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google is now the default home page for firefox

 12:23 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

ie -> msn.com
firefox 1.0 -> google.com

interesting ..

for google cheap way to achieve what IE achieves for microsoft.

Wonder how they convinced the firefox people to do it?




 4:39 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Why would Dell want to install FireFox, if they alreay have a big-number contract with the #1 OS supplier - and one can only assume a good one? Why would you want to upset a supplier who helps you earn millions of $?

Unless there's a big corporate push, FireFox wil stay a toy it is. It will be an unwise business move for Google to associate itself with such a huge underdog. The point here is even G+F offer an affiliate program for Firefox downloads, MS has deeper pockets, and we all know what happened to Netscape....G doesn't want to go head-to-head with MS on a browser, just let IE users slowly leak out. In that case FF is unlikely to go past 10% of the market - JMHO.


 4:41 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>And few paid attention to Google when they first came out. If you improve on something people will use it verses the un-improved model.

disagree, lots of best selling products are not the best, only the best marketed - high street fashions are a prime real world example.

google is a website/destination, it doesn't compare to downloading and installing software.


 4:45 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

For now linux and firefox and evolution (mail) and open office don't have all these security vulnerabilities, because who wants to write adware or a virus or a trojan for the guy who has 10% market share. But their time will come both in market share and vulnerabilities. The nice thing about Microsoft being the incumbent and being targetted is that the bad press they get out of it is going to level the playing field.

If you have any doubt that Firefox will be a serious player, ask yourself why microsoft has not been able to do anything about Apache.


 4:53 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)


... does not have the dominance that IE does. Poor comparison.


 5:06 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Let's think about this for a second. What happens as Firefox continues to suck up to Google? Obviously there is a major motive to change the home page from Mozilla to Google.

What if Firefox were to get a link from the Google front page? That would take a lot of sucking up. Like changing the home page for a start...

Think about it.


 5:18 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

No one has mentioned that they looked in their log files for evidence of FireFox rising in popularity. I remember when Netscape was the dominant browser and I watched my logs as IE slowly took over....and I made the switch from Netscape only code to Netscape/IE to IE/Netscape to IE/Opera/Netscape to IE/FireFox/Opera support. Change is the only constant in the browser wars.

Contrary to what others here are saying, FireFox offers MANY great new features via extensions as well as the basic architecture of the software. Too many cool reasons to list here in fact. Webmasters who are on top of their business and are forward looking, owe it to themselves to understand how FireFox WILL impact their business. Otherwise you're just like an Ostrich with your head in the sand.

If you see your log files telling you that your browser percentages are shifting from 95% IE to 85% to 75% would this change the mind of anyone who is resisting the change to a new (soon to be) dominant browser?


 5:20 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

... does not have the dominance that IE does. Poor comparison.

I didn't think it was a poor example. I was thinking back about all the postings I've read in this forum noting people won't stop using Google until something better comes along.

When G first came out did they have the mighty MS-like marketing machine behind them, or did they benifit from good press, a large index and great results?

FF is getting great press. Unless the Internet has changed since last night, two years from now there could be two dominant browsers available.


 5:42 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<>>Tabbed browsing not groundbreaking? I can't surf w/out it and can't imagine how i ever did.

er, opera have been doing this or better for years>>

But, Opera's free version has built-in ads. ...


 5:49 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

<suggestion type="wacky">
What FireFox needs is some wealthy billionaire to create a special install of FireFox that will log all pageviews to a datacenter somewhere. Each page viewed with FireFox is good for, say, one cent. Then, you get a check for all the pages you viewed. Offer limited to one month pageviews for each person. With such a method, LOTS of people would use FireFox exclusively for a month. And after that long, I doubt they'd want to go back to IE. Translated: Buy a marketshare for FireFox!

To be serious for a moment, I think something like this could have a huge impact in spreading FireFox. But of course there are (insurmountable?) obstacles. For one, where's one to find an interested billionaire? And, can you imagine the howl of protest from privacy advocates?


