In a way Chrome was in the right place at the right time, with the right bunch of people. If they hadn't launched, Firefox would likely be sitting where Chrome is now, though likely without a bunch of drive to improve things as much as they currently have.
Of course, in an alternate universe where Firefox was #1 and IE #2, we might have had royalty-free video codecs mandated by standards and no W3C-endorsed DRM...
I'm still kind of bitter with the way they did that. A lot of windows installers, which usually installed you toolbars if you forgot to uncheck a box, started installing chrome as your default browser if you forgot to uncheck a box.
I've seen a lot of non-technical people using chrome who have no idea what chrome is or remembering giving consent to installing chrome.
For context, a payout of $0.10 for a bundled install would have been considered really good back then; a payout 10x that amount meant you'd pull every dirty trick in the book to get as many installs as possible.
thats quite a lot of powerful advertisement, on the sites people browse every day. its not too different than being part of the default install IMO ;-)
and of course - chrome is a pretty good browser (though edge is actually quite good and firefox is pretty much ok as well despite not yet doing sandboxing)
Nobody other than Google (or your OEM) is allowed to build complete screen casting apps on Android. All third party solutions require you to output your audio through your speaker and capture it with your microphone, which is much worse quality, single-channel, and makes sound (I want to hear my device audio through the speakers of the device I'm casting it to).
It makes no sense, especially when any device on your network can emulate being a Miracast receiver and get access to the same audio data that you aren't allowed to access on your own device. In fact, Windows 10 insider preview currently includes a Miracast emulator just for this purpose of Android screen sharing.
"The popup is anchored to the extension icon, which might be in overflow or not even exist, in which case it is anchored to the Wrench menu. That kind of anchoring would make the message in the popup to appear to be from the Chrome browser (since it points to the chrome UI) and would present a vector for tricking users into thinking the message is from a trusted source.
Since this is not safe to allow all extensions to do we'd need a lot better reasoning than "I'd like to use this in my extension" before allowing widespread use of this API."
"While the Philips Hue system is based on open technologies we are not able to ensure all products from other brands are tested and fully interoperable with all of our software updates. For guaranteed compatibility you need to use Philips Hue or certified Friends of Hue products."
After all, it'd just be downright unthinkable that any non-Philips lightbulb should be compatible with our light sockets, that any brand of plug should fit into our wall sockets, or that non-Google-branded plug-in should be able to use a web browser's APIs... I mean, goodness, next we'll be thinking that the term "plug-in API" suggests its supposed to allow things that other people created to interoperate...
And they told OEMs they wouldn't sell them Windows at all if they preinstalled Netscape or uninstalled IE.
Which is why they got sued by the government and lost the trial.
Kind of different if you ask me.
It was found guilty in the larger anti-trust case, but not in the browser case.
See Microsoft Wins In Appeals Court -- It Gets OK To Require Use Of Its Internet Browser; Special Master Booted
Microsoft Wins Key Ruling An Appeals Court Said The Company's Browser Can Be Integrated Into Windows 95. The U.s. Had Sued To Stop It.
In the case of Chrome and Firefox, they're competitive enough that you really need to say both what you're measuring and how you measured it. People tend to say one is faster than the other when they most commonly mean “the set of extensions I installed in A slowed it down more than B”.
In Chrome when you load a JS-intensive website (ex. Facebook) you can switch to a different tab while the website finishes doing that JS-intensive task (ex. loading), but in Firefox the opposite happens, the entire browser freezes so you are forced to wait until the browser becomes responsive again.
We are talking in the order of magnitude of milliseconds, but unfortunately it is enough to be perceptible (and annoying).
Fortunately for FF, e10s is almost baked, it still doesn't feel as responsive as Chrome BUT it feels significantly better so you can easily neglect the difference until it matures or something better (Servo) gets baked.
My point was simply that without providing more detail, those comments are so vague to be useless.
Other times, FF is lightning quick - near instantaneous loads - only other thing I can think of is that I'm running FF on Fedora?
I had higher hopes for FF android, as it allows plugins (adblock), but the browser is so horrible on the platform, I wound up switching back... I also tried dolphin for a while. Neither was satisfactory.
I just like chrome better...
