get the option of 'FireFox - Stand Alone' or 'FireFox - I already have Thunderbird version n or later.' This would be great for people on a modem. Downloading FireFox and Thunderbird on my mother's computer took a really, really long time.

Re:Wasn't firefox designed as the simple mozilla? (1)

recordMyRides (995726) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006663)

But occaisionally when you combine, say, a camera and a cell phone, the combination is more useful than either device alone. More importantly, you make something that everyone wants to own. I would assume that this is the goal of the firefox devs, not creating bloatware.

Re:Wasn't firefox designed as the simple mozilla? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006678)

The mozilla suite was replaced by discrete components because thats what people wanted - AND ITS WORKED.

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


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

On the application side, I got the impression that at least some software grows with the user base. Over time the capabilities grow but so has the userbase skill. At the same time it's also gotten a lot harder to "get into", sikmply because there are so many more and powerful options. Then they fork off a new, simplified version for beginners.

The third thing is that minimalism isn't always KISS. If you just download, install and surf Firefox isn't a very good browser IMO. If you have the time and/or interest to find good extensions, then yes. Most people have neither. And the browser you like probably only exists on your machine - find another computer with Firefox and it's completely different. I realize that I'm in a minority but for me to switch to Firefox, I want more included functionality - until then Opera does 95% of the job in 5% of the setup time.

Re:Wasn't firefox designed as the simple mozilla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006771)

use the KISS principle

Hey, that has some merit. Following in the footsteps of the band KISS [kissmuseum.com] , make as much ludicrous and utterly irrelevant Firefox merchandise as possible. Bowling balls, lollipops, condoms, even a coffin [archive.org] ... let's saturate this market baby!

Re:Wasn't firefox designed as the simple mozilla? (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006976)


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

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

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

Um (2, Insightful)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006508)

Seth Godin, author of several books on the Internet, including Small Is the New Big, says Mozilla needs to incorporate tools like tagging or building tools like a link to eBay's Skype calling service that will help keep friends connected.

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

Re:Um (1)

DaBigEnchilada (931242) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006616)

This was my initial thought when reading the headline. If the "problem" with FireFox is that it doesn't incorporate enough social, "web 2.0" tools, then by the author's reasoning Flock should have a sizeable chunk of the browser market by now. (I actually don't know how Flock reports its User-Agent in HTTP headers, does it display the same FireFox?). Regardless, I agree with jalefkowit that this is probably not the solution. In fact, most firefox users like the slim-downed browser that gets better with whatever extensions they want. The power isn't that it comes with all these tools, its that you can put them in if you want.
More likely (if there is really large market out there for such a product), Mozilla (or any third-party really) could provide a firefox bundle that includes many social extensions pre-installed and generally-configured.

Bloatware? (2, Insightful)

mdboyd (969169) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006511)

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

I think if Mozilla convinced more IT Managers that it is the browser that their users ought to be using, IT Departments everywhere begin to set Firefox as the default browser on all of their computers and more people start realizing the benefits of Firefox.

Re:Bloatware? (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006565)

It uses enough memory right now to where if it already isn't bloatware, my PC would crawl on its knees and beg for mercy if it ever was "truly" bloatware.

Re:Bloatware? (2, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006619)

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

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

Maybe people should look at things like Flash, Shockwave and extensions for memory leaks rather than complaining it is the browser which is the issue.

Re:Bloatware? (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006642)

I've used it on Win2k and XP both - same results. 1GB of RAM and the thing starts gobbling up memory like like Pacman going for power pellets. Any web page you hit that uses flash or java applets and the CPU fan goes into vacuum cleaner mode and memory consumption goes through the roof.

Re:Bloatware? (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006878)

Any web page you hit that uses flash or java applets


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

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

Re:Bloatware? (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006943)

Maybe its Firefox's use of those components (or inability to use those components). I do not have the same issues with other browsers - only Firefox. Even IE seems to handle those cases better. Maybe if web developers would just stick to standardized html and css instead of using flash or java we wouldn't even have these issues.

Re:Bloatware? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006742)

Indeed. This machine I'm using right now is a P4 with only 256MB of RAM, and although I typically have an OpenOffice session, along with Thunderbird, a few xterms, skype and assorted other applications, I never have problems with Firefox blowing out.

Sure, some of those other apps swap out from time to time, but that's what VM is for.

