Mozilla 2016 Outlook: Promising Despite Funding, Competitive Woes
In 2015, Mozilla once again demonstrated why Firefox matters, perhaps most poignantly with the Firefox 42 browser release. All the major browser vendors today provide a private browsing mode, which doesn't track user history. However no other browser vendor provides tracking protection, which is what Firefox 42 introduces. Online advertisements and other Web content have the potential to track a user, which could be seen as a privacy concern. For years, Mozilla has helped lead efforts for "Do Not Track" (DNT), an opt-in technology that enables users to ask not to be tracked. Unfortunately, many Websites don't support DNT, which is why Tracking Protection is important. With Tracking Protection, instead of the users hoping that Websites will respect their choice not to be tracked, Firefox puts users back in control. In 2016, Mozilla will continue to face challenges as Microsoft's Edge, Google Chrome and Apple Safari all aim to grow their respective shares of the desktop and mobile browsing space. Mozilla will not be a player in the smartphone OS space in 2016, as it had hoped to be in 2015, but it isn't abandoning mobile. Firefox on Android and iOS will continue to push the promise of open-source powered browsing and user choice going forward. That's the great promise that Mozilla has always held from the days it split out from Netscape, through its challenges against the dominance of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and now in the era of the mobile Web. Mozilla's great promise is that of user choice and respect for user privacy. It's a promise that Mozilla is likely to keep in 2016 and for many years to come.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.