Asa (recently named Product Manager for Desktop Firefox) commented a lot in Mike Kaply's recent blog entries following my own. I must comment myself on Asa's answers because some are just shocking.
Mike, you do realize that we get about 2 million Firefox downloads per
day from regular user types, right? Your “big numbers” here are really
just a drop in the bucket, fractions of fractions of a percent of our
Uh !?!? We spend 8 to 10 hours per day (out of 16 hours awake) at work where the browser is one of the most important productivity tools ever, but corporate users are a drop in the bucket and therefore should not be addressed? Wow. Speaking of "drops in the bucket", I really wonder why accessibility is so important then... Oh, wait, there is a legal arsenal supporting accessibility. Even if localization is done by the community, Mozilla also spends resources to build and distribute Firefox in minor (in terms of speakers) languages like Basque or Breton. Who said drops in the bucket?
Speaking of drop in the bucket, I have an important question and I would like a firm, official and non politically correct answer: what is the future of Xulrunner?
Enterprise has never been (and I’ll argue, shouldn’t be) a focus of ours
We'll see. The day you understand that fighting Chrome with Chrome's strategy does not bring any differenciating factor and can only lead to the superiority of Chrome, you may change your view and finally discover there are important markets shares that are strictly not addressable by Chrome for various reasons. BTW, an old friend of mine, IT top manager for a 40,000+ employees, company called me yesterday. Verbatim: "once IE10 is out, we'll switch back to IE, the only browser that does care about corporate users despite of the issues it also raises ". Devastating... Already well heard in Redmond apparently.
A minute spent making a corporate user happy can better be spent making many regular users happy.
I dispute that. The finances and resources spent to implement and ship Panorama, an unfinished, unextensible, unlocalizable feature that drastically changes the center of gravity of the browser and was finally hidden would have been better spent on the production of a MSI package for corporate IT teams.
Firefox 6 will be the EOL of Firefox 5. And Firefox 7 will be the EOL for Firefox 6.
Here in France, Firefox is used by governmental agencies, Ministers and even the Gendarmerie Nationale. I think you just lost them, in the middle to long run. By the way, will Thunderbird follow the same path for versions EOL?
IE9 is a fine browser and probably better suited to those who want
long-term support. It’ll always be behind the consumer browsers
(Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera)
WOW, to say the least. I would not bet a single cookie on that. And to be frank, I think IE10 will easily compete with the "consumer browsers". I even think IE10 and IE11 will start a frontal attack against the extensibility of Firefox and therefore a big part of its market share.
The Web platform is going to move forward at an increasingly swift pace,
whether enterprises like it or not. There’s no stopping that. The Web
is much bigger than the enterprise. It is a large and important piece of
how we all live and it won’t be held hostage to the slow-moving
dinosaurs of the past
Last time I checked, the companies you quite shockingly call "dinosaurs of the past" were still feeding us, providing your computer with electricity, allowing us to drive cars, to fly from a continent to another one, to buy flats or houses, manufacturing physical goods. And none of them releases a new version every six weeks. Browser vendors are extra-terrestrial aliens in this world. They think, because it's a browser war, users and web authors need 10 new browser versions per year. They don't. The only thing they really need is an interoperable Web and that's a totally different thing.
Basically, enterprises need to get more agile. They need to devote all
that test/certify/train every three to ten years energy to continuous
testing and roll-out system. It’s not more work or more money, it’s just
a different schedule of work.
Winning a fight (hear a browser war) implies reaching new users. It also implies not letting existing users go. Asa thinks only individual users, I think all users. A blind user does not deserve less attention than a not visually impaired user ; similarly, a corporate user does not deserve less attention than others. And Corporations will not change the speed of their validation process because they just can't, they have too much to test with too small teams to achieve that validation in six weeks' time. Thinking they can shows only a total misunderstanding of what is an industry outside of the Computer Science domain and outside of the Bay Area's habits.