Uhm (2, Informative)

taskforce (866056) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006512)

Mozilla isn't giving many details on the soon-to-be-launched Firefox 2, but Dotzler says there will be new features not found in current browsers.'" Is it just me, or has there been an RC out for FF2 for a while now? And we even have a FF3 alpha, Minefield?

Re:Uhm (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006602)

Firefox 2 Beta 1 [betanews.com] . They're taking their time on a beta 2 though...

Re:Uhm (1)

MrDrBob (851356) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006788)

I can't see why they should have to give details out. If you want to find out what's in the browser, download a nightly build, or one of the milestone nightlies, as suggested by parent.

It should NOT evolve into more that just a browser (5, Insightful)

Gotung (571984) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006529)

That is what happend to Netscape and turned it into a bloated steaming pile that opened the door for Internet Explorer to gobble up all the marketshare in the first place. Please keep it what it is: a simple, elegant, feature-rich BROWSER.

Re:It should NOT evolve into more that just a brow (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006829)

While a free, fast web browser is beautiful, consider:

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

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

Not to besmirch the fine efforts of people smarter than me, but I lack the attention span and patience required for the aforementioned smattering of technologies.

I have a better idea (3, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006532)

Make it 100% compatible with current standards, uncrashable, give it a much MUCH smaller memory footprint, integrate it with the main OSes (a skin does not integration make), make it fast in rendering. And please work WITH the community: most Linux distros are based on a package manager and don't like software to go all upgrade happy on itself every two days.
That would make it worth using again. After a promising start, it got worse and worse with every release.
But instead, they are focusing on marketing techniques and gimmicks in order to spread the fox. It would be cool to have a good, not a well marketed, browser. Besides, do they really think they're in MS's league when it comes to marketing software?

Don't tell apple... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006534)

that 10% ins't mainstream.

Hmmm. (2, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006535)

All I have to say is don't start bundling it with a bunch of crap or loading it with a bunch of extra "features" that hardly anyone will use. It just makes everything clunkier and more difficult to find the settings/controls you're looking for.

Firefox appealed to me because of simplicity with the option of adding things that I wanted. IE7 is a clunky piece of trash...it looks like sh*t and I can't stand it. Keep it simple for the n00bs, the l337 h@x0rz can use extensions.

Who are they hiding the features from? (4, Insightful)

gsasha (550394) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006538)

Mozilla isn't giving many details on the soon-to-be-launched Firefox 2, but Dotzler says there will be new features not found in current browsers.
It's certainly not from the competitors - since it's still an open source project, Microsoft can get the latest development version, build it and see what new features are there for them to copy. However, we the ordinary users, who don't have time to hunt down the changelog, could use some excitement for the upcoming major release.

Re:Who are they hiding the features from? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006569)

Actually, every open source project can have private features.
I myself have created some new features to firefox/other OSS projects * which would blow you away - you will only ever see them if I decide to release them.

Remember, the GPL says that you must share the code once you start distributing the software (granted most projects have public dev branches, but its only open once the code is remerged with the branch).

* I haven't actually, but its easy enough to do, just download a branch and then let the monkeys play with it for a while (you do have a squad of monkeys waiting for such things don't you?)

Re:Who are they hiding the features from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006622)


yEAH but where's the fun of it?
Developing code that doesn't get distributed to the rest of the world is like having sex with Jessica Alba and not be able to tell everybody about it!

Re:Who are they hiding the features from? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006751)

Developing code that doesn't get distributed to the rest of the world is like having sex with Jessica Alba and not be able to tell everybody about it!

I would gladly not tell anyone if that was a stipulation for having sex with Jessica Alba. And believe me, it would be WAY better than developing any sort of code.

Re:Who are they hiding the features from? (5, Informative)

Excors (807434) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006883)

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

From the release notes:

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

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

development in the dark? (2, Informative)

harr2969 (105745) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006547)

"Mozilla isn't giving many details on the soon-to-be-launched Firefox 2"

Can the author really not realize this is an open-source project and that the developers make it a point to open this project up? This link demonstrates the beauty of open source projects -- here is as much (probably more) as you want to know about the development work.

http://developer.mozilla.org/ [mozilla.org]

KISS (-1, Redundant)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006554)

PLEASE no feature creep, Mozilla! Keep it thin and light and extend optionally with extensions.

Firefox doesn't need huge market share (1)

ribuck (943217) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006571)

Provided I can use Firefox and gain its benefits, I don't care whether others use FF or IE.

