So wait, Firefox is a fax machine?

So wait, Firefox is a fax machine?

Summary: Over on Techdirt there is some conversation about Firefox's response to Google Chrome. Now I don't know what they can do.

TOPICS: Browser, Google

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.

Topics: Browser, Google

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  • Shome Mishunderstanding?

    I don't see Chrome going anywhere fast, except as a quick and dirty look-up tool with good plugs into Google itself. It's full of wholes and ain't the future. Open source is the future, not proprietary toys. Firefox is here to stay. Now if they can just get that Javascript compiler past beta ...
    • Actually

      Chrome is licensed under a BSD license, well the source code anyway, which means the source code is available to the Mozilla people to use as they choose, BSD licensed code being, by the nature of the BSD license, a free gift to anyone who wants it. It also means that Google can add any proprietary extensions, to the base code, without having to share the code for those extensions, and given that Google are in the business of making money from advertising, I personally would be very suspicious of what Google may have included on top of the very useful functionality that is embodied in the BSD licensed base code.

      I think I'll just wait until Mozilla implement some or all of that free and open source code in Firefox.
      tracy anne
  • RE: So wait, Firefox is a fax machine?

    Do you really believe that Google can do in 9 months what Firefox, Opera, Safari couldn't do in several years? I understand the benefits of the Chrome stuff, but it's not going to just overtake any of the other browsers completely, it will merely add another browser in to the mix to dilute the market share of everyone but Microsoft. There are, and always will be, corporate environments that will only use IE. That's a HUGE portion of the share, and it's not going away cause Google made a new toy. Hopefully Chrome will push the others to adopt some things that make Chrome better, but right now it has way too many problems to realistically view it as a strong competitor over the next 9 months.
  • next tab will be the desktop

    The next tab in Chrome that Google will release will have the user desktop inside it. What a hijack!
  • RE: So wait, Firefox is a fax machine?

    I ABSOLUTELY agree! I love my particular Firefox add-ons... I am passionate about them! And other folks I know feel the same way about their particular add-ons (some of which I don't use). The more I talk to other Firefox users, the more I realize there is really no universal Firefox experience. It's a unique and powerful browsing experience for each user, thanks to all the add-ons for each user.

    BTW: I wrote a series of detailed articles re: how I use Firefox & several cool add-ons to support my online study, training, and research. They're at my blog, The Best Free Training (
    -- Mike G
  • RE: So wait, Firefox is a fax machine?

    No, based on the add-ons I use, Firefox is not a fax machine. However, that does interest me...

    I tried Chrome for a couple of weeks and returned to Firefox because I greatly missed my #1 favorite add-on, CoolIris. Come to think of it, I missed all of my favorite Firefox add-ons and have 35 add-ons enabled of the 38 active add-ons I have installed.

    Chrome began to slow down after I passed thirty-something open tabs in use. I often run more than 60 open tabs in Firefox, and have 66 tabs open as I write this from Firefox.

    Beyond that, I early on tired of having to drag new links in Chrome to a Bookmark Toolbar folder, then through sub-folders, and drop it, only to have to click back down through the folders and sub-folders to organize or order my new link because Bookmarks closed the instant I released the mouse button to drop the new link. Worse, there is no capability to sort bookmarks in any way on any field or tag.

    It was interesting that after my two week trial of Chrome, Firefox would not open and I was required to download the latest Firefox setup file to reinstall and use it again. I am not sure why that happened.
  • I agree about the extensions

    That's why I use FF, and why I have not yet upgraded to FF3. I'm waiting for the extensions to catch up.
  • RE: So wait, Firefox is a fax machine?

    I use very few plug-ins. I want speed and security with a browser, not a lot of fancy add ons.

    I wanted to try Chrome, but I happened to be on a LINUX machine so I was going to download it and transfer to one of my windows machines which was busy at the time. It wouldn't let me even download because it wouldn't work on the machine I was using. Why should they care? My other gripe is how do they know how many people are using what browser? Even if I downloaded Chrome, or updated IE my primary browser on all of the machines is still FF. So what does the number of downloads have to do with the number of users?
    • CrossOver Chromium provides a Wine version of Chrome

      on this page ( I've been using it on my (64-bit) [b]Hardy[/b] setup, and while it's neither as fast nor as polished as [b]Chrome[/b] for [b]Windows[/b], it's not a bad stop-gap until [b]Google[/b] gets 'round to releasing a native version for [b]Linux[/b] (a version for [b]Mac[/b] is also available on the same page). Why not give it a whirl ? It won't replace [b]Firefox[/b] as anybody's default browser, but it is fun to try....

  • Soon as they release for Linux...

    Just as soon as Microsoft releases Internet Explorer for Linux I'll try it.
    As soon as Google releases Chrome for Linux I'll try it.
    As soon as Apple releases Safari for Linux I'll try it.
    I can't see why I should quit using any browser I already have installed, though.
  • RE: So wait, Firefox is a fax machine?

    Talk of translations may be overblown for us English speakers, but the whole world doesn't speak English. (Even as Canadian, having an American spell check dictionary is annoying.)

    I agree though, Google Chrome has huge implications. I certainly didn't mean to suggest otherwise. I was just saying that Mozilla isn't missing the point, as Godin suggest. That doesn't mean they won't have their hands full trying to keep up.

    I doubt Chrome will clean up in this battle too quickly though. It seems like the source code is very much in a beta state, it'll be a while before Mac and GNU/Linux versions are available, before things are stable, before a real ecosystem of add-ons develops.

    I don't think you can count out Firefox so easily, but... that's also missing the point about Mozilla. Mozilla's mission is to create a better Internet for users. Even if Chrome beats out Firefox, Mozilla's mission will still be fulfilled because users benefit from the competition.

    I'll try Chrome as soon as I can run it on my OS, though I'm not holding my breath waiting for that. I am excited about it though, and it'll be an interesting battle to watch.

    -- Blaise
    • I like your take

      The more the merrier, I say. I'm looking forward to Chrome
      on Mac. The implications are HUGE. It's odd that people
      are forgetting that, as the idea of Google doing something
      like this have been discussed for quite a while.

      If Chrome really does overtake FF, there is nothing
      stopping the from releasing a branded version
      of Chrome. Firefox Chrome they might call it. By the same
      token, MS could release a Chrome Explorer. :X

      One implication of using the BSD license is that an add-on
      developer could create a proprietary add-on and charge
      money for it. This just occurred to me. Interesting, no?
      Marcos El Malo
      • Add-Ons aren't affected by the browser license

        "One implication of using the BSD license is that an add-on
        developer could create a proprietary add-on and charge
        money for it. This just occurred to me. Interesting, no? "

        Actually, a lot of popular Firefox add-ons aren't free software, many are proprietary. The browser license doesn't put any limits on the way that add-ons are licensed.

        I'm not sure that it should, but it would be nicer if it was more clear which add-ons were proprietary and which were free on
  • RE: So wait, Firefox is a fax machine?

    Why do you think it important that they release a Mac version? Not many people use Macs.
  • Online internet fax

    Instead of a terribly noisy and uncomfortable fax machine I use internet <a href="">fax service</a> and it is the best choice for me. It is really fast, easy to use and inexpensive.