Mozilla Must Make Firefox Appeal to Enterprise Users

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-08-02 Print this article Print

5. The value game

When deciding on a browser, users will need to opt for the software that provides them with the best value. For a long time, Mozilla provided the best value. It was typically faster than Internet Explorer, more secure, and its extensions made the browser far more viable. Today, that just isn't the case. Chrome is faster; other browsers have extensions; and security on Firefox is about equal to every other non-Microsoft browser on the market. Consumers are starting to realize that. And it will continue to hurt Mozilla going forward.

6. Notoriety means something

Notoriety means the difference between success and failure in the tech business. In the browser market, it has helped Microsoft's Internet Explorer grow. And it will likely help Google Chrome become a top contender in that space as well. For Mozilla, that's bad news. As popular as Firefox is, Mozilla isn't a household name. And for the average, novice Web user, using software that comes from a trusted name, such as Microsoft or Google, is important. Going forward, look for more and more customers to opt for Chrome for one simple reason: it's an Internet Explorer alternative from a company they know and trust.

7. The competition is bigger and stronger

Mozilla was able to grow in the face of the world's most powerful tech company. But whether it can do that again-this time against two of the world's most powerful companies-is decidedly up for debate. Google has a lot riding on its browser. If it beats Internet Explorer, Google can increase usage of its search and thus, maximize its advertising revenue. Realizing that, the company is more than willing to throw as much money and influence into its browser as necessary. Microsoft, fearing a more powerful Google, will likely do the same. All the while, it will be Mozilla, with its relatively smaller cashflow, that will need to keep up. That seems rather unlikely right now.

8. The corporate world plays a role

Mozilla might not focus much of its efforts on the enterprise, but maybe it should. The main reason why Internet Explorer is so popular today can be directly attributed to its success in the corporate world. Companies both big and small rely upon Internet Explorer to get work done. In fact, some Web-based enterprise solutions only work on Microsoft's browser. If Firefox wants to keep its success alive and fend off Google, it needs to make a significant play for the enterprise. If it doesn't, things will only get worse.

9. Playing catch up?

Mozilla finds itself in a strange position. The company was once far ahead of the competition, thanks to its extensions and page-loading times. But all that has changed, due to improvements made by the other browsers in the space. The time has come now for Mozilla to play catch-up. Whether it can is anyone's guess. The organization delivered Firefox when it was much better than Microsoft's browser. Today, it needs to find a way to better other software. And based on the features in Firefox 4, it seems like the company is having a difficult time at it. In fact, most reports say that the new browser still isn't able to match Chrome's speeds. That's not a good thing if Mozilla wants to regain lost market share.

10. Opera is hurting it

Opera might command a small portion of the browser market, but it's arguably hurting Mozilla just as much as Microsoft and Google. The reason why is simple: Opera appeals to the advanced users who don't want to get caught up in the Microsoft-Google struggle. And with Opera becoming a force to be reckoned with in the mobile market, it's entirely possible that the company's browser will be gaining desktop market share as more people pick up its mobile version. It's important that Mozilla doesn't underestimate Opera. Such underestimating could prove troublesome for its future growth. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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