In terms of market share, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have been trading blows, angling for the coveted second place title all year. Firefox has continued to decline, but loses on all sides are leveling out, and Chrome isn’t seeing the huge gains it once did. This has given Mozilla the confidence they need going into 2013. Vice President of Engineering Johnathan Nightingale shared his own opinion on what they got right, and which of the company's many new initiatives have been resonating well with the Firefox community.
Turn out the lights, the 64-bit Firefox party is over. After developers discussed the topic in a somewhat lengthy thread, Mozilla has decided to shelve any and all work related to 64-bit versions of the Firefox browser. That includes nightly and hourly releases. Developer Benjamin Smedberg first proposed the idea of ceasing 64-bit development due to the builds being "a constant source of misunderstanding and frustration."
The launch of Windows 8 last week also marked the official release of Internet Explorer 10, which ships with the new OS (Windows 7 users can download a release preview, or hang tight until November for a finished build). Microsoft thinks IE10 is the best browser on the planet, and while Mozilla might disagree with such a claim, animosity doesn't run high between the two companies. Just the opposite, actually. In fact, Mozilla sent Microsoft a cake for shipping IE10.
I used to think Mozilla's Firefox browser posed the most serious threat to Internet Explorer's dominance in the browser wars, and for a long while, it did. IE's numbers were falling and Firefox's were climbing, but then Chrome joined the battle. A funny thing happened at that point. Firefox, once the most beloved browser by users 'in the know,' took a backseat to Chrome's rapid rise, and now it's anyone's guess what the next year or so will bring. Let's have a look where things stand.
Another month is in the books, and that means another thirty-some days of browser share data to crunch and analyze. One of the problems with doing that, however is that different stat trackers report conflicting numbers. Net Applications(NetMarketShare), for example, shows Chrome closing out the summer in third place, sitting behind Firefox (second) and Internet Explorer (first) as the most used browsers on the planet. But if you head over to StatCounter, Chrome is out in front.
Mozilla took another page from Google Chrome when designing Firefox 15, which was released today. Like Chrome, the new version of Firefox features silent updates that are downloaded and installed in the background. Once installed, Firefox seamlessly and quickly switches to the new version the next time the end user exits and restarts his or her browser session.
It’s no longer hard to imagine a world where Web apps are just as powerful and popular as—if not more than—desktop apps. As inviting as such a world may seem to many, there is still plenty of work that needs to be done before web apps can give native apps a run for their money. Mozilla, for one, is doing its bit. We’re not talking about the highly ambitious Firefox OS (formerly Boot to Gecko) here. Instead,we’re referring to something much more basic: Web app support.
Webmail clients have pretty much advanced to the point now where we aren’t wishing for much more. Outlook still plays an important role in the Enterprise helping to tie together contacts, calendar, and mail into one application, and for everyone else with offline needs, there is Thunderbird. Thunderbird as an open source project has always been the gold standard on the PC as a free alternative to Outlook, even though it has never enjoyed anywhere near the same market share as Mozilla’s other open source baby. You may have heard of Firefox perhaps?
Mozilla isn’t a company that I typically associate with grandstanding, so when their official Twitter account announced “Something BIG is coming your way next week”, we take notice. The tweet contained the hash tag #Android, so it’s safe to at least assume the announcement has something to do with it’s mobile browser.