Provided the Firefox share is high enough that webmasters will make their sites work with it, I don't see the point of bloating FF in an attempt to gain even higher market share.

Re:Firefox doesn't need huge market share (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006624)

You do care, because if 99% of the surfers used IE, it would be more proabable that pages were designed for IE, disregarding standards.

Re:Firefox doesn't need huge market share (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006877)

Nice readiing comprehension, Chachi.

In the words of Anakin.... (4, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006584)

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

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

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

I don't know why IE can't replicate this, but still IE takes forever to render some pages long after Firefox is done loading. But that nimbleness is precisely what keeps me with Firefox. Start loading it with everything including the kitchen sink, and I personally will find the next, simpler browser.

Re:In the words of Anakin.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006658)

This is one of the things that completely fscked up Netscape Navigator back in the day.

WTF is so wrong with a browser that does its job extremely well? Isn't that what we have with Firefox?

Can we get them not to dick around with it? How?

Stripped down version of Firefox (2)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006605)

Firefox may need to evolve into more than just a browser. Seth Godin, author of several books on the Internet, including Small Is the New Big, says Mozilla needs to incorporate tools like tagging or building tools like a link to eBay's Skype calling service that will help keep friends connected.

Anyone else wishing someone would create a stripped down version of Firefox optimized for speed, without all the crud? They could call it something like Phoenix, or even Firebird, to distinguish it from Firefox.

Re:Stripped down version of Firefox (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006707)

Anyone else wishing someone would create a stripped down version of Firefox optimized for speed, without all the crud?

And go round and round and round in the circle game.

They could call it something like Phoenix, or even Firebird, to distinguish it from Firefox.

How about combining the two this time and calling it Phord; that might throw Pontiac off the scent.

KFG

Marketshare and open source? (1)

RasendeRutje (829555) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006612)

Since when is gaining market share an objective of open source projects like Mozilla? In other words: Who gains anything by increasing the Mozilla marketshare? Personally I don't give a f#$% what browser other people use, although I advise Firefox to anyone... As long as M$IE is around (as a non standards compiant browser), webdevelopers keep on spilling time working around annoyances.

Re:Marketshare and open source? (2)

pascalc (856700) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006723)

The Mozilla project is about preserving choice and innovation on the internet, making a browser like Firefox now or mozilla suite in the past is just a tool to reach this objective.

In other words, the mozilla project exists so as to prevent Microsoft from having such a monopoly on the web that the web becomes an extension of windows and becomes inaccessible to other OSes like Linux or MacOS, that would result in merely killing the web and rename it MSN.

When gecko was under 2% market share, Windows only sites were flourishing, even government sites where only accesible with IE and basically, surfing the web for joe user was painful if he didn't use IE.

Market share is key to make sure that the web becomes again what it was meant to be, an interopable network where information could be accessed and modified whatever your OS / browser, as long as it follows a certain set of web standards.

Having worked a lot on Mozilla Tech Evangelism in my country I can tell you the difference when we had 1% market share and when we now have 20% :

2002 : Big banking/government site IE only, blocks access from Gecko browser. I contact them and get almost insulted by the webmaster explaining me that they fdon't give a shit about my crappy linux browser and that I am basically an idiot for not accepting that the web is IE/windows only

2006 : Big banking/government site contacts *ME* to tell me that they want to be fully W3C compliant, that their site is now fully compatible with Firefox.

That, is the difference when you have significant market share, and in all countries where firefox/gecko has very significant market share (especially in Europe), the web is way better for all alternative browsers, while in countries where we have little market share (latin-America for instance), most of the big websites are still half broken in anything else than IE.

Here's the actual new feature list (1)

harr2969 (105745) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006636)

http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Firefox_2_for _developers [mozilla.org]

New features for end users

Firefox 2 provides the same clean, streamlined, interface as previous versions, with small improvements to make it easier to use. In addition, it includes improved security features and useful tools to make the Internet experience safer, faster, and better than ever before.

User experience

        * Inline spell checking for text areas lets you compose with confidence in web forms.
        * Microsummaries provide a way to create bookmarks that display information pulled from the site they refer to, updated automatically. Great for stock tickers, auction monitoring, and so forth.
        * Extension Manager user interface has been enhanced.
        * Search engine manager lets you rearrange and remove search engines shown in the search bar.
        * Tabbed browsing enhancements include adding close buttons to each tab, adjustments to how Firefox decides which tab to bring you to when you close the current tab, and simplified preferences for tabs.
        * Autodetection of search engines allows search engines that offer plugins for the Firefox search bar to offer to install their plugins for you.
        * Search suggestions allow search engines to offer suggested search terms based on what you've typed so far in the search bar.

