back to article Microsoft pounces as Mozilla shuns enterprise

After one of Mozilla's core employees said that the open source outfit is not concerned with enterprise customers – and likely never will be – Microsoft's Internet Explorer team has jumped into the breach to proclaim its undying love for the enterprise. With a blog post, Microsoft re-committed itself to providing support for …


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  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "great solution for corporate customers"

    In the browser arena? Can it get any more retar^H^H^H^H^Htired?

    The only "corporate customers" that should care about "corporate support" for their browsers are the dodos still running IE6 because they haven't managed to update their intranet cancers to anything that runs on modern browsers.

    If it's good for the guy in the street, it's good for you. If you need anything corporate superspecial, maybe you are doing it wrong.

    1. The Original Steve


      You actually worked in enterprise IT? Supported a few thousand users?

      I insist on a simple policy regarding software used in the companies I've managed their IT for:

      - Can I patch it centrally?

      - Can I manage it centrally?

      - Is it under support?

      If users are using software that's not supported by the vendor, then when there's a problem and the helpdesk can't fix it who do they go to? Me. If I can't fix it then who do I call...? Nobody - I have the problem.

      Firefox fails at all three of the above. I could overlook the first one if they at least provided me with GPO's I can use to manage the bloody thing. (From Mozilla - not some 3rd party or community knocked-up one)

      It's rarely a case of if it's good enough for Joe Bloggs at home then it's good enough for the enterprise.

    2. Jim in Hayward

      Corporations can all got to the flames

      Corporations try to control way too much. As far as I am concerned I hope they all get IE viri and burn in hell.

      1. GatesFanbois

        a title

        does that include the mozilla corporation?

      2. CD001

        Corps control

        Because the IT department in a large corp is made up of the poor bastards expected to do unpaid overtime, long after everyone else has gone home, because some clueless numpty in finance has decided to install a "humorous" screensaver that's just infected the network with a zero-day worm...

        When the users are prepared to pay the IT department's overtime (at at least time and a half) from their own wages - THEN they can install their own software.

        *I fed the troll - it looked hungry*

    3. ThomB


      If that's true, then please tell me why Google doesn't stick with the home user base, but try to get their browser, apps, OS etc. adopted in enterprise environments, up to the point where they add Chrome features to IE?

  2. raving angry loony


    quote ""I'm now in the terrible position of choosing to deploy a Firefox 4 release with potentially unpatched vulnerabilities, reset the test cycle for thousands of internal apps to validate Firefox 5 or stay on a patched Firefox 3.6.x."

    Or get a faster test cycle? Why does that solution never get mentioned?

    1. Peter2 Silver badge


      Because no test cycle is going to be instantaneous, which is how fast your app test cycle would have to have to be to stay on a version of Firefox receiving bug fixes?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Retarded comment

      Only someone who still plays in the sand pit could make such a ridiculous statement. Those of us who live in the real world, know that the payback for real testing, is many times the cost. The time is always well spent. Short circuited test cycles result in long and painful support periods. Testing is expensive and consumes manpower. The cost benefit is heavily in favour of careful test/release cycles. No support organisation can go to work and handle 500,000 calls for a supported application that just broke because of a browser rollout. And trust me, that shit has hapenned in the real world - and much much worse.

      I think our customers are still 80%+ on IE, and the IE6 component only just fell below 50%. We support FF 3.x and IE6, IE7. The cost of supporting 3 browsers is all we can manage. We are as careful as we can, and the applications work on later versions, but the rendering is often different and looks amateurish because of what looks like bad coding on our part.

      Reality check: We are investigating, seriously, to deploy a "real" application ie. not browser based, to save us the endless hassle of supporting our application on multiple browsers. Of course the problem is that any customer that still has XP/IE6 probably has mandated rules that would prohibit installation of our application. But the fact is that we are considering it ... and that's a fact.

  3. Teoh Han Hui


    I love rapid releases, but why do they have to kill support for the previous version so quickly? It's somewhat ironic when Firefox 3.6 is still being supported. It seems they're pushing things a little too hard.

    And looking at the changelog, it's definitely much more than a "secuirty update". Perhaps they should inform users of changes like this from early on...

  4. FrankAlphaXII

    Mozilla was in the Enterprise to begin with? Really?

    You know, Ive seen a good number of enterprise systems, but Ive never seen a single one of them run their web apps on Firefox. Perhaps it has to do with Mozilla's update strategy or perhaps its a North American quirk, but more likely it has to do with Enterprise web applications being geared toward IE since the end of the 1990's browser wars, which is something that was never likely to change. Asa Dotzler usually states the obvious, while putting a pro-user spin on it. Its his job. And he does it well. He's a nice guy to boot.

    No, Firefox is not geared toward Enterprise adoption. Mozilla chose not to do that many years ago as the Mozilla Suite wasn't well received among the Enterprise community when they tried pitching it to several large corporations. To my knowledge, albeit limited as I was in the Active Component of the United States Army at the time and IT outside of encryption wasn't something I paid much attention to except to complain about Army Knowledge Online occasionally, only one division of the Eastman-Kodak Corporation (which was spun off after they lost contracts with Walt Disney Co and Universal Parks Resorts and Vacations several years ago), ever adopted it and I was surprised as hell when I saw it working on the weekends at one of those parks, for that division, let me tell you.

