Safari just hit 6.x, while Firefox turned to version 19, and Chrome is already at version 24. I’d like to see Safari updated more frequently and automatically like Firefox and Chrome. On a related note, I don’t see how Mozilla and Firefox can remain anything but a niche player on PCs, smart phones, and tablets.
We Live In Desperate Times
The latest Firefox for Mac and Windows comes with a built-in PDF viewer, a few more nods to HTML 5. Mozilla has already conceded that open source doesn’t always win the race.
How so? Adoption of H.264 video; a proprietary standard which replaced Flash as the web’s de factor video standard.
Regardless, it’s far too little and too late for Mozilla. They’re on the downhill slide toward oblivion, or, at best, a niche player with a footnote to history.
How so? How many browsers does the world need? The WebKit web page rendering engine totally dominates the non-Windows world, which is increasingly becoming irrelevant.
Apple uses WebKit in Safari. Google uses WebKit in Chrome. Even lowly Opera dumped their web engine and moved toward WebKit. That leaves Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Firefox as the odd men out in the mobile world, completely dominated by WebKit, Google, and Apple.
The future is WebKit. The past is Mozilla. Mozilla is becoming increasingly desperate to remain relevant. Google’s Chrome browser on both Mac and Windows tops Firefox in usage. Now we hear that Firefox OS will show up on smart phones in the not too distant future.
Why? Because the world needs another smart phone operating system and platform?
Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone are not enough? What can Firefox OS bring to the table that isn’t already on the table? More apps? Nope. Speed? Nope. Better security? Nope. Lower price? Nope. What’s the point of differentiation other than a clearly attractive and recognizable logo?
To me, Firefox OS stacks up as the beginning of the end for Mozilla, a desperate move designed to maintain relevance in a market place that is quickly passing it by. Firefox OS does not disrupt the market with a better product. It merely adds to the clutter and cruft of a long list of also-rans.
Mozilla’s geeky fan boys may applaud Firefox OS, and look forward to every minute iteration of Firefox (version 19? Really?) no matter how small, or late to the game, but the mobile world is moving on a very fast track, and Mozilla doesn’t have a dog in the race.