Unfortunately outside America the mobile web is a malvertising minefield, and the malvertisers target the carriers directly, so there is no way to expect ad networks (ex. AdSense) to proactively hunt for them.
A browser with integrated AdBlock is the most sensible option you can have in a non-rooted device, and the easiest one you can recommend to friends and colleagues.
I know that is a separate issue... would really like my password manager & adblock & the app window/tabs where each "tab" is a separate window instead of integrated tab-bar, which isn't very nice at all on a phone.
The most valuable advertising space in the world?
Do you have any specific examples?
Java - When updating, Java on Windows would often trick you into installing Chrome as your default browser unless you noticed and unchecked a box
Avast, AntiVir, etc - Nearly every free antivirus on Windows was paid by Google to install Chrome. The free antivirus would notify you there was a new version and if you clicked the UPDATE or CONTINUE button without noticing and unchecking the box, you'd wind up with Chrome installed and set as your default browser: http://i.imgur.com/hNZLbmL.jpg
The majority of the non-techies I know and had set up with Firefox have no idea how Chrome got on their machines and became their default browser. I'd wager a lot of Chrome's desktop userbase on Windows is due to shady bundleware arrangements.
Chrome was still engaged in the above behavior the last time I checked.
Oh, and the text for disabling the Google Chrome install-and-make-default was tiny... on a low-DPI screen.
I was never aware this was even a problem because all my software came in through one or two trusted sources.
Especially considering Chrome is currently on track to kill Flash by a click-to-start policy for the majority users. Much irony.
I'm a developer and growth hacking is a mystery to me, I'm always impressed to see which "moves" are able to increase the user-base.
As I said, people shouldn't be upset at Google, installing Chrome was a significant improvement, or would you rather see IE8 still as the dominant browser?
I blame Adobe, Oracle, etc. because they have the trust of the users and a piece of software considered essential by many people, yet they decide to use the shady practices that cheapskates use.
If it weren't Chrome it would be the dreaded Ask Toolbar or something even worse, so it's not the fault of Google, quite the contrary, installing Chrome as a byproduct is possibly the least negative outcome.
EDIT: I checked it right now, and it also targets IE, unlike what you suggest: http://i.imgur.com/XuwHs7G.png
That's a question for our best second tier psychologists and UX researchers (the first tier being too busy developing the aforesaid mind-fucks).
Is it? Across the board they are entitled to make that decision for every user?
it is absolutely as bad as any of the crapware vendors who do this. Google is just as bad as the ask toolbar people.
If you suggest the opposite, you don't do web development or live in the early 2000's.
> Across the board they are entitled to make that decision for every user?
Saying "every" is an exaggeration, since several users would opt-out. Installing a better (yes, better) browser to technically-impaired people who don't even know what a browser is looks like a good trade off to me.
> it is absolutely as bad as any of the crapware vendors who do this. Google is just as bad as the ask toolbar people.
Ask is a dying company doing questionable last ditch efforts. Google is a healthy company deliberately tweaking tech-impaired user's defaults, there is a difference whether you like it or not.
The checkbox is pre-selected.
For those looking for an alternative, try Bleachbit  (works great on Linux/Windows, open-source).
Compelling things about Firefox that are wasted:
1) It's operated by a non-profit which lacks an ulterior motive.
2) It isn't inherently privacy-destroying.
3) The vast number of extensions.
Instead of depending on these things, they sneakily put in opt-out features that do destroy privacy and generate revenue, hide the ways to opt-out, and act shocked when you question their motives. They constantly break extensions. They unintentionally highlight that they share the thing that bothers people the most about applications in general: they arbitrarily change UI, something about your workflow is as likely as not to break on every update, and you will spend hours trying to get it to work the way it used to work.
There's no reason for them to do this other than some Silicon Valley mindset - it's in the culture, not in the mission. It's as if the Salvation Army kept moving the front door. Worse, it's as if the Salvation Army kept moving the front door because they saw Wal-Mart moving the front door.
Firefox should be saying: "We're the safe as milk, simple, straightforward browser that prioritizes privacy and public service, and is infinitely flexible in order to prioritize our user's individual needs." Instead, they're like: "We're an off-brand Chrome. We'll make a phone and an OS, too, just a little crappier. You have no idea where our money is coming from, but our drive to expand beyond what we once did well should make you suspicious. Also, we're removing that button on the next update."
