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Firefox Exec Says Windows Bundling Is a Bad Idea 413

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the bounce-test-failed dept.
eldavojohn writes "The Firefox executives say they don't want to be bundled with Windows. Firefox architect Mike Conner also said this of Opera, 'Opera's asserting something that's provably false. It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face. As people become aware there's an alternative, you don't end up in that [monopoly] situation. You have to be perceptibly better [than Internet Explorer].' He also told PCPro that they are worried about becoming the next monopoly just like Microsoft is now."
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Firefox Exec Says Windows Bundling Is a Bad Idea

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:10PM (#26784527)

    I think Mozilla in a monopoly situation would be an interesting case study because it would be completely unique - somehow it manages to dominate market share, and yet its competitors can copy any of its features or redistribute their own flavor of the same product?

    Is a monopoly even possible for an open source company? Is a monopoly possible for anyone possible when everyone is using a share-and-share-alike license like the GPL?

    • by debrain (29228) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:46PM (#26785153) Journal

      it would be completely unique somehow it manages to dominate market share, and yet its competitors can copy any of its features or redistribute their own flavor of the same product?

      Unique is a bit strong. See: Apache. Bind. Sendmail. Wordpress/Drupal/Joomla. Virtually any open source project that can be said to "dominate market share" would apply.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Unique is a bit strong. See: Apache. Bind. Sendmail. Wordpress/Drupal/Joomla. Virtually any open source project that can be said to "dominate market share" would apply.

        To be a monopoly, you have to have both a dominant market share AND you have to implement any of a variety of shitty anti-competitive business practices.

        Being dominant is not, in and of itself, enough to make a company or product an illegal monopoly.

        • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:12PM (#26786721)

          To be an illegal monopoly, you have to have both a dominant market share AND you have to implement any of a variety of shitty anti-competitive business practices.

          Being dominant is not, in and of itself, enough to make a company or product an illegal monopoly.

          Fixed that for you. GP wasn't referring to illegal per se, just monopoly. It's perfectly legal to be a monopoly and not engage in anti-competitive business practices.

    • by Chabo (880571)

      He also told PCPro that they are worried about becoming the next monopoly just like Microsoft is now.

      I, for one, welcome our new monopolistic overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground coding caves.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grumbel (592662)

      Is a monopoly even possible for an open source company?

      Just because another company can rebundle open source software doesn't mean that they can make money with it, after all its hard to compete with a product that costs $0. So its completly possible to run all the competition into the ground with an open source product. That of course doesn't mean that your monopoly will run forever, when it gets to bad somebody might create a better fork, but that can take years. And the chance of starting a completly new product with similar goals is also rather smallish, si

  • Note to self (Score:4, Insightful)

    by not already in use (972294) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:14PM (#26784619)
    Mozilla execs have absolutely no business-saavy or sense. Are they joking? They couldn't have a monopoly considering their business model. Their product is free, and does not prevent competitors from entering the market. Someone in Mozilla's PR department needs to shut these clowns up.
    • Re:Note to self (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Foofoobar (318279) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:29PM (#26784887)
      Considering the fact that they stole 21% of Microsoft's market share, encouraged new competitors and continues to grow new market share based on a grassroots campaign and Google backing, I'd say their track record refutes your statements quite effectively. Until you can show how Microsofts shrinking market share stolen by Firefox was not a direct affect of their growth, I'd say your argument is rendered inneffective.
      • Re:Note to self (Score:4, Insightful)

        by xoboots (683791) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:43PM (#26785107) Journal

        You mean bundling IE did not kill Netscape, which at the time, was the dominant browser? Yes, it assuredly did. Bundling provably leads to market share when the bundled product has equivalent or near equivalent properties of the alternatives. IE currently lags far behind the alternatives -- so of course there is room for competitors. Still IE manages over %60 share and its peak (prior to *compelling* alternatives) had over 90% share. This can only be satisfactorily explained by the fact that IE was bundled with the OS that was bundled with the PCs that users were buying.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Foofoobar (318279)
          No... I mean his argument that a grassroots campain that stole 21% marketshare is an invalid argument when the stats show that Firefox's campaign is consistently working and still is working. His initial argument is that they don't know how to run a campaign and my statement was that the stats over the last 4 years show otherwise.

