Chris Messina’s 50 minute video manifesto about where Mozilla ought to be taking itself is mighty impressive stuff. He’s obviously put a heap of though into his position, although I think that my Web Worker Daily colleague (I’m guest blogging there in May), Anne Zelenka’s response is possibly closer to the mark.
Here are my thoughts:
- while I think that the browser will become less important as platforms such as Apollo and Silverlight build market share and deliver browser-like functions to user desktops, I don’t think browsers are likely to disappear in the next two to three years;
- Firefox has the browser add-on market stitched up for the moment. IE7 has a lot of catching up to do. I’d guess that most Firefox users (a growing sector) have at least one add-on installed. The attraction of the all-in-on plus extras client is strong;
- an “ecosystem of browsers” looks like fractured, dispersed market to me. Firefox needs to remain strong and provide even better hooks for XUL apps, such as Songbird to be a part of a single ecosystem. Firefox as petri dish in which to grow beautiful things;
- Firefox needs to further increase market share beyond the geek hipster set and tech-savvy. My Mum uses it because I tell her to, Mozilla needs to reach those people without intermediaries.
Mozilla’s, and by association, Firefox’s futures are their own to determine. They need to be the Purple Cow they promised to be. I think they need to try harder, but I don’t think they are as doomed as Chris thinks.