Mozilla charges into Europe

Heir to the Netscape legacy, the Mozilla Foundation wants to give European companies and public bodies more information about its offerings

The Mozilla Foundation announced on Tuesday that it is trying to stimulate more interest in its free and open-source products on this side of the Atlantic through a dedicated European operation.

Mozilla Europe will attempt to encourage more Europeans to use the Mozilla Web browser and associated applications, and also to attract more volunteers to work with the Foundation.

"We see a tremendous potential for the Mozilla products in Europe. The European market is looking for reliable, secure and cross-platform Web browsers and email clients, and Mozilla is extremely well positioned to deliver on these needs," explained Tristan Nitot, president of Mozilla Europe, in a statement.

Nitot hopes that Mozilla Europe can provide the information and assistance that firms and government bodies need if they are to take the leap of replacing software such as Internet Explorer with Mozilla.

"The products are great, users love them. But we know that giving away the best products is not enough, and we feel that companies and public services alike need local representation to discuss product evolution and ask for services before deploying Mozilla products on a large scale. We are here to help them," Nitot added.

This isn't the first time the Mozilla Foundation has looked towards Europe. It has held three developer conferences here in the past -- the fourth is due to take place on 21 and 22 February in Brussels.

Many European governments are already taking a close interest in open-source software, a trend that is likely to continue in the light of recent Microsoft security scares, so Mozilla's new European push could win a welcome reception.

Mozilla Europe, which was created in January 2004, is based in Paris. The Web site was launched on Tuesday in English, French, German and Spanish, and contains more details about next week's developer conference in Brussels.