          Your comeback is that 'vs Netscape we did AWESOME when bundling' which has nothing to do with the Firefox campaign since Netscape was another company entirely and we were talkin
          • But how would you download a browser if nothing was bundled? You *have* to bundle a browser with Windows these days - it would be suicide for a vendor not to. So as long as something has to be bundled, why not Firefox? Or maybe leave it up to the choice of the vendor what to bundle (or even the customer when ordering the computer). Point is, you won't get around bundling and pretending it will one day go away is just stupid.
        • Re:Note to self (Score:5, Insightful)

          by erroneus (253617) on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:27PM (#26785929) Homepage

          It was more than just bundling. If all they did was bundle, it wouldn't have been a problem.

          It's the integration of MSIE to Windows, the integration of MSIE to MS Office, the integration and support of only MSIE into other Microsoft products that is a problem. It is the active encouragement of developers to develop only for MSIE to the exclusion of others that is a problem.

          Just having an application there is no guarantee that anyone would use it.

        • by TheLink (130905) on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:38PM (#26786093) Journal
          Actually Netscape killed itself.

          Netscape 3.0 was about even with IE3 in terms of crappiness.

          But Netscape Navigator 4.x was worse than it's competitor. It was flaky and crashed a lot.

          Then it took ages for the Netscape team to come up with something better - they threw out everything and tried to rewrite this Mozilla thing from scratch. Fine.

          Trouble is there was a LONG gap between Navigator 4.x and something significantly less crap. It took them YEARS.

          Netscape Navigator 4.08 => 1998, Navigator 4.8 => 2002. 4 years and that code branch did not really improve significantly.

          As for the Mozilla branch? Netscape 6 and 7 aka Mozilla 0.6 to 1.0 were not worth using. Bloated and buggy.

          Honestly, when did Mozilla actually start to be good enough for "Aunt May" to use? I'd say maybe sometime after 2005? 2006?

          Firefox/Mozilla was leaking tons of memory for ages (still does sometimes). Even though IE also leaks memory in some cases, the thing is you can easily start multiple instances of IE whereas it's hard to do the same with FF/Mozilla. I remember Mozilla and Opera giving me memory consumption problems even in 2005.

          They only started making significant inroads in fixing memory leaks and other problems _recently_.

          So what was Joe Sixpack to use between 1998 and 2006? Mozilla was too crap. Opera? Opera used to either cost money, or be ad ridden (till 2005).

          IE was crap, but it was the least crap choice for most people.

          Yes bundling of IE hurt Netscape - especially in the dial up days - try downloading Netscape 6 over a 33.6 modem. But the main problem was the early "Mozilla" Netscapes weren't worth downloading even if they were quarter the size.
      • by ukyoCE (106879)

        I don't think anyone is silly enough to claim that bundling is an absolutely insurmountable obstacle.

        But it is silly to claim that bundling doesn't provide an advantage and construct a large obstacle to competition.

        Given two equal products of equal price, which will you use? The one you already have and "already paid for" whether you wanted it or not, obviously.

    • If Mozilla were to end up with 95% of the market like IE once had, Opera would no doubt accuse them of price dumping [wikipedia.org]. Not to mention going after them as a non-profit saying that they are a sneaky business masquerading as a non-profit a la the "Church" of Scientology!

      I used to like Opera, but they just strike me as a pack of whiny bitches complaining about how it is unfair that Microsoft is so successful. It should be disconcerting to the regulators in the EU that Firefox is also better off, Safari is pro
      • Let's not forget that opera wasn't even free until after firefox started becoming popular. If you accept that firefox become popular because it was free, standards compliant and friendlier to the developer (which are the factors I believe led them to where they are today), then opera missed their chance at widespread desktop popularity.
      • used to like Opera, but they just strike me as a pack of whiny bitches complaining about how it is unfair that Microsoft is so successful. It should be disconcerting to the regulators in the EU that Firefox is also better off, Safari is probably there too and Chrome is also in a position to move past Opera in marketshare.

        wget www.google.com | cat:

        Web Images Maps News Gmail more

        Google
        [--------------] Advanced Search
        Search I'm lucky

        <blink>Have you tried Chrome? It's freakin awesome!
        It kicks the llama's ass and you must try it NOW!

