IBM has standardized on the Mozilla Firefox Web browser as the default browser for its employees. Big Blue says the Firefox browser is standards-compliant, enterprise-ready and provides an on ramp to cloud computing.
IBM has standardized on the Mozilla Firefox Web browser as the default browser for its employees.
In a July 1 blog post,
Bob Sutor, vice president of open source and Linux in IBM Software
Group, said: "We're officially adding a new piece of software to the
list of default common applications we expect employees to use, and
that's the Mozilla Firefox browser."
Sutor succinctly summed up the news: "It is not news that some IBM
employees use Firefox. It is news that all IBM employees will be asked
to use it as their default browser."
Moreover, "Firefox has been around for years, of course," Sutor
added. "Today we already have thousands of employees using it on Linux,
Mac and Windows laptops and desktops, but we're going to be adding
thousands more users to the rolls."
Sutor said he believes Firefox and its growth "reinvigorated" the
browser market as well as the Web overall by spurring competition and
It is no surprise that IBM would standardize on Firefox, as the
company is a staunch supporter of Linux and open-source software, and
open standards in general.
"While other browsers have come and gone, Firefox is now the gold
standard for what an open, secure and standards-compliant browser
should be," Sutor said. "We'll continue to see this or that browser be
faster or introduce new features, but then another will come along and
be better still, including Firefox."
IBM's move to cloud computing also plays into the decision to go with Firefox, Sutor said.
"There's another reason we want to get as many of our employees
using Firefox as soon as possible, and that is Cloud Computing," Sutor
said. "For the shift to the cloud to be successful, open standards must
be used in the infrastructure, in the applications, and in the way
people exchange data. The longstanding commitment of Mozilla to open
standards and the quality of the implementation of them in Firefox
gives us confidence that this is a solid, modern platform that should
be part of IBM's own internal transformation to significantly greater
use of Cloud Computing. Examples of this already include Blue Insight,
an internal cloud for business analytics, and LotusLive, for online
Sutor said he began using Firefox because it was "new and fast and cool," but he continues to use it because:
- Firefox is
stunningly standards compliant, and interoperability via open standards
is key to IBM's strategy.
- Firefox is open
source and its development schedule is managed by a development
community not beholden to one commercial entity.
- Firefox is secure
and an international community of experts continues to develop and
- Firefox is
extensible and can be customized for particular applications and
organizations, like IBM.
- Firefox is
innovative and has forced the hand of browsers that came before and
after it to add and improve speed and function.
So what does it mean for Firefox to be the default browser inside
IBM, Sutor asked. It means that "Any employee who is not now using
Firefox will be strongly encouraged to use it as their default
browser," he said. "All new computers will be provisioned with it. We
will continue to strongly encourage our vendors who have browser-based
software to fully support Firefox."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.