Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where should Mozilla go from here?

Five years into Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation’s plans seem mainly geared to an aggressive release schedule, so that the browser can compete with Google Chrome.

There is irony here, because the bulk of Mozilla’s income comes from Google, in the form of royalties on the Google search box which sits on the upper-right corner of the program’s interface.

Thus we have a browser created to stop the Microsoft monopoly pushing what some say is the next dangerous monopoly, that of Google.

Firefox is not Mozilla’s only project. There is the Thunderbird e-mail client, the Bugzilla bug tracking system, and SeaMonkey, which combines Firefox and Thunderbird with Web development tools and chat.

But Firefox is what Mozilla is known for, and most of its work, and that of its add-on makers, is devoted to Firefox and the technologies that emerged from it.

Firefox has transformed the Web, by creating real competition to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The question to ask today, however, is where does Mozilla go from here?

  • Can Mozilla expand its funding sources to become truly independent of Google?

  • Can Mozilla create real market share outside the browser?

  • Should Mozilla be focused on browser share, or leave that to Google Chrome and concentrate instead on HTML-related technologies?

  • What is Mozilla, in the end? What does the Foundation want to be?

Full Story: http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=5228