 6:11 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Another factor that could bolster Firefox’s spread is the constant monopoly, and anti-competitive charges against Microsoft. With the EU vowing to reduce Microsoft’s ability to monopolize on markets, it could be possible that at some point OEM’s (or even Microsoft themselves) could be forced to included Firefox on a standard Windows install. It may not add a ton of users, but it couldn’t hurt.


 6:23 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know I've sworn off the Browser Holy War, but I'm going to drop a few comments about the "shift."

Average User: The Aunt Tillies of the world use IE out of the box, because that's what comes out of the box. When it breaks because of getting bogged down with spyware/crapware, they call up the nearest 13 year old, or someone else in the family to fix it for them. If that person "fixes" the problem by installing FF, then they'll use FF. I know this both anecdotally (from other people telling me about it), and from experience (I don't do tech support for anyone but family anymore. BUT, I have a very large family, very few of whom are using IE anymore. It has greatly reduced my family tech-support hotline woes.)

Google and FF alliance: Smart for both. Let's face it, FF needs at least one (and preferably several) Big Brother types to help it along and get some visibility. Google needs to build a buffer against the Longhorn release, when MS will strongly tie their search to IE. It's a win-win for the two to team up.

Groundbreaking changes: Tabbed browsing, live bookmarking, the ability to change skins, browser extensions, increased security, etc. None of these, on their own, are groundbreaking. Added together, they're earth shattering.

Reasons for big companies to deploy FF: Either OEMs, or just large companies with large networks of Windows machines. Simple reason to switch: Branding. Because you can make your own skin for FF, any corporation can come up with a skin that meshes well with their corporate branding. Is it effective marketing? Who knows? All I know is the big companies like to stick their brand on anything and everything. IE won't let you do this. FF will. This gives FF a clear advantage for OEMs, and everyone from Coke to Nike who love to stick their logo everywhere they can.

The Hip Geek Syndrome: DO NOT underestimate this. It's what made Google. If you want an idea of how pervasive this is becoming with FF, drop by newgrounds and look at what the Flash kiddies are doing. More and more on that site, if a flash has a screenshot of a browser, I'm seeing FF. It's very indicative.

Having said all that, I'm now going to drop out of the Browser Holy War for another 6 months, except to lurk, of course ;)


 6:39 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Another factor that could bolster Firefox’s spread is the constant monopoly, and anti-competitive charges against Microsoft.

Very true. A lot has changed since MS squashed Netscape. The good folks at FF probably already have their finger on the foul button just in case. And my guess is the DOJ has MS on a short leash these days.

Isn't WordPerfect just the latest to prove MS's evil approach to marketing?


 8:02 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

There is an easy case against MS on this. Like the others MS has a monopoly on browsers within their OS. So just like their Media Player it will be challenged in court.. And once it's settles Windows will be forced to sell different bundles with different Browsers installed or at least one with a browser and one without.

And hopefully when they find that the one without the browser costs $10-20 less, they will go ahead and download FF which is free.

I don't believe that FF will ever get anything close to 50%, but with help from law suits and Google.. they could get a good 20-25%.


 8:29 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

if it ever does get mainstream, do ppl even bother to think of the consequences. When the s___ hits the fan, who we gonna blame? Volunteers? With what money?

Yep. Exactly the same reasons why I'll never go anywhere near the Internet or the WWW until they are completely redeveloped from scratch by proper commercial organizations.

Who would even think of using something like today's Web, built from open standards developed by volunteers!?

No wonder the web is such a failure.



 9:11 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Great points caNative.

So far this month:

IE 73.8%
FireFox 9.3%
Netscape 3.4%
Safari 3.2%
Mozilla 3.2%
Opera 2.3%
Konqueror 0.1%
Firebird 0.1%
Camino 0.1%

In January it was

IE 83.6
Mozilla 4.4
Netscape 3.9
Safari 2.2
Firebird 1.6
Opera 1.1
Konqueror 0.1

While that may not seem like much of a bite out of IE's traffic, that is an incredible growth rate for the mozilla based browsers, especially fire[fox¦bird].

