Firefox's crossroads: Cutting-edge or mainstream?

Mozilla has built the Firefox browser from a largely unsuccessful remnant of the Netscape era of the 1990s into the browser that nearly a quarter of people on the Web use. Now the challenges are different.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--John Lilly wants it both ways.

Working at Mozilla Corporation since 2005 and as chief executive since early 2008, he helped oversee a remarkable achievement. Mozilla has built the Firefox browser from a largely unsuccessful remnant of the Netscape era of the 1990s into the browser that nearly a quarter of people on the Web use. Now the challenges are different.

First, for new growth, Mozilla must make its open-source browser appeal to an even more mainstream crowd, one that's more interested in working and playing online than in sticking it to Microsoft or being part of a cause. Second, it's got to keep the loyalty of the technically savvy early adopters and Web developers that Google now has been courting with its Chrome browser.

The world changed for Mozilla when Chrome burst onto the scene in 2008. Mozilla didn't see itself as complacent, but Chrome was a wake-up call that "clarified some of our priorities," Lilly said, including snappy performance.

For more, read "Firefox's crossroads: Cutting-edge or mainstream?" from CNET News.

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