At the end of the browser wars (of the ’90s), the last man standing was Microsoft. Then Microsoft laid off the browser team. It was like in fantasy stories where the evil emperor comes to power through some deceptive means, the blue skies go away and all the demons and trolls suddenly take root. There weren’t a lot of exciting things happening on the web or the Internet at that time.
Mozilla’s mission at the time, when they really came together, was to promote choice and innovation in the face of that environment. The approach was to excite people — to give people a product that showed what was possible. Mozilla now frames it in terms of ensuring the Internet is open and accessible to all, that it’s healthy, and it’s good. Mozilla’s an organization that’s all about ensuring that individual people have a better online life and a better online experience.
At the time, no one thought Microsoft was going to just roll over. When Mozilla launched Firefox 1.0, even after they achieved some success, it was often heard, “You guys are crazy. The 800-pound gorilla is going to crush you.” We don’t have the audacity to take credit for the Cambrian explosion of the web. Back when Firefox launched, there wasn’t YouTube, Twitter or Facebook.
Firefox didn’t keep up with the market and the expectations and didn’t maintain a real view of what people really wanted. A lot of people who were hardcore Firefox fans and who believed in the mission and the purpose are now happy Chrome users. Chrome ultimately delivered a better product experience for them, and that trumped the other benefits Mozilla provided.
Firefox 57 will bring a significant user-interface refresh that takes advantage of all the new hardware optimizations and accelerations, which they believe will be pretty exciting. It has the first elements of Quantum to really supercharge the browser engine.
Firefox 57 was launched Nov. 14.
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The Vernon PC Users’ Club meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at the Schubert Centre. We start off every meeting with a ‘TANSQ‘ session. Come check us out. Call Betty at 250-309-1590 or Grace at 250-549-4318 for more information.
Jay Schappert is a member of the Vernon PC Users’ Club.