Competing with IE
As for truly competing with Microsofts Internet Explorer browser, analysts speculate thats not going to happen anytime soon. However, Howe said that Mozillas browser, Firefox, and its advanced features, like tabbed browsing and tight security, have reminded the tech giant that browsers are a very competitive space.During the announcement, Mozilla said it was going to keep the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation around as well. The new corporate side will have its own board of directors, which will be appointed by the foundation. Though some say this move is nothing unusual, some also say this move was done so the company can save face in a the sometimes-fickle open-source community. However, no one really thinks new corporate Mozilla would cause a real backlash in the open-source world, aside from a handful of purists on the fringe. Searching the Web backs that up; only a few have said much in the negative. After the news was announced, a fervent debate erupted on the open-source news site Slashdot.org. Click here to read more about the Mozilla shift from columnist David Coursey. Many of the comments were, again, positive, but some insist that corporations, even ones backed by good intentions, can never be trusted to uphold the open-source code of honor. One message board poster mentions the free art and "skin" site, deviantART and points out that once it went corporate, the corporation forced out one of the two original founders. "The lesson of deviantART is that once the corporation starts pursuing profits, and this becomes more important than the community, the origins of the foundation and the original purpose and driving force of the community may become lost," the message read. The analysts agreed that few open-source advocates would share this opinion, but Valdes said the for-profit Mozilla Corp. could potentially leech resources from the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, especially in terms of staff numbers. "The foundation will have skeleton staff, and the for-profit will have five or 10 times the number of staff," he said. "But I wouldnt put too much meaning into that — my reading is that theyre using that to create a legal structure that will allow them to better accomplish their goals." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Microsoft has responded by putting some of the same features into its upcoming Internet Explorer 8, which Howe said means that people have been paying attention to Firefox.