Miguel Helft publica hoy en The New York Times un comentario sobre la competencia desatada entre Firefox y Chrome, de Google. Quizá no tan inesperada, pero si inconveniente: Google fue colaborador del proyecto abierto de Mozilla durante largo tiempo, hasta el lanzamiento de Chrome, prefigurado ya en Android. Como Helft dice, aunque el código de Chrome sea abierto, de todas formas representa un crecimiento de la presión sobre el grupo Mozilla, que debe afrontar con voluntarios la lucha contra al menos dos competidores que disponen de gran cantidad de fondos para sostenerse e investigar innovaciones: Google y Microsoft. Y para peor, Chrome resultan dos productos excelentes, día a día mejorados.
Las desventajas de Firefox:
The rise of Firefox unleashed a new wave of innovation and competition among browser makers. Microsoft and Apple, which makes the Safari browser, have narrowed the gap with recent upgrades. That makes it less likely that people will take the trouble to seek out and install Firefox.El significado de Firefox:
At the same time, the Web has been migrating from PCs to powerful mobile phones like the iPhone. Firefox won’t have a mobile version ready until later this year.
[...] “Google, Apple and Microsoft can all throw a lot of resources toward improving their browsers. Mozilla, not so much,” says Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. “When it was them against Microsoft, it wasn’t such a big problem. Now that there are other alternatives, it becomes harder for them to retain relevance.”
For Mozilla and its millions of fans, Firefox is not just cool software but also a cause: to ensure that no company, whether Microsoft, Google or anyone else, can tilt the Web to its advantage by tweaking its browser to favor its products or applications.Quién será más afectado:
[...] Only a small fraction of the people involved in building Firefox are paid employees at Mozilla, which has about 250 workers. An additional 1,000 or so programmers contributed code for the most recent Firefox release. There are also tens of thousands of other volunteers who help test and promote Firefox, write add-ons and help translate it into more than 70 languages.
“We succeeded because more people got engaged, helped us build a better product and helped us get the product into the hands of people,” Ms. Baker says. “We succeeded because of the mission."
La visión de John Lily, de Mozilla:
So far, Chrome doesn’t appear to have hurt Firefox. Chrome has grabbed just under 2 percent of the browser market, according to Net Applications, a company that tracks browser use. During the same period, Firefox’s share has kept growing, to 22.5 percent from 19.5 percent. Microsoft’s has continued to decline, to 66 percent from 72, though it argues that most of that loss has been on computers that don’t readily support Internet Explorer, like those from Apple.
In many ways, Google and Mozilla are fighting the same battle, albeit not with the same objectives. They both contend that the Web should be open and based on common standards — Mozilla because it is its mission, Google because it is good for its business.“Most days we are aligned with them,” Mr. Lilly says. “Their focus on the open Web is pretty amazing.”
Mr. Lilly acknowledges that with the intense competition, it will be harder for Firefox to stand out. Firefox and its supporters will have to work harder to find areas of browser technology where they want to focus their efforts, he says, and let Google, Apple and Microsoft push innovation in other areas.
But he says the renewed competition is a testament to the success of Firefox and of the Mozilla mission.“This is the world we wanted, and the world we made,” he says. “We wanted a world where people — normal human beings — could make meaningful choices about the browser technology that they use. That’s what we have today.”
La fotografía, de Noah Berger, para The New York Times:"Software engineers at Mozilla's headquarters in Silicon Valley"