Security and privacy

        * Anti-phishing feature to warn users when the web site you're looking at appears to be a forgery.

Pre-bundled extensions (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006643)

Seth Godin, author of several books on the Internet, including Small Is the New Big, says Mozilla needs to incorporate tools like tagging or building tools like a link to eBay's Skype calling service that will help keep friends connected.

Or maybe not.

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

However, these pieces of functionality are all generic and are of benefit to everyone. I simply cannot see how spell checkers, tagging, blogging or skype can be of interest to the masses (they certainly are of little interest to me - even though I may need the spell checker from time to time).

In order to keep everyone happy, I'd suggest an option in the installer which provides you with 5 or so top extensions (already pre-ticked, with an option to deselect all) and if you continue with them enabled then firefox will automatically download and install them for you.

Not only do you keep the "I want no extensions" purists happy, but you keep those people (like me) who can't help feeling that Firefox should do a little more out of the box than it currently does.

Re:Pre-bundled extensions (1)

EdZep (114198) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006991)

This popular extension checkbox idea sounds pretty good. I will say, there are several filtering options besides Adblock. I've been pleased with a decent hosts file http://everythingisnt.com/hosts.html [everythingisnt.com] and Flashblock. In the past, have enjoyed Proxomitron. There are probably good Greasemonkey scripts, etc.

>>> In order to keep everyone happy, I'd suggest an option in the installer which provides you with 5 or so top extensions (already pre-ticked, with an option to deselect all) and if you continue with them enabled then firefox will automatically download and install them for you.

Mozilla is opensource (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006649)

Mozilla browsers are opensource, and as such can never be hijacked by any one company to change what standards they support, in order to try and extinguish or majorly harm opposition. That fact alone is a great reason to use eg. Firefox over anything else, as long as it's a good functional browser (which it is). If *ONLY* the general public could be made to understand that...

The Future Yet to Come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006659)

I agree with what people say about Firefox in that it should be kept simple and use extensions to increase the versatility as a browser.
        Team this with Googles attempts at browswer based applications, and you have a formula for a BIOS Browser based OSless system.
        That it is the kick in the hiney Microsoft wants to avoid. Lets look at it:

          Mozilla Firefox:
                  Browser, extensions; Chat, VOIP, games and a super amount of incredible extensions you can't name inone post.

          Google:
                  Search, Mail, Video, Chat, and recent;y a good try at the Office Suite of programs.

All browser based. I see the future coming, and for 80% of the people, if we can educate them, does not involve Microsoft, or any monopolistic, agressive companies.

Pete

The new FireFox 2 Marketing Slogan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006662)

"Firefox 2 - Now that 1GB of RAM is the acceptable minimum, you might be able to run this for more than an hour!"

Bet it's more than 10% these days (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006666)

Although it probably depends on market segment, my site shows 32.4% Firefox in the last month.

Re:Bet it's more than 10% these days (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006840)

I bet it does, CmdrTaco.

How bout we just stick to web browsing??? (2, Insightful)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006667)

Firefox is a Web Browser. That's it. Nothing all that special. However, if you start to branch out and throw lots of untested software into this massive jumble of code, it's going to get slow, buggy, and will once again be relegated to the back burner. I would think that this team would realize this above almost everything else.

Check the team... (0, Troll)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006797)

...there's an awful lot of people paid by big companies, like google, now... Whenever they make a stupid change (like making user tracking easier with the "ping" non-standard attribute, for example), they swear it's got nothing to do with that... The team might originally have been about a sleek, standard-conformant browser, but, looking at their current behavior, I'd say they're all about market-share and being "accepted" (by incorporating their every wish) by the big companies (that happen to pay them heftily). "Corporate sellouts" by the book. You want a free browser following the UNIX philosophy? You'll probably have to write it yourself (Unless Konqueror or Links suit you)...

does anyone remember the (1)

bangenge (514660) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006669)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_philosophy [wikipedia.org] unix philosphy? i guess the first part went something like: Write programs that do one thing and do it well. i hope this doesn't turn firefox into a bloat-laden, ad-infested piece of crap.

but i don't oppose someone coming up with a "firefox suite" where other features of the browser are handled by extensions, not by the browser itself. as it is, i really like the way firefox is being handled.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006672)


Mozilla isn't giving many details on the soon-to-be-launched Firefox 2, but Dotzler says there will be new features not found in current browsers.

