Firefox has experienced a rapid decline in marketshare. Here’s a chart (hat tip: MoeLane). Without being simplistic, Mozilla, like Starbucks, has ventured too far out on the business-unfriendly controversy limb. Sure, controversies may find you as a business, and it’s another thing if your business is based upon certain positions that everyone knows from the get-go (like prepper companies for instance). However, this wasn’t the case for Mozilla. They’re the ones who chose to fire their president because he wasn’t PC enough in his private life. They chose to jump in bed with the Silicon Valley liberatsi. Now they are finding out that when given a choice, people don’t support companies that attack their own values. That’s not in their best interests, you see. However, Mozilla wasn’t satisfied with that. Their browser redesign a few years back began the exodus from the browser; now their progressive “tolerance”, and lately, this. Really guys? You’re requiring your in-house staff to sign third-party extensions or else they won’t work with the browser? Wow, talk about
tolerant, open, standards-based, erm progressive. The more you attempt to exert control over people, the more they will flee you.
It’s a tragedy, really. In the early days, Mozilla was the answer to the evil empire from Redmond. There was even a deviously smart about page; those days are dead and buried. Now Mozilla is the new tyrant. Not only will Mozilla, Inc. punish you for thinking for yourself, but they will own whatever extensions you create for their platform, too. As a programmer, the idea of someone else modifying my code to be officially approved, makes me feel like they are my manager. Am I going to get paid for creating this extension, then? No? Then don’t touch my code. Look in the mirror lately, guys? You might be surprised to see the reflection staring back at you is Steve Ballmer, not Steve Jobs.