A senior analyst believes Firefox maker Mozilla Corporation should be doing more to push the Web browser, despite a recent distribution deal with Real Networks.
Mozilla should be pushing the Firefox browser even more
aggressively into the enterprise market, RedMonk principal analyst James Governor has
told ZDNet Australia sister site ZDNet UK.
The popular open source browser hit the 200 million download
landmark this week. Describing the threshold as "a nice
psychological barrier in terms of numbers, but no more than
that", Governor said the imminent
release of the next Microsoft operating system would be a crucial
test for Firefox.
"The acid test is really going to be the Vista wave into next
year and whether they can really win a sustained share when
Microsoft comes back with a fully integrated set of [Internet]
components, such as Microsoft Live," Governor said on
Thursday in the UK.
He suggested that the Mozilla Corporation, which distributes
Firefox, should be "more explicit about targeting the enterprise,
because there's probably more willingness, certainly on the part
of the independent software vendors out there, to do
Firefox has "not been as aggressive as it could be" with
companies such as Oracle and IBM, which would have "no interest
whatsoever in seeing Internet Explorer 7 (IE 7) as an access
mechanism", Governor added.
Microsoft's recent decision to push out IE 7 as an automatic
update for Windows XP users has drawn criticism from security
experts, who have called the product "bloated" and have
recommended other browsers such as Firefox or Opera as
safer, more convenient alternatives.
"Just when you think Microsoft is getting it together, it
turns out it's creating more problems for users. Firefox has made
significant inroads into the IE install base, and has really
woken Microsoft up. It's a personal trainer kicking Microsoft's
fat lazy arse out of bed," suggested Governor.
That said, Firefox itself, which is now thought to have
between 13 and 16 percent of the global browser market share, has
recently been the subject of malware attacks.
On Monday, a blogger believed to be Firefox co-founder Blake Ross, writing on the marketing site Spread Firefox, said:
"Today the Firefox download counter crossed the 200 million
mark. 200 million people seeking Firefox is a huge
However, this should not be taken as an indication of the
number of users, the blog continued, as "not everyone completes
every download, and because not every download results in a new
The blogger said Mozilla would like to "find a better way for
our community to measure its success".
"One of the things I'd like to see us do here at Spread
Firefox is to transition away from counting download clicks, and
build tools that let us celebrate our very real and swiftly
growing user base."
In other news, Real Networks is to start bundling Google
Toolbar and Firefox in future versions of its RealPlayer media
software, under a multi-year deal announced on Wednesday in the UK.
Although Google and Real Networks have already had such a deal
for two years, the new agreement provides a further boost for
Real Networks is thought to distribute more than 2 million
pieces of multimedia software a day, making the deal yet another
significant opportunity for the open source browser's