Looking healthy after its public success, the Firefox browser now has to woo professionals and the public sector. With that in mind, Mozilla Europe is going to snuggle up to a commercial partner to assure technical support.
Tristant Nitot, president and founder of Mozilla Europe, said at the Linux Solutions 2005 conference: "2005 is the year that Firefox has to conquer businesses and government organisations."
The European head of the Mozilla Foundation, which manages the browser's development, predicts that the product now has enough credibility to attack the commercial and public sector worlds.
"In order to woo businesses and government organisations, we are developing complementary administration tools to the browser to make it easier to deploy to a network," he said.
"We're also looking at getting together with a commercial partner, which will provide technical support and other services around Firefox." A deal is to be finalised in the coming weeks, although Nitot wouldn't reveal the name of the partner in question.
"The partnership doesn't have a money-making aim, our objective isn't to grow our market share in new markets but simply to ensure the durability of our structures," Nitot said. "Our mission consists of reintroducing competition, and therefore innovation, into the browser market," he added.
From the public sector side, a representative of the French Home Office revealed at the same conference that it had already "evaluated Firefox".
According to a recent study of browser use by Xiti Monitor, Firefox now has over 10 per cent of the market in France.
Christophe Guillemin writes for ZDNet France