Other websites I've seen are showing similar results.

Personally the only time I use IE is to check the compatability of my websites. So I use it as often as I use my copy of netscape 3.1.


 9:13 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't forget how powerful word of mouth advertising is. Since I have been using Firefox I have let everyone know about it. Every person I have talked to about the browser has switched.

Plus look at all of the endorsements FF is getting. Even a dept at the federal govt recommends FF over IE.


 9:55 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Average users don't care enough about security to educate themselves and seek out solutions to potential problems proactively. The mass internet worms were a result of patches that were up to a year old not being applied to systems in a timely manner.

What makes you think they'll actively seek out a new browser?

I totally understand the tendency to doubt. But imagine my amazement when a couple nights ago the local teevee news ran an in-depth report on browsers and theft of personal information. The punchline was the presenter telling folks that they needed to switch to another browser such as Firefox. They then showed a Firefox splash screen and told people they could get it at mozilla.org.

I was stunned. Granted, that was local, but over time, that effect is going to add up.


 10:54 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I personally downloaded and switched all 25 PC's at work to FF as the default browser. I have since had less problems and almost 1/2 of the employees have downloaded it at home as a result.

Here are my stats Nov so far:
MS Internet Explorer 86.8 %
Mozilla No 4.7 %
Firefox 4.3 %
Netscape No 1.9 %
Safari No 1.4 %
Opera No 0.3 %
Konqueror No 0.1 %
Others No 0.5 %

Mr Bo Jangles

 11:41 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've been using Firefox for a while, and gone through a number of updates.
I particularly like the fact that being open source, it makes third party free Extensions available - and I've installed a few.
I find that:
1. going to the extensions page is quick and easy
2. that extensions page is nicely designed
3. extensions are sooooo easy to install, or uninstall

Firefox is a great product, no doubt about it. I'm using it on Win XP Professional and have never had a crash or anything untoward happen - unlike IE!

Personally, I'm not a fan of the multi-tabbed browser feature that many tout as one of FF's main attributes - I just don't find the tab location etc that good - and personally I just have open multiple FF browser copies, same as I used to use with IE - and this does not seem to be a system overhead.

And while this thread is on FF, I'll put a plug in for Thunderbird mail client - love that also.


 12:22 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

interesting...I checked my stats to make sure
in last 30 days FireFox amounts for 3.1% of all hosts.


 12:50 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)


No one's about to go download a browser when they already have one that works perfectly fine.

"No one"? Demonstrably untrue! Lots of people have already downloaded firefox or even paid for browsers like Opera. 10% of the traffic on my site is now from people using alternatives to IE. Ah, but you were probably being sly, since IE doesn't work "perfectly fine", it being full of security holes. :)

Firefox doesn't do anything more than IE for the average user. What incentive do they have to waste their time downloading it?

Statistically, half of all users are better-than-average users, so I guess that gives the folks at Mozilla a pretty heavy potential market, eh? But even the average and below-average user may be interested in a product that's more secure, has tabbed browsing, a bulit-in pop-up blocker, bugmenot (lets you log into subscription newspapers without giving away your personal details), a choice of skins, etc.

I don't think this move is anything more than the "we have to start with a search engine as our homepage" and them picking the tech favorite, Google.

Good for them!



 12:59 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)


thats all good and everything, why dont we compare firefox to the new browser when it comes out, not something that is old, sure if i want to compare my pc now to 6 months ago which will perform better and have more features.

But that's the thing -- IE6 is *old*. And what else can we compare Firefox to? Vaporware? I compare Firefox with IE because it's all MS have.

MS got a monopoly of the browser market and then stopped making improvements to IE. After all, why bother? To provide a better service? That would be a waste of money, wouldn't it.

The only "improvements" MS has made to IE are to plug some of the appalling security holes -- and some of those "fixes" have prevented other MS products (as well as major aps like Quickbooks) from working properly!


 4:07 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just a few questions about firefox and thunderbird. Are they compatible with norton and other virus software? If not how secure are they? I downloaded them today and so far so goood.