        Yeah, I'm sure Opera developers have no reason to complain that their competition is all either leveraging monopoly (MS, Apple) or near-monopoly status (Google) or giving (Mozilla) a million-man-hou

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mollymoo (202721)

        If Firefox hit 95% market share the proportion of net users using AdBlock would undoubtedly be high enough that a lot of sites would move to some plugin or other for their content - Flash, Silverlight or something new, most likely one with DRM. Just as software pirates brought about DRM for games, music and movies, ad-blockers ("web pirates" seems an appropriate term - they take stuff without paying for it) will bring about DRM for the web. And it'll suck. And the people who bitch the loudest about it will

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pbrammer (526214)

      Not to metion how many users they are losing to Google Chrome I hardly run FF anymore.

      • yeah but your the only one, Chrome market share died fairly quickly. Don't get me wrong, its a good browser with a nice rendering engine, but firefox has taken years to get where it is and chrome is not there yet.
        * most people have a browser open all the time, so the start speed isnt that impressive
        * it has quite a few little bugs (svgs cant zoom)
        * plugin support is completely lacking
        * its only out on windows (a lot linux users want a fast light browser, maybe when the release on linux it will take off)

    • Mozilla execs have absolutely no business-saavy or sense. Are they joking? They couldn't have a monopoly considering their business model. Their product is free, and does not prevent competitors from entering the market.

      Yet.. Netscape had a virtual monopoly on the web browser market, which was then replaced by the IE monopoly (leveraged by Microsofts OS monopoly).
      Both products were more-or-less free (as in beer).

      Given that Mozilla Corporation has a bigger revenue than Netscape ever had for their clien

    • Their product is free, and does not prevent competitors from entering the market. Someone in Mozilla's PR department needs to shut these clowns up.

      You do not understand antitrust laws.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The ability to prevent competitors from entering the market is not a prerequisite of monopoly. If you're talking about an artificial monopoly (achieved through government, or by exploiting the law), then sure -- but it is also economically possible to achieve a natural monopoly via sheer superiority of product/price. Considering the ubiquity of big government today, this isn't likely, but still possible.

      Anyhow the lesson here is that artificial monopoly and natural monopoly are fundamentally different. The

    • Well being free you could say they have Undercut the competition.

      Firefox is not 100% standards compliant so Web Developers could make Firefox only sites, making it more difficult for competitors to make competing product.

      Can they get a monopoly probably not but they can get close enough to have the negative effects of one.

    • by swillden (191260)

      Are they joking? They couldn't have a monopoly considering their business model. Their product is free, and does not prevent competitors from entering the market.

      So is Apache.

  • Opera's asserting something that's provably false. It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face.

    "...they are worried about becoming the next monopoly just like Microsoft is now."

    I'm not sure how either of these statements can be made with a straight face.

    First of all, how are browsers being measured in terms of market share? What happens when there are multiple brands installed in the same seat? How about VM images?

    And how twisted is logic of "we don't want to be offered with the most dominant OS ever produced because we may become the most dominant browser, which would be bad"...?! What's up with that?

    • by furby076 (1461805)

      First of all, how are browsers being measured in terms of market share? What happens when there are multiple brands installed in the same seat? How about VM images?

      Well two things can be done to combat this. One, compare usage, not installs. Great you have IE installed on your computer, well duh you have windows and so do I, but do you use it? I ONLY use it on sites that require it (right now only OWA for me, but it used to be my bank - not anymore). So when they track Internet usage my share goes to FireFox. What happens when people have VM and each instance of VM has a different browser (which is odd in itself) - how many people use VM compared to the rest of

  • by Tyler Eaves (344284) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:16PM (#26784661)

    Tell that to anyone who refers to the blue 'E' as "The Internet".

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by UberMorlock (1391949)
      Exactly. Just two weeks ago, I had to re-install Windows on my wife's aunt's machine. It took me almost an hour to explain that the blue E is not Windows and another hour to explain that she does NOT need the blue E. I installed both Firefox (w/Adblock, Flashblock, etc) and Opera for her and showed her she doesn't need the blue E. Then, I told her not to use Internet Explorer again.
      • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:34PM (#26784973) Journal

        It took me almost an hour to explain that the blue E is not Windows and another hour to explain that she does NOT need the blue E. I installed both Firefox (w/Adblock, Flashblock, etc) and Opera for her and showed her she doesn't need the blue E. Then, I told her not to use Internet Explorer again.

        Wouldn't it have just been easier to change the Firefox icon to the IE icon and been done with it? ;)

        Not that I've ever done anything like that of course.....

