Ushering in a new era of compatibility and integration with newer technologies (CSS3, increased W3C Compatibility, better popup blocker, etc.) is what the Mozilla Foundation claims its latest release is about.
Soon Firefox will dump support for the SSL2 protocol, one which was meant to provide security, but is a liability in and of itself…
All these changes… It is more than obvious to someone who hasn’t been hiding in a bomb shelter for the past six months, or enjoying an extended vacation in the Bahamas, that Mozilla is refusing to go down to IE 7, not without a fight.
In the end though, here at NeoSmart, we feel that what they are doing is going in circles and avoiding the real battle. Unfortunately, our good friends at Mozilla do not realize that their fight is not with the Computer Gurus, Techies, Geeks, Wizards, Programmers, etc. but with the average man.
John Doe and Bill Smith could care less about CSS3.. What is it anyway?? What matters is the interface, the availability, and the usability. The former and the latter can technically be piled together; but they are so important that they deserve to be mentioned separately.
The majority of the world (88%) uses Internet Explorer (obviously by Microsoft). The first reason is obvious: it ships with Windows, and its free. But more importantly than that, what it boils down to is: it works. The common man is dictated by the age-old falsehood ‘If its not broken, don’t fix it.’ This cliche has never been more wrong, but just the same, to the people that matter, the bulk of the audience, the filling of the pie; Internet Explorer is getting things done, there is no need to switch.
No need to switch to what? A program that looks like it was made for Windows 95? A program where pages don’t transition smoothly, scrollbars don’t change color, and eye-candy is gone unused??
If Mozilla wants Firefox to be number 1, they have a far way to go. Its not that far actually, nothing that a dozen programmers couldn’t get fixed in a month, but so long as their priorities aren’t straight, a while is no different from forever.
Internet Explorer has long since conquered the home. No PC isn’t without IE from Mac to Windows, its there. Why? Because its impossible to not who Bill Gates is, what he invented, and what browser comes with your computer. Because it ships with Windows, and it gets things done.
With Internet Explorer 7 though, things are starting to change. Microsoft was for a while a PC for Dummies thing, but not anymore. With IE7, new boundaries are being forged, the old ones broken and shattered beyond recognition. IE7 is Microsoft’s response to the growing threat from Mozilla as it takes away the Computer Enthusiasts from Microsoft’s platform. And, from what I have seen as a MS Beta Tester, its quite a comeback.
What does all this mean???
Real simple? It means that until one company buys the other, or Google buys The Mozilla Foundation (or Firefox at the very least), both these browsing giants will continue to evolve and improve, and either way, we will benefit. Until then though, it boils down to the geeks, the fanboys, and everyone else.
The geeks will constantly switch from one to the other, seeking the bleeding-edge, just like those before them searched for the end of the Earth, where everything stopped.
The fanboys will pick one and never switch even years after its death (now might be a good time to point out that Microsoft never really had a fan base, just consumers wishing it didn’t charge so much, while open-source will always have its place in society).
As for everyone else, so long as Microsoft exists and ships IE with Windows, and refuses to ship Firefox with it, the battle will pass right on over their heads.
Me? Well, I have Firefox on a USB drive that use everywhere at work and school. At home I have Internet Explorer 7 which I use for normal browsing, and Firefox for simple RSS reading… What the future holds, I know not.
Looking back, my first post was long.. maybe too long? Feel free to let me know :)
Hopefully in the future posts will be less round about and more explicit…