Archive for the ‘Mozilla’ Category

The best web browser of 2015: Firefox, Chrome, Edge, IE, and Opera compared

We put the screws to all five modern browsers, testing them in all manner of scenarios. If you’re looking for a fast, efficient, convenient browser, we’ve found two that we think you’ll like.

The best browsers go beyond benchmarks, racing through real-world webpages as well as canned routines. They’re easy to set up, flexible and extensible, and connect other devices and services into an ecosystem.

Look, throwing a few benchmarks at a browser just doesn’t cut it any more. Just as you expect us to test graphics cards against the latest games, we think your browsers should be tested against a collection of live sites. Can they handle dozens of tabs at once? Or do they shudder, struggle, and crash, chewing through your PC’s processor and memory?

To pick a winner, we put Google Chrome, Microsoft’s Edge and Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera to the test, barring Apple’s abandoned Safari for Windows. We used the latest available version of each browser, except for Firefox, which upgraded to Firefox 40 late in our testing. And we also tried to look at each browser holistically: How easy was each to install and set up? Does Opera make it simple to switch from Chrome, for example?

For 2015, we have a newcomer: Microsoft’s Edge browser, which has been integrated into Windows 10.
the word start on a running track

You’ve already seen part of our tests, where we showed you how much of an impact enabling Adobe Flash can have on your system. Disabling or refusing to load Flash can seriously improve performance—some sites, like YouTube, have begun to transition to less CPU-intensive HTML5 streams. Still, other readers pointed out that they simply need to run Flash on their favorite sites. That’s fine—we tested with and without Flash, so you’ll have a sense for which browser performs best, in either case.

Oh, and Microsoft: We found that your new Edge browser isn’t quite as fast as you make it out to be. (Sorry!) But it still demonstrated definite improvement over Internet Explorer.

The benchmark numbers favor Chrome and Firefox

We do consider benchmarks to be a valuable indicator of performance, just not a wholly defining one. Still, they’re the numbers that users want to see, so we’ll oblige. We used a Lenovo Yoga 12 notebook with a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-5600U inside, running a 64-bit copy of Windows 10 Pro on 8GB of memory as our test bed.

We tested Chrome 44, Windows 10’s Edge 12, Firefox 39, Internet Explorer 11, and Opera 31 against two popular (though unsupported) benchmarks—Sunspider 1.0.2 and Peacekeeper—just for reference purposes. But we’d encourage you to pay attention to the more modern benchmarks, including Jet Stream, Octane 2.0, Speedometer, and WebXPRT. The latter two are especially useful, as they try to mirror actual interaction with web apps. We also tested using Oort Online’s graphics benchmark as well as the standardized HTML5test—which is not so much a benchmark, but an evaluation of how compatible a browser is with the HTML5 standard for Web development.

From our testing, Chrome and Firefox topped the Speedometer and WebXPRT tests, respectively. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Google was the fastest browser under the Google-authored Octane 2.0 benchmark. But Microsoft’s Edge led the pack in the Jet Stream benchmark—which includes the Sunspider tests, which Edge led as well. (For all of the benchmarks, a higher number is better; the one exception is Sunspider, which records its score in the time it took to run.)

browser testing benchmarks 1st set
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox do well here. (A higher result is better, except for the Sunspider benchmark.)

What’s surprising about Edge is that it led the pack in the Jet Stream benchmark, but fell way behind on Speedometer, only to record a quite reasonable score in WebXPRT. (Microsoft claims that Edge is faster than Chrome in the Google-authored Octane 2.0 benchmark as well, but our results don’t indicate that.)

Chrome flopped on the Sunspider test; the only test Firefox failed equally miserably in was the Oort Online benchmark, which draws a Minecraft-like landscape using the browser.

For whatever reason, I noticed some graphical glitches as Edge rendered the Oort landscape, including problems drawing a shadow that slid across the bay in the night scene. But Oort proved even more problematic for Firefox, rendering “snow” as flashing lights and rain as a series of lines. (We’ve included the test result, but take it with a grain of salt.) Internet Explorer 11 simply couldn’t run the Oort benchmark at all.