        • by TeXMaster (593524)

          Wouldn't it have just been easier to change the Firefox icon to the IE icon and been done with it? ;)

          Horrible idea, in case anybody else but him has to give tech support.

        • by sean.peters (568334) on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:10PM (#26785605) Homepage

          For my dad's machine, I just delete the quicklaunch icon for IE, install FF, and tell him "just click this orange and blue thingie instead of the blue E. It's the same thing". Works fine.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by RobBebop (947356)

            I did the "replace the icon" thing to my dad once and he couldn't get his hotmail.com account to "work right". It was a real long time ago and I forget the exact problem, so don't reply saying FF works fine with hotmail.com. Needless to say, I begrudgingly switched it back so that it'd work.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          I tried that once with my father. It did not go over so well. He quickly realized the browser was "different", went back to IE, and then started blaming FF for trying to trick him into using it.

          If anything, I'd say it's better to tell them up front you've switched browsers, and then change the icon.

        • Imagine... (Score:3, Funny)

          by denzacar (181829)

          ... a virus doing just that?

        • by ukyoCE (106879)

          I rename the Firefox icon on the desktop "The Internet" and remove the blue E.

          Then someone hit the "Work Offline" checkbox that's *right* next to Quit, by accident. For a week or two my parents' internet was "broken" until I came home and figured that out. Doh.

      • by AndrewNeo (979708)
        Inside "Program Access and Defaults", you can uncheck Internet Explorer, which removes it from the desktop, start menu, etc., effectively keeping those family members from using IE again without going straight to iexplore.exe.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fork_daemon (1122915)
        The problem does not lie just with your wife's aunt. A friend of mine fixes PCs that come to him usually infected with Virus or Spyware. I keep on telling him to install Firefox to prevent Driveby Downloads. His argument is, it is difficult for people to re-learn using a new browser. I asked him what people had to learn when all they had to do was enter a URL in the URL bar which is at the same location as in Internet Explorer and everything works on clicks. But he still insists on not installing Firefox. I
    • by Xtravar (725372) on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:08PM (#26785575) Homepage Journal

      I'm so tired of this mantra. Elitists have been chanting this line for at least 5 years now. It's not insightful. It's not informative. It's just the same old shit that adds nothing to the discussion.

      Are we going to keep modding it up when there's still 1 user left who thinks "the blue E is the internet"?

      Hell, even my grandpa uses Firefox. He may think it's the internet, but god damnit, he knows it's the better internet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mikael_j (106439)

        I deal with end users every day, lots of them think "the blue e" is "the windows", "the internet", "windows internet", "microsoft outlook" and so on. These are people who don't care and even if you carefully explain why maybe they should care just a little they become irate and lash out since "it's your job to make sure my internets work!"; try pulling that one on your mechanic after you just drove your car into a river because "well cars SHOULD float, now fix it and stop telling me how to drive!"...

        /Mikael

    • by furby076 (1461805)

      Tell that to anyone who refers to the blue 'E' as "The Internet".

      I have been using computers for 25 years, am in the tech industry, and it took me a good 30 seconds to figure out what the "blue 'E'" is.

      As the architect for FireFox said, as people become more aware they change. FireFox has a 20% marketshare and they didn't need any bundeling - they just needed a good solid product backed by the geeks (us) who forced their parents/friends to use FireFox. My mom doesn't even know what Internet Explorer is, but she knows FireFox, Google, and G-mail. She loves buying he

  • Weird view (Score:5, Insightful)

    by renoX (11677) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:20PM (#26784713)

    If being better than IE at the same price (free) leads only to a 20% marketshare, then to me this *strengthen* the argument that bundling is an effective way to assert a monopoly, not disprove it.

    Beside given the size of Firefox or Opera, users on dialup may feel quite annoyed by having to download them..

    • Re:Weird view (Score:5, Insightful)

      by plague3106 (71849) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:42PM (#26785101)

      If being better

      How to you quantify "better?" I know you can say FF is faster, or more standards complaint or whatever.. but I supsect the average user doesn't case about these things. If both FF and IE display the webpages they want, and the user don't care about anything else... in what way is FF "better?"

      • by atamido (1020905)

        If both FF and IE display the webpages they want, and the user don't care about anything else... in what way is FF "better?"

