Rebranding Firefox

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-11-09 Print this article Print

Where do you see [fitting] in Mozillas strategy other people building atop what you have, whether that be other branded versions of the browser or other applications? The one well-known entity that has done this is Netscape with its 7.2 release. How important is that type of strategy moving forward at the foundation, whether it be a commercial or an open-source group?
When we think about the platform, we feel like weve got a great browser in Mozilla Firefox. And it may be that others would want to rebrand it and change it. Thats a possibility. But maybe more likely is the range of companies that have a set of services that they want a browsing capability tuned to. …
Take a look at the Mozilla Amazon Browser, which is a browser built using our technology but really tuned for Amazon to give you a better experience when you go to Amazon. What you do at Amazon is not everything that you might do on the Web. Its designed to give you the information and let you make the choices that youre really thinking about when youre at Amazon. So theres a set of those things in the browsing world. Theres also a whole set of applications [for which] XUL is a very powerful tool for building Web-based applications, in particular if you want something cross-platform but even if you dont it allows a broad set of people to build really sophisticated applications that are small and take advantage of what the Web has to offer. We see a good set of those developing, and part of our platform work is to make it not only easier to do that but easier to deploy them so theyre very small deployments. Were not thinking so much along the lines of co-branded browsers or rebranded browsers so much as this broader set of technology for Web-related applications. So it could be a specific Web function you want to do from a lightweight desktop application where you may need some basic browsing functionality? Yes. … It turns out that the technologys there and Mozilla browsers support it [so] that if a Web site provides a means to do so, you can access the data from the Web site without necessarily getting the whole page from the Web site, or you can refresh the data on a more streaming basis. Theres one question I have to ask … because people are so interested in it. And that is whether theres any validity to the rumor that Mozilla is working with Google on some kind of browsing functionality. The code base is open for companies to do as they wish to do, but were not working with Google on a special browser. … We are not working on a Google browser. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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