A blog for the enterprise open source community
Firefox gets record, but what about real prize?Jay Lyman, July 3, 2008 @ 2:57 pm ET
Score one for open source software in the history and record books. Mozilla announced its Firefox open source Web browser set a Guinness World Record for number of downloads in a day, notching more than eight million downloads in 24 hours June 17-18, 2008. The day also marked the release of Firefox 3, the latest version of the browser that has steadily built its user base up from a fraction of the browser market to a solid, near 20% share today.
There were a few hiccups during Firefox’s so-called Download Day, a PR stunt that could have easily been dubbed Delay Day by those undable to obtain the latest version. I think it’s interesting that even in this day and age, even when you are geared up for spikes and infrastructure is far more flexible and agile, there’s still downtime with the rush. Nevertheless, it successfully drew attention to Firefox and more importantly, the browser has been praised for its security and appeal to many users.
However, Mozilla has also been questioned for not focusing more on the enterprise opportunities for Firefox. Given its security, flexibility and customization advantages, I see Firefox as a perfect fit for enterprises, and I’m aware of several vendors and companies in tech and other industries that encourage or enforce use of Firefox. However, Mozilla seems content to allow consumer and home use to seep into the enterprise.
I believe it is wise for Mozilla to focus on user features and innovations, to look to advertising for its revenue and to refrain from enterprise sales departments and staff. However, the company should be doing all it can to provide the features and functionality that will ease Firefox use in the enteprise. This is a matter of both perception (‘That browser isn’t made for use in our business, is it?) and reality (I can’t push proxy settings across numerous installs), but they are issues that can be addresssed by the involvement, speed and variety of open source software development.
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