Regular users don't care for any of that. The reason why they are number one it's because they had the "internet's homepage" advantage and were able to spam everybody into installing it. If you happen to be on Firefox and you haven't installed the last two .0001 releases they start to spam you with the annoying "install chrome" messages on google.com. No wonder everyone and their uncle installed it instead of Firefox if only to get rid of that annoying ad. Reasonable people can disagree on Firefox vs Chrome but let's not pretend that this isn't how Chrome got to be numero uno.
Since their inception the dev tools were minimalistic (just the DOM Inspector and a JS Console), currently the Dev Tools of Chrome could get some trimming, ex. some tabs such as Sources and Resources could get merged.
I very much doubt that. Even before Chrome launched Firefox stopped climbing in share. Mozilla has had this saying about marketshare not being apart of their mission.
In fact they've been losing share for some time now. According to NetMarketShare their at about 10% where they were once ~27%.
Most users: Nah, man. We’ll go with the search engine and ad network company.
Firefox does have global freezes on particularly heavy pages due to the single process model. It's rare enough not to bother me much though.
As a tip, the Firefox Android version allows add-ons -- uBlock most critically. It's just great.
grandparent: firefox is building it
parent: it tooks them 7 years and it is still not done?
you: why do you care, who cares if mozilla updates slow?
That's precisely the issue, it doesn't matter if Firefox just freezes for 250ms, it's enough to be perceptible and annoy me.
One way to see what's going on is to open a tab to `about:memory` and take a measure?
The fact that tabbed browsing's inventor's said as much doesn't do much to dissuade me.
Vastly better bookmarking or state management seem needed.
OTOH I happily use Firefox Android.
The Android FF app is also unusable since it doesn't support bookmark folders when using sync, which I don't even want to know what would do to my bookmarks across devices.
Firefox Sync (formerly "Weave") has actually existed since 2007, it just was delivered as an extension instead of being built-in.
Let's not get out of hand here. That may be true of "some users," or most users that you have come in contact with in your travels.
Not because it was pushed via bundlware or a Google-owned property?
But that isn't the primary problem. The primary problem is that its simply too hard for most web developers to install/run a HTML validator in their web browser and fix the errors it finds.
Now if I could just find a good way to ask "experienced" web developers if they run a validator without leading them to the "right" answer I might have a good interview question.
Part of this was I completely customized our "build" environment so that there was a debug vs release package/deploy process too. Things like JS minificantion/php obfuscation only happen during release deployment. JQuery/etc are actually checked into the version control in their unminified version. Plus, it usually only takes one or two calls from a web developer who can't figure out why their code won't deploy before they start checking the build logs.
Best viewed with Netscape 3.0+ or Internet Explorer 4.0+.
©1996-2002 Chelsea Networks
I still use Firefox though. Extensions are better.
For one, Edge only runs on Windows. Windows is losing market share to Mac OS, iOS and Android (Firefox is on all three as well as Windows).
For two, I personally use Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Chrome Canary on my box, each for their own purpose, but I have yet to find a need for Edge. There is no site that I go to that works best in Edge.
Though Safari at least has their rendering engine open sourced. But really that just makes me care about Webkit.
What is Chrome doing right now to advance so quickly? Or has that been the rate of increase for a long time?
I'm on Mac, and I believe Chrome software quality has slipped in the past 12 months. Lots more crashes than I have ever seen and some new CSS curiosities. And that's with me rarely running Chrome - Firefox is my primary browser.
Maybe Mac is a much tougher platform to target and isn't the priority for Goog, or perhaps the transition to Blink has been rough. Whatever the reason, Chrome seems to be getting creaky in its old age.
Looking at the data, not really. Their usage continues to grow, Firefox growth is at the expense of IE/Edge, not Chrome.
I am still operating under a browser wars mentality where Netscape/Mozilla's marketshare completely collapsed and they slowly recovered over time. I'm just impressed that Firefox is in double digits in terms of marketshare given that they don't have a huge marketing engine driving them (Okay, I guess Yahoo is pretty decent as engines go.)
