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Daniele Scasciafratte
Daniele Scasciafratte

Posted on • Originally published at daniele.tech on

Firefox lost the browser war and what we can do?

I saw that title on Twitter about this article and I thought that can be a good idea to start an article (required few time).

Just as intro I am a Mozilla volunteer since 2013, Mozilla Reps since 2015 (twice in the Reps Council), Mozilla TechSpeaker since 2016, I develop browser extensions for Firefox, leading the Mozilla Italia community for the participation side, doing talks and stuff, joined 7 times the Mozilla All Hands and many other things.

I am not pro-Google, I use LineageOS for my phone with no Chrome, no Google Contact/Calendar but my Nextcloud instance also for my files, duckduckgo for my searches and so on.

Why Mozilla lost the war?

For Google there is a project that gather all the products that was killed by Google, this list is something like that but also include the various fails where other competitors instead achieved something that moved Mozilla less important in the tech market.

Just as note as volunteer since 2013 I can consider myself a veteran, also I often saw that volunteers remember better this list compared to the Mozilla employees that often stay inside the company/foundation for few years and not so much time like a volunteer.

Check the rest of the post on the blogpost.

Discussion (4)

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

I love Firefox as a browser but we should be realistic about the fact that Mozilla has orders of magnitude less resources than the three other companies behind the other browsers: Google, Microsoft and Apple.

I don't know most of the projects you listed. I don't know the full story and can't presume to know it but maybe they were stretched too thin trying to tackle all of those things.

Browser adoption was surely limited by Chrome's appearance and likely (even though most end users don't know about it), the difficulties of embedding Firefox or using it as a developer platform.

At the same time though Mozilla is working on or has worked on really cool stuff like Rust, WebAssembly and VR technologies.

Today, the majority of Mozilla Corporation revenue is generated from global browser search partnerships, including the deal negotiated with Google in 2017 following Mozilla’s termination of its search agreement with Yahoo/Oath (which was the subject of litigation the parties resolved in 2019.)

and

In CY 2018, Mozilla Corporation generated $435.702 million from royalties, subscriptions and advertising revenue compared to $542 million in CY 2017. 2017 was an outlier, due in part to changes in the search revenue deal that was negotiated that year.

don't know how the 2019 went, but the fact they let go 70 people in 2020 might mean it didn't go as they expected. Or it might mean they decided to stop focusing on so many things at the time.

I'm still optimistic, I don't think the goal is to have Firefox become the most popular browser, that ship has probably sailed but Mozilla can keep innovating and building a really good product :)

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mte90 profile image
Daniele Scasciafratte Author

If you check the rest of the blogpost you can find more information but yes Mozilla worked on those technologies but doesn't have the same effect like other companies.

My idea was to show how mozilla kill projects to switch on other things and later competitors or other community doesn the same things better maybe with less volunteers then mozilla has.

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rimutaka profile image
Max

So, what can we do?

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mte90 profile image
Daniele Scasciafratte Author

Expose to Mozilla the various issues that as users and developers we are facing on using that product.
As example in this days a lot of people is reporting problems with Jitsi github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet/issues... and bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?s...
Now that there is high pressure they are evaluating on working on adding this missing APIs, we need to put different goals on the Mozilla ones that for me are not following the real wider needs but just the interests of few months based on the news.