        Better interface. Almost every user I met complained about the IE7 interface. It makes terrible use of space, while the FF interface uses the standard File/Edit/View bar, and the tabs area goes all of the way across which provides more room for tab labels. FF also crashes less. It also takes less time to display webpages. And if you show the average user what can be done with extensions they find interesting, they are totally sold on FF (I had one user switch just for the Colorful Tabs add-on).

      • Re:Weird view (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:05PM (#26786585)

        If being better

        How to you quantify "better?" I know you can say FF is faster, or more standards complaint or whatever.. but I supsect the average user doesn't case about these things. If both FF and IE display the webpages they want, and the user don't care about anything else... in what way is FF "better?"

        Ever met a user who used tabbed browser windows then voluntarily gave them up? They were an enormous UI improvement for the vast majority of users. Firefox implemented them for five years before IE added them. That's just one example, but for almost any area you look at IE has been lagging the competition significantly.

        I'd also mention that there is one area where IE is ahead and that is in its ability to read broken pages written specifically for IE. I'd also note this area of being "better" is an artificial feature caused by their intentional, illegal abuse of their monopoly position.

    • You missed the part where he mentioned awareness of the alternative.
  • Like MS or not, bundling has made MS the company they are today, with more than enough money to pay fines from those who object... as for Mozilla becoming the next big monopoly, they are getting ahead of themselves. They need to keep doing their good work to keep growing the business... dream big, but keep doing the little things... they have along way to go

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hattig (47930)

      Yeah. I can see Firefox getting 30% of the market. Chrome getting 10% if they push it via gmail and their other services. Safari getting 15% if Apple keep increasing market share. Opera could get 1%. That leaves 44% for Internet Explorer.

      And because Windows 7 doesn't currently look like a trainwreck, and it comes with IE8, I think that a lot of people buying new computers will stick with what comes with it, even if they used Firefox before.

      This is because bundling does give a massive advantage, because peop

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by TyIzaeL (1203354)

        And because Windows 7 doesn't currently look like a trainwreck, and it comes with IE8, I think that a lot of people buying new computers will stick with what comes with it, even if they used Firefox before.

        Clearly you have not done much work with IE8.

        However if Firefox had a service whereby you could save all your favourites, history, etc, to a web service, and then retrieve them on your new Windows 7 laptop later on, that would be an incentive to re-download Firefox despite the presence of IE8.

        Like Foxmarks [mozilla.org]?

  • Why Not Bundle? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGreatDonkey (779189) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:25PM (#26784817)
    I Believe Conner's somewhat contrary to himself in his overall viewpoints. He claims that one of the challenges of Opera is that it is a bit to technical and "gets in the way," implying that it is geared towards a more technical user. However, I am not aware of that many non-technical users who go out looking for alternative browsers.

    My own experience thus far has been that without bundling Firefox, it is primarily technical users who are encouraging the non-technical to actually use it. I know my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc. all generally use whatever comes with their computer, which is Internet Explorer. They knew nothing about Firefox until I heavily promoted it and provided easy to access download links for them. This was only done because I grew tired of trying to explain why they kept getting infected with malware and viruses through IE. Most did not even know it is possible to browse the web with anything else.

    By bundling an alternative, the masses have access to choice. I don't agree with Conner that we should simply expect people to want to go out and research and naturally find Firefox. Bundling does not imply stuffing an alternative down someones throat. It merely provides an easy mechanism towards an alternative. And for the non-technical, just awareness of an alternative is a huge win.
  • FireFox is right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd@bandrowsky.gmail@com> on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:28PM (#26784863) Homepage Journal

    Bundling isn't the biggest reason IE users switched to IE, it was because IE4 was better than Netscape Navigator. I'm writing big and long posts about Vista being better than Ubuntu, and I think that it is, but I would never in my right mind use IE7 over Firefox. Although, frankly, right now my favorite browser is Google Chrome. In any case, this isn't like 1994 when people did not know how to download software. Right now, people download stuff all the time, from chat programs to games and utilities, and wallpapers, songs, and more. None of that is bundled, but people manage fine. Same thing with browsers.

    I mean, Paint is bundled with Windows, but that hasn't stopped anyone from making their own paint programs, now has it?

    • Reasoning Fail. (Score:3, Informative)

      MSIE has the largest installation base because MS Windows has the largest installation base. If you don't think that this constitutes a biasing force, you are not thinking... and you are certainly not a Web developer who has had to deal with MSIE 5 and 6.