 6:22 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I downloaded Firefox 1.0 a few days ago, the features look good, i especially like the tabbed browsing. The only problem i have encountered so far is that it quite slow on Windows XP.

Search this board and elsewhere for turning pipeling on [webmasterworld.com]. Unfortunately Firefox still does not turn this on by default even though IE has used it for years. Your speed complaints will disappear.

I will never go back to IE, the extensions available for Firefox make my daily productivity incredible. (I still have not installed 1.0 final as they took out a few things I like after 0.10.1 and I am waiting for extensions to be made to replace them).

Also read my post on enhancing Firefox security [webmasterworld.com] which is impossible to do with IE.

Last but not least I recommend turning referrers off for privacy, even though some people say it can break things I've yet to see a website that doesn't work correctly without them.

My new favorite extension is SpellBound the textarea spellchecker [spellbound.sourceforge.net]. No more obvious spelling mistakes...


 7:56 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's definately an interesting move and one which will benefit Google. I'd be very interested to see what compensation was given for this move.

I am disappointed in Firefox however. They are the "new" thing on the Internet these days. I can't see why they'd want to be affiliated with a search engine that isn't very up-to-date anymore.


 9:28 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Statistically, half of all users are better-than-average users...

Umm... no.

"Average" when applied to a population usually implies some form of Bell Curve statistic, wherein half the population falls into the median range, and are therefore "average".

Above Average is usually no more than 25% of a given population.

But that's ok, because the only one's who won't see a potential benefit are the below average users, which actually gives the folks at moz 75% of the pop to shoot at.


 12:41 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

>I'd be very interested to see what compensation was given for this move.

None at all I imagine. As Mozillazine explains: "Included in the release is a new start page which was formulated from user research including the home page poll taken here."

I voted in that poll. I use BBC News as my home page, but that's because I have the Googlebar on Firefox and don't need to start with Google. I should think Google was a very popular choice.


 2:42 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

MOST people stick with Microsoft because:
- They don't know how to change
- Don't want to bother
- Are afraid to making changes (computer crashes)
- They don't want to miss out on all the compatable software.

MOST people don't stay with MS because they think its a superior product. This is key. More people are becoming uphappy with Microsoft. Business will monopolise on this and offer alternates. Walmart has. Yes it wasn't a great product but it's an eye opener that a company as BIG as MS got in the game. Give economy and technology time. Things will change.

This rising unhappiness with a Microsoft is a good thing. It will either force MS to fix their product or open opportuinity for a competitor. Either way the consumer wins.

So help spread firefox. Place an switch to firefox browser button on your high traffice websites.
All sizes of buttons at: spreadfirefox.com


 4:30 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

This rising unhappiness with a Microsoft is a good thing. It will either force MS to fix their product or open opportuinity for a competitor. Either way the consumer wins.

Way back when, in command line days, MS was "cool" because it was the little guy, the upstart that was making the suits at Big Blue look foolish. That gave them an edge, perception wise, and they used it to their advantage.

What MS may or may not realise, is that they have BECOME the "Big Blue" of our time. So they've lost the public perception advantage. Alos, they now have to deal with all the issues of a big company.

Decisions by committee. Increased exposure to legal liability. Entrenched development methodology and an inherant resistance to change. Etc. etc.

The very nature of markets is that they will become increasingly vulnerable to a new upstart, lightweight and manouevreable company or entity.

The same thing is already happening to Google, who've quickly become the 1000 lb gorrilla of search engines.

It's fun to watch, especially nowadays because companies can go through this evolution so much faster.


 5:08 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

The biggest benefit of Mozilla/Firefox is productivity.
I switch to Mozilla Suite at 1.0 and my productivity jumped. I just switched to Firefox at 1.0 and I can already see my productivity increasing over Mozilla Suite.

I cringe when I have to do any "googling" or other work on IE when I use someone else computer.


 5:57 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

BigDave - Those are exactly the types of trends in numbers I remember from the days of Netscape vs IE back in the day.

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