Mozilla has been punching above their weight class ever since Chrome came to market, but I perceive that recently Mozilla management has been transitioning from reactionary to offensive. Their moves on Rust and sunsetting XUL and XPCOM are geared towards security AND performance, which are painful and necessary shifts. Largely hitting pause on FirefoxOS and Thunderbird and everything else not Firefox is also the right, if painful, thing to do.
That's why I'm going to stick with my assertion. Every day that Mozilla/Firefox doesn't shrivel up and die has to be a concern to the Chrome team!
Ads in Firefox provide the same revenue as ads in Chrome. What does Google gain by monopolizing?
I think they care more about internet explorer, they don't want it dead specifically, but if it sticks around they want it reliable. Using ie used to be a giant pain and nothing worked right, people would use it to accomplish their goal and be done. Now using any of the three is fairly pleasant and people on any browser could reasonably view many ads.
I would guess control. Owning the dominant web browser allows them to:
* Softly guide front end web tech in a direction of their choosing
* Ensure the supremacy of Google the search engine.
Also if things ever really come to head between ad-blockers and ad-providers owning the dominant platform the former runs on would be very beneficial to the latter.
Most big companies want to control their own technology stack and optimize for their own products.
So Google wants people using Android phones and Chromebooks (ideally, fed by Google Fiber), with Google Chrome browsers feeding traffic to Google Search, Google Docs (with all your files in Gdrive), Gmail, YouTube etc.
This provides the maximum surveillance capacity for maximum tracking and thus the most efficient delivery of advertising. At least to the people who don't use ad-blockers and anti-tracking systems ;-)
"The result is a world where our most intimate personal details are collected and stored. I used to say that Google has a more intimate picture of what I'm thinking of than my wife does. But that's not far enough: Google has a more intimate picture than I do. The company knows exactly what I am thinking about, how much I am thinking about it, and when I stop thinking about it: all from my Google searches. And it remembers all of that forever."
Firefox being a viable and high quality alternative means that any short-term misstep or long-term neglect by Google could create a big fall for Chrome.
A short-term misstep could be something like a disturbing privacy revelation about the Chrome browser that moves large blocks of normal users over to Firefox. Perhaps also the HTML spec might get updated in ways that Google would resist due to it threatening their business. Firefox and other browsers could, and those new features could gain them more long-term converts.
A long-term neglect scenario is maybe possible too. Google might think they've "won" and can reduce their spend on Chrome, or even put it on KLO mode like Microsoft did with IE. Firefox could creep up and get back to 30% marketshare and then not be as easy to displace as the next war begins. The recent instability of Chrome I have experienced makes me wonder if a long-term neglect of Chrome has already set in for at least parts of the browser.
My assertion is that Google just wants ad money and they need slick web browsers to enable that. Why do they care who owns the browsers?
As long there is not someone out to get them (like microsoft) in control I do not see their motive.
I'll turn your question around a bit, though. Perhaps you step away from using Google.com, the search engine, but continue to use Chrome as your primary browser. This gives Google an intimate view of your activities; they still can build interesting trends locally/state/country/globally based in-part on your surfing behavior. In this way, I view Chrome as being just as important as Google Analytics or google.com search engine to Google's ad biz.
I personally deny Google my search traffic (I default to DDG), browser histograms (I'm on Firefox), and some of my browsing patterns on affiliates (via Privacy Badger, etc.) Obviously, they still know a ton about me by my more promiscuous past and due to my network of less privacy-conscious friends and family. But, they aren't intimately in-touch with me day-to-day and they don't know what I am thinking about up-to-the-minute like they do with their other users.
Unfortunately, that's not what they are doing. They are going full throttle on the nebulous "IoT" on an equal footing with Firefox (VP & all). Mozilla seems to have abandoned it's mission statement: email is still an important part of the internet and it is far from solved. Yet they killed Thunderbird and chased after the ill-fated FirefoxOS. Who knows the next fad Mozilla will be chasing? Yeah, I'm not bitter at all. It's just that Mozilla could be more - they are selling themselves short.
About "Mozilla could be more"... sure, but more of what?