We also included the HTML5test compatibility test, which measures how compatible each browser is with the latest HTML5 Web standards. Although some developers focus extensively on each browser’s score, even the test developer isn’t too concerned:

HTML5test scores are less interesting to me than people think. Any browser above 400 points is a perfectly fine choice for todays web.
— HTML5test (@html5test) August 2, 2015

And the only one that fails that test, of course, is the semi-retired Internet Explorer 11.

What does all this mean? It doesn’t indicate a clear win for any specific browser, including Chrome. Based on our benchmark tests, many of the browsers will handle the modern web just fine.

Next page: Real-world testing and “the convenience factor.”

Real-world testing: Opera makes its case

Opera Software has always lived on the periphery, with what NetApplications says is just 1.34 percent of the worldwide browser market. With Opera considering putting itself up for sale, it may not be long for this world. But in terms of real-world browser performance, Opera is worth a long hard look while you still can.

Why? Because in real-world browser tests, Chrome and Opera performed very well.
It’s important to know how each browser will actually perform while surfing the live web. Testing this is a challenge—some canny Web sites constantly tweak their content, and ads will vary from one visit to the next. But we tried to minimize the time over which we visited each site to help minimize variation.

We used a selection of 30 live sites, from Amazon to CNN to iMore to PCWorld, as well as a three-tab subset of each, to see how performance scaled. Our tests included adding each site to a new tab, one after another, to weakly approximate how a user might keep adding new tabs—but quickly, so as to stress-test the browser itself. Finally, we evaluated them with Adobe Flash turned on and off. (Both Opera and Firefox don’t natively ship with Flash, so we tested without, then downloaded the Flash plugin.)

After loading all 30 tabs, we waited 30 seconds, then totaled the total CPU and memory consumption of both the app itself, the background processes, and the separate Flash process, if applicable.

So what does all this mean? If you own a mid-range and low-end PC, you might have purchased one without a lot of memory, or with a less powerful CPU. In that case, you might consider switching your browser to something that’s more efficient.

This chart contains a lot of information; you can click it to enlarge it. But what you should focus on are the differences in memory consumption (the yellow bars) and the differences in CPU consumption. We’ve included the raw data in a table at the bottom of the chart. In each case, a lower number indicates a more efficient browser, with the one exception being Firefox (with Flash)’s zero scores, which we’ll cover below.

Oddly enough, we noted an actual decrease in CPU consumption when Flash was enabled on the three-tab test, specifically within Edge, Firefox, and Opera—perhaps because the Flash plugin was more efficient at lighter workloads. As our previous report indicated, however, CPU and memory consumption soared when we started throwing tab after tab at each browser.

The other discrepancy that you may note is that Chrome, with Flash enabled, consumes nearly the memory that Edge does without Flash enabled. We double-checked this, but we did so on another day, where Edge’s memory consumption was even higher than what we recorded. (That’s probably due to just a difference in the ads and video the sites displayed.)

Chrome has a reputation for sucking up all the memory you can throw at it, and these numbers prove that out. But it also consumes relatively little of your CPU—which, if you scale down your tab use, makes its impact on your PC manageable. Opera, however, really shines. In fact, without Flash, Opera consumed just 6.6 percent of the CPU and 1.83GB of RAM during our stress test. With Flash on, Opera consumed 3.47GB of memory and 81.2 percent of my computer’s CPU.

And Mozilla was getting on so well—but with Flash on, tabs essentially descended into suspended animation until they were clicked on, then began slowly loading. It was awful. “Tombstoning” tabs that aren’t being used is acceptable, but please, load them first, Mozilla!

Finally, we tried loading pages, then timing how fast before the page became “navigable”—in other words, how soon one could scroll down. Fortunately, all the browsers we tested did well, although some were faster than others; Chrome and Opera did exceedingly well, especially with Flash turned off. In all, however, we’d say that any browser that can load pages at three seconds or less will suit your needs. (Keep in mind that the time to load pages depends in part on your Internet connection and the content of the page itself.)

