Over on Techdirt there is some conversation about Firefox's response to Google Chrome. Now I don't know what they can do. Google basically looked at things, decided they weren't moving fast enough on a variety of fronts, and said "screw it, we'll just do it ourselves". I understand that Google Chrome has been in the works for quite a while, so this isn't some new revelation. Google realized that they had to take web matters into the only hands they trust - their own. Here's what Blaise says:
He ignores the Firefox community. The life of a Firefox user does improve as the user base grows. A more vibrant community means better add-ons, bug fixes, security patches, phishing reports, translations/dictionaries, etc. -- all members benefit. Mozilla is already providing the sort of incentive he describes. Sure, there may be ways to improve, but I don't think they're missing the point.
More users mean a better Firefox expereince. Just like a fax machine. But does any of that stuff matter? As one comment so eloquently put it:
Community! Addons! Coolness! Long live the Firefox!
Addons! Addons! Addons! Long Live the Extensions!
There, fixed that for you.
Addons are the one thing that really drive the Firefox community and drove adoption. And Google's going to implement that. Talk of patches, translations and whatever else the "community" builds are overblown. Users just want addons and that's what drives adoption.
Google Chrome has gigantic implications for the web. The next 6-9 months, especially when Google releases a Mac version, are going to be drastically different. We're undoubtedly going to see some of the HTML5 stuff implemented in Chrome/Gears and I don't think Firefox will be able to keep up. Throw in Google's ability to drive distribution and browser war 2.0 could be a quick one.