      MS Paint is next to useless. Mentioning it does not support your position. MS Notepad has not stopped people from using real editors, or MS Word, either.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by LogistX (814694)

        You're obviously a relatively new web developer. The alternative at the time to IE5 was Netscape 4.7 -- that bastard child browser that no web developer in their right mind would make any attempt to support unless they absolutely had to.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by ethicalBob (1023525)
          Thanks.. I had totally forgotten about 4.7 until you posted this. You just ruined about $5,000 worth of therapy... My shrink will be so pleased...
    • by squoozer (730327)

      I mean, Paint is bundled with Windows, but that hasn't stopped anyone from making their own paint programs, now has it?

      The problem with that argument is that Paint is the worst paint type program ever written. I struggle to conceive of a situation where it would actually be useful (is it even in Vista?) so there is a lot of scope for other companies to write paint type programs. IE7 on the other hand is actually a pretty well rounded piece of software that does pretty much everything a web browser needs to do. It certainly ticks all the essential boxes and most of the desirables and even has a quite a few of the "why would

    • "Bundling isn't the biggest reason IE users switched to IE, it was because IE4 was better than Netscape Navigator."

      Damn straight. You'll get modded down for your comment about Ubuntu. But you're absolutely correct about IE. Does anyone here remember the first version of IE? It too was bundled with Windows but no one used it. How about version 2? Still crap. Version 3, interesting, but very buggy and still crap.

      However, not only was version 4 of IE a major improvement, Netscape was resting on its laur

    • by Eil (82413)

      Bundling isn't the biggest reason IE users switched to IE, it was because IE4 was better than Netscape Navigator.

      Firefox is better than any version of IE so far and has been available for over 4 years, so why haven't people flocked to it in that time frame?

    • And of course, we know that the better product, especially if it's software, wins.

    • I would never in my right mind use IE7 over Firefox. Although, frankly, right now my favorite browser is Google Chrome.

      The great thing about Firefox is the extensions. Extensions make Firefox like Voltron, everything works better when the pieces join together.

  • ...users of the Windows version. It's certainly not all the Mac and Linux Firefox users. For the typical "big-blue-e = Internet" household, if any of them get Firefox, it's because their tech family member hooked them up with it. You could, in a sense, say that Firebox was "bundled" for these types of households.
  • after all, look how miserably microsoft failed trying to dent netscape's marketshare when it started bundling internet explorer with windows

    will anyone ever take netscape down as top dog of the browser wars?

  • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:36PM (#26785007) Homepage

    Way to miss the issue there, PC Pro.

    The courts have found that the bundling of MSIE is anti-competitive and in violation of antitrust laws. Just how would bundling Firefox on Windows remove MSIE from the base sysem? Oh, I see, it wouldn't.

    Look if the remedy for anti-competitive and predatory business practices is to remove MSIE, then just remove it. It doesn't matter how many other similar applications are pre-installed, when it is the presence of MSIE, not the absence of other applications, which is in violation of the law.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      How is a normal person going to download Firefox without IE? Gopher (yes I'm an old-timer)? FTP? Where do they get Gopher and FTP clients from, without a browser?

      Sure, you and I could work around it by burning a disc on another computer. What about mom?

      • Sure, you and I could work around it by burning a disc on another computer. What about mom?

        If your mom is technical enough that she has installed an OS, then she is probably technical enough to know she will have to burn a browser to disk before installing a new OS. Normal people, like my mom, just buy a computer with the OS and browser pre-installed and if they need to re-install they find a local computer geek or take it to BestBuy.

  • Provable? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:37PM (#26785029)

    'Opera's asserting something that's provably false. It's asserting that bundling leads to market share.

    Go on then. Prove it.

    • by swillden (191260)

      'Opera's asserting something that's provably false. It's asserting that bundling leads to market share.

      Go on then. Prove it.

      And if he's so certain it doesn't, why does he oppose the EU requiring bundling of FF with Windows?

      I have to wonder if it's the journalists that have screwed this up, because it just doesn't seem likely that he'd be making these self-contradictory statements.

      • by Aladrin (926209)

        If someone wanted to force me to bundle my product with someone else's, especially when everyone screams that the current bundling should be illegal, then I'd oppose it also.

    • Re:Provable? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Onymous Coward (97719) on Monday February 09, 2009 @03:42PM (#26788473) Homepage

      The claim is underspecified. It is, however, easily true for at least one straightforward interpretation.