The convenience factor
Since all of these browsers are free, ideally you should be able to download every one and evaluate it for yourself. And each browser makes it quite easy to pluck bookmarks and settings from their rivals, especially from Chrome and Internet Explorer. But manually exporting bookmarks is another story. It’s almost like telling the browser that you’re fed up with it—and Firefox, for example, passive-aggressively buries the export bookmarks command a few menus deep. Even stranger, Opera claims that you can export bookmarks from its Settings menu, but only the import option appears to have remained in Opera 31.

More and more, however, browsers are using a single sign-on password to identify you, store your bookmarks online, and make shifting from PC to PC a snap—provided that you keep the same browser, of course.

Chrome, for example, makes setting itself up on a new PC literally as simple as downloading the browser, installing it, and entering your username and password. You may have to double-check that the bookmark bar is enabled, for example, but after that your bookmarks and stored passwords will load automatically. (As always, make sure that “master” passwords like these are complex.)

Chrome isn’t alone in this, either. Firefox’s Sync syncs your tabs, bookmarks, preferences and passwords, while Opera syncs your bookmarks, tabs, the “Speed Dial” homepage, and preferences and settings.

That’s an area where Edge needs improvement. Edge can import favorites/bookmarks from other browsers, manually, but doesn’t keep a persistent list of favorites across machines—at least not yet. But if you save a new favorite in IE11, it’s instantly available across your other PCs. Other browsers—not Edge—also allow you to access your desktop bookmarks within their corresponding mobile apps.
edge homepage info

You can configure the Microsoft Edge homepage to show you information that allows you to start your day. (iGoogle did this too, years ago.)

It’s also interesting that, more and more, browsers are moving away from the concept of a “homepage” in favor of something like Edge or Opera, where the browser opens to an index page, with news and information curated by the browser company itself. But you still have options to set your own homepage in Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

Honestly, all of the browsers we tested were relatively easy to set up and install, with features to import bookmarks and settings either from other browsers or other installations. You may have your own preferences, but it’s a relative dead heat.

Final page: Little extras and PCWorld names the best browser of 2015

Going beyond the web
Modern browsers, however, go beyond merely surfing the web. Most come with a number of intangible benefits that you might not know about.

Perhaps you’d like your browser to serve as a BitTorrent client, for example. In the early days, you’d need to download a separate, specific program for that. Today, those capabilities can be added via plugins or addons—which most browsers offer, but not Edge, yet. (This can be more than a convenience; Edge will store your passwords, but not in an encrypted password manager like LastPass.)

If there’s one reason to use Firefox, it’s because of the plugin capability. Mozilla has a site entirely dedicated to plugins, and they’re organized by type and popularity. Installing a plugin is as easy as clicking through a couple of notifications, then restarting your browser. And given the market share of Chrome—and the plugin popularity of Firefox—you’ll find developers who will focus on those two first. A good example is OneTab, which transforms all of your open tabs into a text-based list, dramatically cutting your browser’s memory consumption. Note that the more plugins you add and enable, the more memory and CPU power your browser will consume.

Opera doesn’t appear to have nearly the number of available plugins that Firefox does, but it does have a unique twist: a “sidebar” along the left hand side that can be used for widgets, like a calculator or even your Twitter feed. Opera is also extensible via wallpaper-like themes, but they’re far less impressive.

Chrome hides a wealth of options to manage what you see on the Web, but only if you want to explore.
But you’ll also notice browsers adding more and more functionality right in the app itself. Firefox includes a Firefox-to-Firefox videoconferencing service called Firefox Hello that works right in your browser, and you can save webpages to a Pocket service for later reading. And this is where Edge shines—its digital assistant, Cortana, is built right in, and there are Reading View options and a service to mark up webpages, called Web Notes. Cortana does an excellent job supplying context, and it’s certainly one of the reasons to give Edge a try.

Over time, we expect that this will be one area where Edge and Chrome will attempt to “pull away,” as it were. In a way, it’s similar to the race in office suites: a number of apps mimic functionality that Microsoft Office had a few years ago. But Microsoft has begun building intelligence into Office, and Edge, elevating them over their competition. Given that Chrome is also the front door to Google Now on the PC, we may eventually see Google try to out-Cortana Cortana on her home turf.

