Mozilla, the organisation behind Firefox, has openly said that they are not afraid that Google's newly announced Chrome browser in a number of interviews given to various news outlets.
The question is not whether they should be afraid, rather it should be how much Mozilla should be afraid (and probably running for cover).
Here's 11 good reasons why Google's sudden announcement of Chrome could spell more trouble for Firefox than Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
1. Chrome is Open Source... Just like Firefox and in this cut-throat market, there can't be space for more than one free browser... Remember Lynx, Flock, Galeon and so many other open source browsers? Firefox squeezed them out of the development space.
2. Google is Mozilla's main financial supporter... The Mozilla foundation received £31 million from Google in 2006 alone, out of the £37 million it earned in that year. Interestingly, Mozilla has not publish any financial statement since that date. Google is continuing to invest in Mozilla as per an announcement on the 29th of August 2008, at least until 2011.
3. Chrome is SERIOUSLY different from the rest of the competition. Google designed Chrome from ground up. Firefox is based on Netscape Navigator and even if the code has been refined over time, it is still old code, just like Windows XP or Vista. Chrome is "devised on the needs of today's web applications and today's users".
4. Chrome is designed with Mobile Computing in mind. Google itself said that their choice of Web-kit, the open source framework behind Chrome browsing capabilities, was motivated by the Android team. Also, you can bet your bottom penny that Google will soon release a mobile version of Chrome.
5. Chrome wants to be what Firefox has always aspired to: A fast, bug-less, memory-efficient web browser. Over the year's, Firefox has unfortunately become a bloated piece of software much like the Internet Explorer it derided for so long.
6. Google has money... Loads of money as well as almost unlimited resources. For example, they will be testing each new Chrome browser build against millions of pages from their massive web crawler every week. Similarly, they will use their huge database of websites to tackle phishing and malware-laden websites.
7. Mozilla has spread itself too thinly. Weave, Ubiquity, Tracemonkey, Firefox Mobile. Rather than solving immediate problems now, Mozilla decided to dedicate precious resources to imagine what the future browsers would look like.
8. Mozilla has become lazy, much to the chagrin of its users. Memory leaks? Still there... Incompatibilities? Still there... Sluggishness? Still there... Worst still, Mozilla has decided to leave interesting non-core features in the hands of its community for better and for worse... Sometimes, democracy is not the best way forward.
9. Google sees Firefox (and most other browsers) as being ineffective which is why they devised their own in the first place rather than adopt it. For example, they hate autocompletion in line (page 20 of the comic), an important feature of both Firefox and Internet Explorer.
10. Google is cool and actually fun, more fun than Firefox and Internet Explorer put together... Who -- other than Google -- would have the guts to launch the most important piece of software since Firefox by using a comic book?
11. Google can always copy Firefox's key features in the future should it want to since Firefox is open source anyway.
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