Blake Ross is one of the co-creators of Firefox and is on a mission to make software for mere mortals. That's one of Steve Jobs' favorite phrases. Like Jobs, Blake is starting out young. The 20-year-old is on leave from Stanford, still working on Firefox, and has also started a company focused on making software easier to use. "We talk about RSS, podcasting, XML, datastream, blah, blah, blah, and meanwhile my mother can't even share a picture," Blake said during our interview.
In this podcast, I talked with Blake about the battle with Microsoft (Firefox isn't a war on Microsoft, it's a war on complexity, he says), how to make software less complex and plans for Firefox 2.0. Regarding Firefox (which has about 10 percent market share) versus Internet Explorer, Blake said that Firefox will always trump IE because the motivations behind the companies are different, citing Microsoft ceasing development on IE when a competitor wasn't looming. We also discussed the recent reports that Firefox is less secure than IE. Blake contends that the reports are misleading. Firefox flaws are less severe and are fixed faster than IE vulnerabilities, he said. More to come on that subject and whether Firefox can achieve 50 percent of browser usage with Microsoft intensely focused on stopping it. (Update: ZDNet blogger George Ou follows up on the thread of whether Firefox or IE is more secure in this post.)
The podcast can be delivered directly to your desktop or MP3 player if you're subscribed to our podcasts (See ZDNet’s podcasts: How to tune in), or if you want you can just download the MP3 file. Blake also participated on a panel entitled "Next Generation Leaders" [podcast here] as part of the Churchill Club's 20th anniversary event at the Computer History Museum. Sun co-founder and now venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers moderated a panel, and other panelist included Evan Williams, Founder of ODEO; Mark Jacobstein, President, Digital Chocolate; and Scott Heiferman, CEO, Meetup.com.