So who wins? Here’s the way we see it.
Give credit where credit is due: Edge’s performance has improved to the point that it’s competitive, though perhaps not as much as Microsoft would make it seem. Still, its lack of extensibility and proper syncing drag it down, at least until they’re added later this year. Firefox also performed admirably, until it bogged down under our real-world stress test. We also believe Opera would be a terrific choice for you, since it zips through benchmarks and real-world tests alike. Sure, it lacks the tight OS and service integration of Chrome, IE, and Edge—but some may see that as a bonus, too.

All that said, we still think Google’s Chrome is the best of the bunch.
Chrome has a well-deserved reputation for glomming on to and gobbling up any available memory, and our benchmarks prove it. But it’s stable, extensible, performs well, integrates into other services, and reveals its depths and complexity only if you actively seek it out. For that reason, Google Chrome remains our browser of choice, with Opera just behind.


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Firefox will come to iOS this year, Mozilla says

The company has begun testing a preview version in New Zealand

Mozilla hopes to have its version of Firefox for iOS devices out by year’s end as part of its push to grow its share of mobile traffic.

Mozilla already offers Firefox on Android, but the OS makes up just a sliver of total Web traffic on mobile, easily surpassed by Google’s Chrome browser and Apple’s Safari, according to data from StatCounter.

Overall usage of Firefox across desktop and mobile has fallen in recent years, according to Web analytics company W3Counter.

Creating a version of Firefox for iOS has required Mozilla to retool its back end because Apple’s App Store only allows browsers that are built atop Apple’s rendering and JavaScript engines.

But Mozilla appears to be making progress. On Thursday, the company said it was rolling out the first public preview version of the browser for iOS in New Zealand. It plans to extend availability to a few more countries soon.

Feedback from the preview release will help Mozilla build new features and launch Firefox for iOS in the rest of the world later this year, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

For the iOS release, one of the features Mozilla is testing is Firefox Accounts. It will let users take their Firefox browser history, passwords and tabs from the desktop to iOS devices.
 

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Mozilla previews Firefox OS with four phone makers and 18 operators onboard

The first phones will come from Alcatel One Touch, LG Electronics and ZTE

Mozilla previewed the first commercial build of its Firefox OS and announced several operator and smartphone rollout plans on Sunday at Mobile World Congress.

The OS is being pitched as a better alternative for low-end smartphones in developing markets and is built around applications written using HTML5.

The first phones using the OS are all powered by Qualcomm processors and will be offered by Alcatel One Touch, LG Electronics and ZTE starting this summer, according to Mozilla. Huawei Technologies will also come out with products later this year, it said.
Preview by Thumbshots.com
ZTE will officially announce its first phone in Barcelona on Monday.

In addition to the phone makers, 18 operators are also lining up behind Firefox OS, including AmA(c)rica MA3vil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Japan’s KDDI, Sprint, Telecom Italia, TelefA3nica and Telenor. The operators will first launch phones in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela, they said.

Mozilla expects more phone makers and more markets to added going forward. The U.S. market will have to wait until 2014, it said.

For any operating system, the availability of apps and support from developers are both very important.

Mozilla said it doesn’t need to build a new ecosystem for Firefox OS because it can take advantage of all the HTML5 developers already writing software. At Mobile World Congress, it demonstrated integration with Facebook and mapping based on Nokia’s Here platform. Applications for the OS will for example be available on Firefox Market.

Considerable operator support underlines the desire for an HTML5-based alternative to iOS and Android, but the depth of commitment is unclear, according to CCS Insight. Success hinges on apps, attractive devices and operator subsidies, it said.

The real acid test for Firefox OS and its long-term prospects is the quality of the software itself and the user and developer experiences that it fosters, according to Ovum. However, it will be difficult to say whether it meets those needs sufficiently until we have seen retail devices.

“What is clear from the Firefox OS demonstration handsets that we have seen was that they are still some way from being market ready, being both slow and buggy,” it said in a statement.

At Mobile World Congress, Mozilla has also joined forces with Ericsson and AT&T to show WebRTC, a framework that allows browsers to perform functions usually confined to mobile phones such as voice and video calls and messaging.

