Whenever I hear about Firefox, I cringe a bit.
Its news lately seem to be only scandal after scandal. If you don't follow the tech news, basically:
- They just ousted their previous CEO and also founder of the organization in the name of tolerance, a concept I'm not sure all people understand. No, not because he was incompetent, but because he was against gay marriage and decided to support this from his private money a few years ago. So it seems tolerance at Mozilla goes as long as you agree with them, and sends the clear message what are your career paths at Mozilla if you don't align correctly with sensitive political issues at hand.
- Another interesting move from Firefox, was the desire to have the initial nine tiles that appear when you initially install Firefox, having sites that would bid to be there the first time when you open Firefox. I don't know the status of it, but a lot of the community went ballistic against it, since apparently would make Mozilla less impartial. It seems better for them apparently, to take money only from Google their main competitor, that at the moment crushes them with their browser Chrome when it comes to usage. Brilliant.
- And last and not least, they actually signed a deal with Adobe to allow DRM videos to be played in the browser. Normal since your competition has it, not normal for some of the open source code purists. As if everyone still uses only open source software. Again, outrage.
They lost the desktop battle to Chrome, and the enterprise world is still into IE.
On mobile it's even bleaker, and they are virtually non existent, since they lost the mobile market to Webkit as well, but this time really-really bad: Safari on the IPod, Chrome and the default WebKit browser on the Android, and even platforms like Cordova that allow publishing web apps as native apps, are rendering with the phone's webview, that is ... WebKit, or IE on Windows Mobile. Opera as well switched to WebKit and V8.
On the server side, node is all the buzz, and Mozilla or IE are not existing.
So, slowly but surely, Mozilla and their Firefox slide into obscurity and instead of fixing their products or strategies they go with random stuff like Firefox OS, dreaming that the future world is a world of web things, and people will switch to their no-real-apps-available platform, ignoring the elephant in the room (the fierce battle between Apple, Samsung and Microsoft into the mobile arena), and somehow in their parallel world aren't able to see that native apps are here to stay.
Yes, Web is becoming more prevalent, but people are not using their browser, and yes many mobile apps are now HTML5+JS powered, but they're not running on the Mozilla's stack, and yes the JS is permeating now even the server side world, but not using the JS engine from Firefox, but rather V8. So this is why all the talk from Mozilla regarding open web, remains just that, talk, talk that fails to materialize into a good product and strategy.
I surely hope, for your sake Mozilla, that you'll prove me wrong with time.