What's the headcount for Thunderbird? My point is Mozilla decided to drop email and chose to pursue Connected Devices as evidenced by their staffing decisions. The 2 decisions might be independent, but it still goes to show that Mozilla doesn't care about email. I know Mozilla is made up of individuals who would rather work on the new hotness, but it does make me wonder how committed they are to their mission statement. If Firefox wasn't raking in boatloads of cash, would it be dropped as quickly?
> About "Mozilla could be more"... sure, but more of what?
How about "more sensitive to their users current needs" or "more focused on their mission statement"?
I was under the impression that FirefoxOS was on the backburner, not necessarily cancelled. FirefoxOS is a great idea, it's Mozilla's version of Android or WebOS. The fact that they didn't have a runaway success doesn't make mobile a fad for Mozilla - Mozilla has an existential problem if they do not have a strong mobile presence. Mozilla only has a toehold in mobile right now with Firefox iOS/Android, and I expect they will have to circle back to FirefoxOS at some point if they want to increase their marketshare.
But regarding the attempt at building FirefoxOS, I wonder what else would you expected for Mozilla to do given their position? Are you grumpy that they failed at something big? I have it on good authority that Mozilla isn't staffed by super-intelligent brain aliens with infinite time/budgets on their hands. :D
They're trying to divest themselves of Thunderbird entirely, as far as I can tell. Too bad, so sad. The community needs to organize, step up, butch up, and run with it or it will die.
Yep, have a look at the leadership page. They have an SVP for Firefox, and an SVP for Connected Devices - who is/was responsible for FirefoxOS. There is no SVP for Thunderbird - and this means politically, Thunderbird has no champion/sponsor at executive level, but FirefoxOS and IoT does.
> But regarding the attempt at building FirefoxOS, I wonder what else would you expected for Mozilla to do given their position? Are you grumpy that they failed at something big?
I'm grumpy because they put Thunderbird on ice with no replacement planned. Mozilla's mission is "to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. An Internet that truly puts people first, where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent". How on earth does putting Thunderbird into cold-storage help that mission?
I know they don't have infinite resources, but I question how they choose to distribute them when Connected Devices get some and Thunderbird gets none.
Edit: added reasons why I'm grumpy
Yeah, it's not entirely unfair to call it a copout when you hear the excuse that desktop-based mail clients have been supplanted by web-based email. There's a safety and privacy factor to having a robust desktop mail client, not to mention the addon potential of Gecko and Thunderbird that let you do more. I have always been dissatisfied with open source related to email both on the server-side and the client - it has ALWAYS felt unloved.
I didn't know about the IoT initiative at Mozilla, thanks for the heads up. That does seem like a farout goal compared to other better ideas like Persona, FirefoxOS, and Thunderbird. Maybe Mozilla has identified providing IoT code and services as a revenue source? That could further their overall mission, I guess. Nah, on second thought, I'm grumpy like you on this until I learn more. ;)
Right now, today, Firefox is generally responsive for me but not faster to render or process than Chrome for most workloads. I still see plenty of jank when framerates matter like when scrolling a busy page.
That said, when pages leverage Firefox's special performance features, like ASM.js, I've seen it vastly outperform Chrome, many times faster.
FF on android is a great browser. Much better than anything else - yet has like 1% marketshare. Go figure.
FF on the desktop is an average browser. Chrome and Edge are slightly better.
Also can't replace the Google bar with Firefox bar. Well I could change the launcher I suppose, but a bit inconvenient still.
I actually find what Opera is doing a lot nicer than any other others are the moment though, find myself using it more and more.
True, but the extensions are coming.
> I actually find what Opera is doing a lot nicer than any other others are the moment though, find myself using it more and more.
I use Firefox and Opera, mainly, but I'm increasingly using Vivaldi. It's Chromium based and from the guy who originally founded Opera, but didn't like the way it was going.
It's extremely configurable. If you have any nostalgic feelings for Opera 12, it's worth a go....
In ther early 2010s I forced switch the whole company about 200s to Firefox, but few years down the road everyone quietly installed Chrome and was using it. It was fast, and they dont care about anything else. Forcing them back on Firefox were met with opposition, saying using somthing inferior was insane.
Complaining to Mozilla has been served with deaf ears. It was mostly an management issues from top to bottom, they were so full of themsevles, so righoutous, that they fail to relaize the marketing is changing. By the time they realize they have shrink below 20% market share already and were continuing downwads.