The joint demonstration builds on Mozilla’s Social API and WebRTC support in Firefox, Ericsson’s Web Communication Gateway and the AT&T API platform to enable the browser to sync with a user’s existing phone number and provide calling services without any plugins to download.

WebRTC (real-time communications) is being standardized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The demonstration is taking place at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which opens its doors on Monday.


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Microsoft 70-454 Q & A / Study Guide

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QUESTION 1
You are employed as a database developer at Certkingdom.com. You make use of SQL Server 2008 to develop database strategies.
You are in the process of developing a strategy that has three tables named Certkingdom1, Certkingdom2, and
Certkingdom3. The Certkingdom1 and Certkingdom2 have the integer and varchar data type column types configured
respectively. Certkingdom3 has both the integer and varchar data types configured as column types.
You have configured rowlevel compression on Certkingdom1, and page-level compression on Certkingdom2 and Certkingdom3.
Which of the following describes the reason for this configuration?

A. It allows for the reduction of disk space usage, while modifying the data types in the tables of the database
B. It allows for the reduction of disk space usage without modifying the data types in the tables of the database
C. It allows for the increase of disk space usage, while modifying the data types in the tables of the database
D. It allows for the increase of disk space usage, while modifying the data types in the tables of the database

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 2
You are employed as a database developer at Certkingdom.com. You make use of SQL Server 2008 to
develop database strategies.
You have received instructions to design a database strategy that includes a table which hosts
data imported from an outside source. This data includes a field named TransactionTime that
should be configured to make use of hh:mm:ss[.n] format.
You have been informed that the data type selected for the TransactionTime field must allow for
storage to be kept to a minimum.
You, therefore, make use of the time(1) data type.
Which of the following is TRUE with regards to the time data type?

A. The default fractional precision is 7 (100ns).
B. The default fractional precision is 3 (100ns).
C. The time produced by the time data type is not time zone aware and is based on a 24-hour clock.
D. The time produced by the time data type is time zone aware and is based on a 12-hour clock.

Answer: A,D

Explanation:


QUESTION 3
You are employed as a database developer at Certkingdom.com. You make use of SQL Server 2008 to
develop database strategies.
You have received instructions to design a strategy that has two tables named CertkingdomVendor and
CertkingdomItem. You have configured a foreign key constraint between the CertkingdomVendor and CertkingdomItem
tables on the CertkingdomVendorID column.
You have configured the CertkingdomVendor table to display a 0 value for the CertkingdomVendorID when a
vendor is removed. You also want make sure that the CertkingdomVendorID value in the CertkingdomItem table is
set to 0 when a vendor is removed.
You then create a default constraint on the CertkingdomVendorID column in the CertkingdomItem table, which is
used to set the value to 0.
Which of the following actions should you take NEXT?

A. You should consider setting the ON DELETE property of the foreign key constraint to Null.
B. You should consider setting the ON DELETE property of the foreign key constraint to Default.
C. You should consider setting the ON DELETE property of the foreign key constraint to Cascade.
D. You should consider setting the ON DELETE property of the foreign key constraint to No Action.

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 4
You are employed as a database developer at Certkingdom.com. You make use of a SQL Server 2008
instance to develop database strategies.
You are in the process of designing a database strategy that makes use of the Integration
Services and Microsoft Sync Framework SQL Server components.
Which of the following is TRUE with regards to the use of these components?

A. Microsoft Sync Framework allows for collaboration and offline access for applications, services, and devices.
B. Microsoft Sync Framework prevents collaboration and offline access for applications, services, and devices.
C. Integration Services allows for the merging of data from Heterogeneous Data Stores.
D. Integration Services prevents the merging of data from Heterogeneous Data Stores.

Answer: A,C

Explanation:


QUESTION 5
You are employed as a database developer at Certkingdom.com. You make use of SQL Server 2008 to
develop database strategies.
You have received instructions to design a strategy that helps Certkingdom.com’s administration manager.
You have created three entities named User, UserTask, and UserAssignment. You have
configured the User entity to make use of the UserID attribute, the UserTask entity to make use of
the UserTaskID attribute, and the UserAssignment entity to make use of the UserAssignmentID attribute.
You have been informed that the strategy must allow for users to be assigned multiple tasks. You
also need to ensure that a task is deleted when it has been completed, and that the assignment
linked to that task is also deleted. Furthermore, a NULL value has to replace the user reference to
the user assignment as soon as a user becomes unavailable to finish a task.
Which combination of the following actions should you take? (Choose all that apply.)