      To wit:

      Firefox achieved 20% market share without bundling.

      I think that's his point. That it is not bundling only that leads to market share.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:46PM (#26785145) Homepage Journal

    there are millions of people in each country that have NO idea of what does even a 'web browser' mean. for them, they open up windows, and then connect to 'internet'. internet explorer is 'internet' for them. leave aside trying out new 'browsers' ...

    and no, you cant discount these people. for, these are the masses.

  • I would like to see the EU or some other entity force Microsoft to develop a package manager. The first time you start up Windows and you connect to the internet it asks you which browser you'd like to download and install.
  • Let's face it, MS realized they missed a market (the internet) and leveraged Windows to take it over by bundling IE, destroying the non-free browser market. IE won the browser wars because users associated it with the internet, and since they already "had the internet", they had no reason to look for another one. Whether IE was better than Netscape is debatable, in my opinion.

    Firefox has made inroads because tech savvy people finally had something they could evangelize, backed by an organization that real

  • Statement 1: Bundling does not lead to market share.
    Statement 2: If we are bundled, we may become a monopoly.

    Statement 2 seems to directly contradict statement 1...

    • by Todd Knarr (15451)

      Except for the part where he never said #2. He said he was worried about Firefox becoming another monopoly, but he never said bundling would contribute to that.

      • by Asmor (775910)

        Ah, I was confused because the summary didn't make much of a distinction that the last bit was from an unrelated article.

        Misleading summary, how unusual.

  • I'd love to see windows have a file manager that doesn't require internet explorer as a nice start. I don't know if that will ever be technically feasible for both political and technical reasons, but that'd be a bigger issue.

    It's not the bundling that people want, it's the unbundling that people want more. So that you don't HAVE to have IE. This would of course cause MS some difficulties with the WGA program/active X as well.

    That or something that says "pick your browser" and provides some choices. However

  • If the Eu wants to force MS to bundle additional software into their OS, then fine, the EU should also be paying for the extra space that software takes on my HD. I charge a reasonable rate of $5/megabyte. For all those who complain about big-gov't and their hand in the cookie-jar - this is it. This is a company, Opera, crying to the gov't because Opera failed at their product. How did they fail? Look at FireFox 20% market share, and growing. Look at Opera. Make a great product, get people aware and you
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      If the Eu wants to force MS to bundle additional software into their OS, then fine, the EU should also be paying for the extra space that software takes on my HD.

      Yeah, and they should pay for the gas it takes for transporting all those safety features in your car too. Or you could, you know, delete the browsers you don't want.

      For all those who complain about big-gov't and their hand in the cookie-jar - this is it.

      Blah blah blah.

      This is the government stopping corporate criminals instead of being easily bribed like the US government was. I wish US politicians has as much integrity.

      This is a company, Opera, crying to the gov't because Opera failed at their product. How did they fail?

      Opera makes its money with Opera Mobile. They're doing well. They're also spending millions needlessly in order to work around slews of broken Web pages that investigations ha

  • I mean logic would dictate that if he doesn't believe in bundling affecting share, and both products are free, and Firefox only has 20% of the market- he must therefore believe that users are choosing IE over FF, right? That is absurd.
  • If Mozilla wants Firefox to be the #1 web browser but they don't want it to be bundled with Windows how would a person with a new computer get FF?

      Obviously they'd have to use IE or Opera which would then decrease Firefox's market share since the competition's browser has to be used to get on the web and then download FF.

  • "It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face," he said.

    Maybe because it's true? In fact the converse boggles my mind. How can you say, with a straight face, that Internet Explorer would have significant market share if it wasn't bundled with Windows?

  • by transporter_ii (986545) on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:25PM (#26786953) Homepage

    I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if Microsoft bundled Firefox with Windows. 90% of the browser war wasn't based on who had the better browser, it was about controlling the home page. When it all comes down to it, I don't really think MS would care if everyone used Firefox. What they probably care most about is when people first start up their browser...it opens to a page controlled by Microsoft. It amazes me that so many people never change their home page.

    So let's say Microsoft throws in the towel and bundle firefox with windows...and have its home page set to msn.com. It would really be a win/win for Microsoft.

    My observation is that people who use IE use Microsoft's search quite a bit and people who use Firefox use Google more.

    Microsoft might actually be better off to bundle Firefox and control the home page.

     

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