Somewhere along the line, Mozilla changed their tone, it wasn't about market shares. It is about Open Web, and always has been. How do you force the Web to be Open if had no influence on it what so ever? They wasted resources on Firefox OS, which is a dismal failure. They think JS is king, and evrything, including the OS should be someday written in JS.
Firefox is dying, and i am glad. Becasue as a users from Netscape era everytime Mozilla / FIrebird / Firefox reborn things has become better.
Firefox is very noble. But the world has never been about one way or the other.
Luckiy in the past year something happen within Mozilla. I have no idea what it is because i am not following their post anymore. ( e10s is STILL not shipped ) But things are getting better. User experience matters, less Janks, memory usage kept low and most importanly Chrome has been getting worst with every release. ( Strange indeed ) This mean more people are swithing back to Firefox.
And for users with specific workflow and 100s of Tab, Firefox is still the only option on the market.
(There are a bunch of alternative paths forward other than sharing components with Gecko that don't involve dropping it into Firefox)
Use something like Palemoon and configure about:config a bit more and you should be fine. But be very skeptical of Mozilla claiming FF is some privacy enhancing tool. Their plugins ecosystem is also a security nightmare...
And Firefox enables you to turn this off in settings.
Firefox's telemetry can also be turned off. In fact, when you install Firefox, it asks you if you wish to enable it.
And regarding the plugins ecosystem, Firefox is moving away from the old XUL/XPCOM extension model towards WebExtensions, which should be better here.
You can find more developer-focused information on Safe Browsing and Telemetry:
My understanding of the Safe Browsing feature based on browsing the above is that a list of blacklisted URLs is downloaded to the client, this list is known phishing sites.
> Use something like Palemoon and configure about:config a bit more and you should be fine. But be very skeptical of Mozilla claiming FF is some privacy enhancing tool.
Keeping Firefox secure and making the right tradeoffs for collecting data to make the product better (like telemetry and crash reports) while avoiding using the data for nefarious purposes is a hard job, and I think Mozilla does it very well (disclaimer: I work there, and I see the way people treat and talk about users and their data).
> Their plugins ecosystem is also a security nightmare...
Assuming you mean extensions (aka Add-ons) - it is true that there isn't really a security model around classic Firefox extensions, which is one reason they are so powerful. The current form of Firefox extension is essentially the same as in the 1.0 days, and was intended to keep the browser slim and allow for new non-core features.
Web Extensions are intended as the replacement, they are similar to (and largely compatible with) the current Chrome extension system:
Firefox already does and will continue to support more APIs than Chrome does, to enable more powerful extensions such as Tree Style Tabs.
...the database of which is downloaded ahead of time and hence not transmitted to Google.
because they're in bed with Google.
It's actually Yahoo, not Google, that funds Firefox.
It's similarly easy to turn Health Report and Telemetry off from Options > Advanced > Data Choices.
See how do we generate revenue question:
They got ditched after Google enforced minimalism (Australis) on Firefox with giving Mozilla "good design advice's" that of course backfired. And as soon as Mozilla's share dropped enough, Google gave them the boot.
1: https://youtu.be/C3ox1zQcV_I?t=16259 (timestamp is right at the beginning of the bloom filter details)
Firefox uses a compressed Prefix set, which has no false positives (unlike the Bloom filter).
Most of telemetry is on Nightly only, IIRC. The bits that are on regular Firefox are thoroughly vetted to ensure that they don't impinge on privacy.
Install the "Privacy Settings" Firefox extension. This makes it easy to toggle the about:config options and has handy presets so you don't have to spend an hour reading articles to understand what to enable/disable.
I also tried "Policy Control" extension which is supposed to help prevent fingerprinting, but it didn't seem to work with EFF's panopticlick tool.
The tabs shape is repulsing me, I know that's a strong feeling and I can't explain it.
The disymetrical back and forward buttons bothers me as well.
I can't find how to whitelist domains accepting cookies in Firefox.
Switching profiles is much easier with chrome.
I'm used to chrome developper tools.
I don't like neither safari neither MS edge.
If it wasn't for the missing onenote extension, maybe I'd be using opera. Again, all about the details.
A quick google (heh) brought me to the FXChrome add-on . 100k+ users.