Thursday, August 9, 2007

What Firefox didn't learn from Netscape ... ?

Many of you remember the days when Internet Explorer was 'in planning' at Microsoft and the prominent web browser of the time was Netscape - A commercial, refined version of the Mosaic Browser.

Netscape's refinements and commercial status (you paid for it!) quickly took the lion's share of the market in a very short period of time.

The gang at Microsoft, later, swiftly 'took' the a large chunk of the market (at a rocket pace) by giving away Internet Explorer for free and bundling it with all kinds of Microsoft software. The 'now-infamous' web-standards and browser wars followed for several years.

I can remember several pundits of the time including Robert Seidman (then at IBM with an e-mailed web newsletter) asking the question. "Why doesn't Netscape allow advertising on their homepage?" No doubt, it was one of the biggest financial mistakes of the early commercial Internet.

We did some metrics earlier this week, and Firefox continues to pick-up market-share. During the past 5 weeks, the sites we monitor were averaging 8% of users logging in using Firefox. (Compared to about 2% for Apple's Safari - a fairly constant number).

That is a more-than-respectable number, and up 2% from the last time we checked about six months ago.

As a non-profit (with a separate commercial entity), The Mozilla gang no doubt can use a few extra bucks to accomplish their 'manifesto'.

There are many vehicles, according to what we can see, to allow income front the download page. Is is politics? Is it a 'promise' by Mozilla to a major contributor?.

Regardless, it simply doesn't make sense to us that there aren't a few 'paid supporters' right there on the primary download page. No doubt, numerous major companies would 'donate' to be there.

We will be opening the blog to comments after the test period and redesign next month. We'd like to know what you think, or, if anyone has the REAL answer.

Sidenote: For those of you that have a 'beta box' , be sure and check out Apple's Beta 3 of Safari FOR WINDOWS. It's a great way to see how you look on Safari and, at least here, Beta 3 seems to have gotten rid of the lock-up and video bugs (not to mention, it's FAST!). It right there at

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