incrediBILL - 2:42 am on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)
I would have added our ol' pal Adobe, famous for, among other things, PDFs.
Funny you mention PDFs because Adobe used to be where Google headquarters is in Mtn. View and I used to work next door on Landings Drive at an email company acquired by Lotus. We had some meetings with the fine people at Adobe way back when as they were looking for input on a universal file format that could be used to exchange data via email or other methods that anyone could read which I assume became PDF and solved a really big problem.
People may give PDF and Flash a lot of grief, but I don't think we'd be nearly as far along as we are if those things hadn't been invented because they both solved a very real need that nobody else was interested in solving at the time.
My solution to viewing file attachments at the time, pre-dating PDF, was to include the document data conversion filters from Lotus AmiPro word processor that allowed us to render most common proprietary formats, and there was a BUNCH back then, to common text. You guys don't know how easy it is to exchange data today but when the PDF finally arrived was a godsend.
Another reason Word and Excel rose to dominance was data interchangeability issues.
All I can say to Firefox is 'buck up' because supporting one little format is trivial and if they were smart they'd have a simple file format rendering layer that allowed anyone to provide new formats as long as it fit their API and then we wouldn't even be having this conversation as Google would've provided the code for them.
It's not that hard to do, been there, done that, get with the program.
FYI, my wife worked for Macromedia which created ShockWave which later became Abode Flash which is why I have a bit of a soft spot for Flash.