A. You should consider configuring Foreign Key constraints on the UserTaskID and UserID
attributes in the UserAssignment entity.
B. You should consider configuring Foreign Key constraints on the UserTaskID and UserID
attributes in the UserTask and User entities respectively.
C. You should consider referencing the UserTask and User entities respectively.
D. You should consider referencing the UserAssignment and User entities respectively.
E. You should consider specifying the On Delete property as NULL.
F. You should consider specifying the On Delete property as Default.

Answer: A,C,E

Explanation:

 

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Best Android Honeycomb Tablet News, Magazine Apps

Honeycomb has matured to a large number of Tablet optimized apps, and its about time that we start talking about them, one at a time.

 

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Best & Top News, Magazine apps on Android Honeycomb for tablets

1. News 360

One of my favorite apps. Aggregates news from various sources and displays them beautifully.

2. CNN for Android Tablet
Clean, and very well designed app that brings world class news right to android tablet.

3. Pulse

Pulse aggregates news content from various top internet blogs and displays them in a very natural scrollable thumbnails. This is my fav app on Android phones, tablet. Syncs and downloads news for offline reading, automatically.

4. USA Today

Latest news, scores, weather, stocks and photos from USA TODAY. The latest news, scores, weather, stocks and photos you’ve come to expect from USA TODAY and now available in a beautiful new way, on the Android Tablet. Staying informed has never been this quick, easy or enjoyable.

5. Feedly

Integrates with Google Reader, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Read it Later and Instapaper.

6. Newsr:

Sync and read Google Reader feeds.

7. CNBC Realtime

Get real-time stock quotes, watchlists, news, videos & more. The CNBC Real-Time App for Android gives you free access to real-time stock quotes – before, during and after market hours, directly from both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Marketplace. Additionally, you will get CNBC breaking news alerts, top news stories & analysis, and access to the latest CNBC business video clips, CEO interviews and market updates via CNBC video-on-demand.

8. HackerNews
Love HackerNews? You’ll love this easy to user Hacker news navigator.

9. Press Reader
PressReader for Honeycomb brings over 1,900 full-content newspapers from 95 countries in 51 languages to your favorite Google Honeycomb operated tablet.
Choose from a growing list of the world’s most popular publications, including: The Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune.

10. F5 Reddit browser

Like Reddit? You would love this. Browse through various top links from around the web.

11. Financial times

Ge the latest in Finance via the official FT app.

12. Sports Illustrated

A Magazine that covers all your sports.

13. News Republic

Choose your favorite category of News and be bedazzled with them in a beautiful interface.

14. Time Magazine

The Famous Time magazine is now on Honeycomb. Various pay models for subscriptions.

15. SkyGrid

SkyGrid is the most powerful & only app for you to stay up to date on your interests. Follow your own topics and get updates on the exact interests you care about!

15. Appy Geek

APPY Geek, the best-rated Tech news app on Android is now available on tablets!
With hundreds of news articles every day (including TechRadar, New Media Age, Pocket-Lint, Technology Blogged, Tech Watch and more)

16. Honey Reader

A Simple RSS reader.

17. Fashion news app

A simple app that gives you different Fashion apps for android.

Mozilla to Businesses: We’re Not Interested

A key Mozilla executive thumbs his nose at business users who use Firefox.

A Mozilla executive has incurred the wrath of IT professionals with a somewhat callous comment made about Firefox and its focus on the enterprise.

The comment was in response to a blog posting by Firefox specialist and consultant Mike Kaply. Kaply was justifiably lamenting Firefox’s rapid release scheduling and its negative impact on businesses. Case in point: Firefox 4 was only released in March. Now, three months later Firefox 5.0 is out in stable release. Hence, Mozilla has ceased supporting Firefox 4.

