Just last week one of my favorite Mac360 colleagues pointed out what should be obvious, but thanks to clever marketing, brand names, and marketshare, seems to be overlooked.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Google’s Android OS are zombies. Walking dead. Sure, marketshare for the latter is high, and name brand recognition for the former is high, but neither one– Windows Phone, nor Android– makes any real money for their masters. Here are more zombies to add to the list of the walking dead.
$300-million From 500-million
Way back in the day it was Microsoft’s Internet Explorer– Windows and Mac– which ruled the world of web browsers with Internet Explorer, the browser that wouldn’t die. It’s still not dead, despite Microsoft’s efforts to reinvent the future again with the sleek and slim Edge browser.
More than a decade ago Microsoft decided to dump Internet Explorer from the Mac when Apple launched it’s own default browser, Safari. Not long after that Mozilla released Firefox on Windows and Mac and the golden age of web browsers began.
Since then, Mac and Windows PC users have been treated to a dozen or so browsers which work better than browsers did in the past. Internet Explorer improved and moved beyond the zombie IE 6.x version. Google saw the advantages Apple’s Safari brought to the Mac’s platform and launched Chrome which runs everywhere you need to be.
So, what about the walking dead browsers? There are two browsers which are more zombie-like today than you might suspect, especially when considering who owns them.
First, Internet Explorer. Even Microsoft knows the days of clinging to the past are over, hence the new Edge browser which has become popular on Windows 10. Edge is the future. Internet Explorer is the past, and we all know what happens to software from the past. It. Never. Dies.
IE will be a zombie app for years to come.
Second, Firefox. Mozilla first launched the venerable browser back in late 2004, and thanks to a search engine deal with Google, donations, and a once robust developer community, Firefox became everyone’s second choice browser. Internet Explorer was tops on Windows, Safari is tops on Mac and iOS. Google Chrome is tops on Android devices. Firefox remained the perpetual runner up until Google launched Chrome onto the world scene.
Mozilla says Firefox has half a billion users around the world and the browser helps the company bring in over $300-million in annual revenue.
Where’s the zombie?
Firefox won’t go away any time soon, but has become a walking dead product, a zombie browser that is all but irrelevant on the world’s browser scene, dominated by Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Firefox usage has dropped dramatically in recent years, more so since mobile devices topped personal computers in total numbers. As happens to most zombie apps, Firefox became bloated with feature creep and began to underperform Chrome and Safari. To counter the growing mobile device influence upon humanity, Mozilla launched Firefox OS, a mobile device operating system aimed at developing countries where price is an object. Unfortunately, the world can digest only so many free operating systems for plastic devices, and Firefox OS died on the vine.
Death is what’s happening to Firefox specifically, and Mozilla’s fortunes are tied to the browser. Neither are going away any time soon, but that’s what happens to zombie apps. They live, but the cease to live, instead becoming walking dead, increasingly irrelevant footnotes of software and internet history.