Are they keeping these details under wrap? Isn't this open source software?

bah (1)

An0maly (448481) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006684)

The original appeal of firefox was that it was small and fast because there was no extra crap in it. why would we go back to the original mozilla suite that was bloated and horribly slow?

Keep it the way it is... but... (1)

dcdomain (809293) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006739)

But it will never compete in the corporate environment. Not in mine anyway. I'm having a hell of a time convincing the Help Desk to install it on all the machines. 90% of the firm is still using IE, only a select few including I have adopted FF. Reasoning? Supporting FireFox when connecting to various intranet applications STILL isn't supported? For FireFox to take hold, they would have to recode the majority of their applications. And while Exchange over the web works fine in FF, it really does work better with IE, guess the proprietary crap does lend IE the advantage there. In the end, I'll still use IE for some of the work related functions, but by keeping FF the way it is currently, I'll remain a huge fan and use it for EVERYTHING else.

Re:Keep it the way it is... but... (2, Informative)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006936)

So tell them to use the IETab (http://ietab.mozdev.org/) extension. They can set it to use IE just for the intranet sites, and Firefox for everything else. Seamlessly.

Make a "Secure Internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006791)

CD.

Put Firefox, Firebird, AVG Free, Ad-WARE, etc... (or whatever. Other than Fire*, the exact programs are irrelevant).

Actually charge more than the media - I know sacrilege here on /., but most folks have the impression that you get what you pay for. Plus the "extra" money can be used to fund developmnt.

Now, the free advertising: press releases, articles written for IT magazines AND small business magazines and any other place that you can think of.

Oh No (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006798)

By all means provide better functionality through plug-ins, by all means offer the browser with an optional bundle of plug-ins... but DO NOT integrate all these things into the browser, or only supply Firefox bundled with everything including the kitchen sink.

Almost everyone I know who uses Firefox does so because it's relatively lightweight, a good quality browser and can be extended through plug-ins they can choose to install. Firefox was supposed to be about simplicity - a usable web browser without the fluff, bloat, padding of other browsers like IE or even the Mozilla suite. When you take that away, you remove the reason why people choose Firefox.

Congratulations - if Firefox starts heading in the direction outlined, you've just lost your core market.

Want to know how to get Firefox out to a bigger audience? Get PC manufacturers to bundle Firefox with their Windows installs. Get major websites that write IE-only sites to support Firefox. Good luck with those ones...

For the life of me... (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006830)

I could never understand why it's so important for an OPEN SOURCE project to haver more.. and more.. and more.. and f**** unlimited more user base. For christ sake , it's a program not a religion (or is it?) Use it and let others use whatever they want.

I have a freeware application and I really freaking don't care who is using it.

KISS (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006836)

I've installed Firefox on about 1500 computers over the last two years. Why? I was a long time user of Opera becuase of it's flexibility and customizability. When I discovered Firefox extensions, I made the switch, and started switching my customers. Keep the browser nimble but highly customizable or I will switch again.

A "special" video? (2, Funny)

saboola (655522) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006862)

"Accidentally" leak a video of mozilla doing the nasty on the internet and it will become an overnight household name. Worked for Paris Hilton.

Firefox and usemap (2, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006894)

I'll consider using Firefox again once the developers stop marking bugs [mozilla.org] as INVALID, despite the exhibited behavior going against the standard [w3.org] . Particularly since it works correctly in the other [microsoft.com] major [opera.com] browsers [apple.com] .

Until then, I'll stick with Opera, thanks.

Slogan (1)

jrmiller84 (927224) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006900)

Mozilla's new marketing slogan:

At least we're not Microsoft.

It needs a new name for all the new features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006990)

Firefox may need to evolve into more than just a browser
It'll need a new name. Since it's going to have a suit of features, how about...
The Mozilla Suit?

Obsession with Market Share Growth (1)

tabdelgawad (590061) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006992)

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

At some point, I was somewhat surprised that Mozilla made a good amount of money from its search box, and it may make sense for them to seek greater market share for that reason. If that is the case, more power to them, but let's be aware of motivations.
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