 

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Kaply points out that this breakneck update schedule may “work for the average user” but “it doesn’t fly in [a] corporate environment, especially places like banks”. “Expecting a company to go through a full deployment cycle of their web browser every six week is simply ludicrous.”

Others apparently are in agreement, as his post is now at 60-something comments and counting. Particularly vociferous posts are being made by IT people who support thousands of clients running Firefox:

“I have 500,000 corporate users on Firefox 3.6. We just completing a test cycle of Firefox 4 on many thousands of internal business web applications,” one said.

The same poster addresses his concerns over the end of support: “By the time I validate Firefox 5, what guarantee would I have that Firefox 5 won’t go EOL when Firefox 6 is released?”

However, what really stoked the flame on that blog was Mozilla executive Asa Dotzler’s response to Kaply:

“Mike, you do realize that we get about 2 million Firefox downloads per day from regular user types, right? Your “big numbers” here are really just a drop in the bucket, fractions of fractions of a percent of our user base.

“Enterprise has never been (and I’ll argue, shouldn’t be) a focus of ours,” Dotzler continued. “Until we run out of people who don’t have sysadmins and enterprise deployment teams looking out for them, I can’t imagine why we’d focus at all on the kinds of environments you care so much about.”

Dotzler’s comment is both sneering and contemptuous of the businesses that have deployed Firefox in their organizations. And, sometimes, at their own peril, may I add. While Firefox is a wonderful browser with its own unique set of features, the frequent updating, occasional lack of good documentation, extension breaking whenever a new update comes out – it all makes it a dicey choice of browser for businesses.

Telling businesses that they are not “a focus” nor should be for Firefox developers is also potential profit suicide. Yes, Firefox makes a profit and a hefty one, with lucrative deals made with search engine companies. Mozilla raked in $104 million in profit in 2009, largely though a deal with Google.

Yet, Chrome has recently stalled Firefox adoption. Many are speculating how a potential decline in Firefox adoption could affect Mozilla’s revenue. Especially because the advertising deal Mozilla has made with Google is slated to end this year. As Mozilla seeks to renew that deal with Google and shop for other advertising partners, a significant decline in the Firefox browser market could hurt Mozilla’s chances of securing ad deals. According to Net Applications, Firefox has dropped from a 24.3 percent to a 21.9 percent market share from May 2010 to May 2011. During the same period, Google Chrome rose dramatically from 7 percent to 12.5 percent.”

Dotzler’s comment is also counter to what Mozilla and others in the open source community have been telling businesses for years: give open source a try. Yet, businesses have been reluctant to adopt open source en masse and this cavalier attitude shown by Dotzler proves why.

Business IT has had a healthy fear of open source, due to a perception of lack of support, issues surrounding licensing and other reasons. It’s fine if you upgrade your home machine fervently with each new Firefox or Linux distro update. In a business, every update, especially major upgrades, must be tested to ensure they don’t break anything in production environments. This is particularly critical in businesses that have custom, in-house, web-based applications.

Many businesses using Firefox use extensions for business processes. What happens when a mission-critical extension doesn’t work, and Mozilla does not support that version of Firefox anymore? It’s a risk most business IT execs won’t and can’t take.

I hardly believe Dotler’s comments are representative of most of the open source community, nor of Mozilla’s. We’ve reached out to Mozilla for comment and will update this post accordingly. However, now is certainly not the time for anyone at Mozilla to dismiss the enterprise, especially with Firefox’s slowing adaption rate.

Update: Kev Needham, Channel Manager at Mozilla has responsed to a request for comment:

“The Web and Web browsers continue to evolve rapidly. Mozilla’s focus is on providing users with the best Web experience possible, and Firefox needs to evolve at the pace the Web’s users and developers expect. By releasing small, focused updates more often, we are able to deliver improved security and stability even as we introduce new features, which is better for our users, and for the Web.”

“We recognize that this shift may not be compatible with a large organization’s IT Policy and understand that it is challenging to organizations that have effort-intensive certification polices. However, our development process is geared toward delivering products that support the Web as it is today, while innovating and building future Web capabilities. Tying Firefox product development to an organizational process we do not control would make it difficult for us to continue to innovate for our users and the betterment of the Web.”

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