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Mozilla CEO: No worries about Google Chrome

Mozilla CEO John Lilly said he has no worries about Google jumping into the open source browser market.In a blog posted on September 1 before the beta release of Google's Chrome yesterday, Lilly noted that Mozilla's Firefox has plenty of competition and reminded the public that the foundation's primary motive is to keep the web open.
Written by Paula Rooney, Contributor on

Mozilla CEO John Lilly said he has no worries about Google jumping into the open source browser market.

In a blog posted on September 1 before the beta release of Google's Chrome yesterday, Lilly noted that Mozilla's Firefox has plenty of competition and reminded the public that the foundation's primary motive is to keep the web open.

"As much as anything else, it’ll mean there’s another interesting browser that users can choose. With IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc — there’s been competition for a while now, and this increases that. So it means that more than ever, we need to build software that people care about and love. Firefox is good now, and will keep on getting better," Lilly wrote. "Competition often results in innovation of one sort or another — in the browser you can see that this is true in spades this year, with huge Javascript performance increases, security process advances, and user interface breakthroughs. I’d expect that to continue now that Google has thrown their hat in the ring."

Lilly also said the two organizations will continue to cooperate and hinted that Mozilla will remain independent.

"It should come as no real surprise that Google has done something here — their business is the web, and they’ve got clear opinions on how things should be, and smart people thinking about how to make things better. Chrome will be a browser optimized for the things that they see as important, and it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves," he wrote.

Google announced the beta release of Chrome as Mozilla prepares to freeze the beta 1 code for Firefox 3.1 on September 30 and as Microsoft IE8 beta slips into the marketplace.

Lilly's blog continued:

"Mozilla and Google have always been different organizations, with different missions, reasons for existing, and ways of doing things. I think both organizations have done much over the last few years to improve and open the Web, and we’ve had very good collaborations that include the technical, product, and financial. On the technical side of things, we’ve collaborated most recently on Breakpad, the system we use for crash reports — stuff like that will continue. On the product front, we’ve worked with them to implement best-in-class anti-phishing and anti-malware that we’ve built into Firefox, and looks like they’re building into Chrome. On the financial front, as has been reported lately, we’ve just renewed our economic arrangement with them through November 2011, which means a lot for our ability to continue to invest in Firefox and in new things like mobile and services.

"So all those aligned efforts should continue," he insisted. "And similarly, the parts where we’re different, with different missions, will continue to be separate. Mozilla’s mission is to keep the Web open and participatory — so, uniquely in this market, we’re a public-benefit, non-profit group (Mozilla Corporation is wholly owned by the Mozilla Foundation) with no other agenda or profit motive at all. We’ll continue to be that way, we’ll continue to develop our products & technology in an open, community-based, collaborative way."

Mozilla's Firefox will continue to be competitive, he said.

"With that backdrop, it’ll be interesting to see what happens over the coming months and years," Lilly said.

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