    I dont know if Im in the minority, but Id rather the browser that I use on my home systems be free and open source, cross platform, mostly secure and updated frequently, community tested, and (above all) without telling Google what I'm doing.

    If I am in the minority, I cant say I really care and its not going to compel me to switch or suggest people I know switch. Again though, Id never suggest it to Enterprise customers. Its not geared towards them, but really, it doesn't mean that its a bad piece of software or isn't going to do well in the future, nor does it suggest that Mozilla doesnt have faith in their core product. Opera's always been for enthusiasts and they're doing fine, as are Mozilla's two other desktop browsers, SeaMonkey and Camino. Safari for anyone but Mac users attracts the fanboi audience that would and frequently does buy shit as long as its name starts with a lower-case "i" and has a fruit based logo on it, but they do fine even. I wouldn't use Safari on Windows if someone paid me (well, maybe if they paid me, but not without compensation) but it doesn't mean its a flawed piece of Software.

    ....and here comes my obligatory downvote for not believing in Jesus Christ of Cupertino.

    1. Not That Andrew
      Thumb Down

      False Dichotomy

      There is no reason why a browser can't be all these things and have a support life cycle long enough to make it a viable Enterprise tool.

    2. ThomB

      Not geared towards the enterprise...

      "No, Firefox is not geared toward Enterprise adoption. Mozilla chose not to do that many years ago as the Mozilla Suite wasn't well received among the Enterprise community when they tried pitching it to several large corporations. To my knowledge, albeit limited as I was in the Active Component of the United States Army at the time..."

      The problem with this approach, and Dotzler's/Mozilla's as well, is that it completely ignores the user/customer base outside the US. This base is/was largely made up of enterprises that attempted to make their websites more standards-compliant while at the same time avoiding the security risks connected with ActiveX controls/BHOs etc. Examples include Fujitsu as well as some major publishers on this side of the pond. In fact, part of the huge success FF has had in Europe (especially Germany) directly results from adoption in the enterprise. So yeah, it's at least short-sighted to kick these loyal followers in the groin.

      On the other hand, I've lately seen companies switch to Chrome mainly because FF was lagging so far behind in comparison. Which obviously means that shorter refresh cycles can be handled without too many problems. The same might be true for FF - which I'm keeping for pretty much the same reasons as you do.

  5. SilverWave

    Fork it? Or pay for Legacy Support.

    Well if they want they could fork Firefox and CorpFox could stay on the 4.0 code for years.

    Or they could pay someone to back port security changes to 4.0 for them.

    How many Firefox developers do Corps pay for?

    I have a feeling it is a small number, possibly none.

    So if this is important to IBM they can pay for it just like they do for other things.

  6. Flawsious

    IE vs FB

    In my spare time I like to play games on Facebook, IE doesn't work on fb games, never has. Just having it on the computer puts mega bites of garbage on my system. I see it every time I run CCleaner at the end of the day and I don't ever open IE if I can avoid it. I use firefox as my main browser. If it acts up I use chrome but not very often. Firefox works & that's as plain as it gets.

  7. fastoy

    making many regular users happy

    I don't think that Mozillia has done such a good job "making many regular users happy."

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: making many regular users happy

      "I currently have 59 tabs open in FF 3.6.9... With the current FF4 beta, I can only get 11 1/2 tabs on screen at once."

      Next up: man complains to tool manufacturer that his hammer won't screw in screws, cut cables, drill holes, remove stubborn stains.

      There are better examples of stagnant functionality in Firefox, but that thread is 99% whining. I particularly like this remark: "I'd estimate that between 800 and 900 people have switched to Firefox over the years because of me."

      Everybody knows that if you have to pull the "Do you know who I am?" or "I'll have you know that I'm a VIP!" moves, you're a lot less influential than you think you are.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Its simply never going to happen...

    I'm amazed to read the reaction from the MS camp; don't these guys keep up with the developments in the world around them ?

    I respect the Firefox project but I stopped liking it. Ever since they started to think that mimicking other browsers was the right way to go I gave up. Simply put: I don't like suddenly seeing my NoScript icon (normally at the lower right bottom) appear somewhere on the upper left corner nor do I like seeing AdBlock pro somewhere on the lower left side of the screen.

    As said; written in respect but the Mozilla team doesn't care at all about backwards compatibility or (IMO:) user opinions. Using tabs in a mail client (Thunderbird) ? I could live with it if I could turn the whole kaboodle off somehow (and no; /not/ simply hiding them; I want to make sure they never get in my face at all). Given the high scores this particular question gets on Google searches makes me believe that I'm not alone here..

    Yet all of that isn't possible. Tabs will get in your face in Thunderbird, Firefox keeps trying to mimick Google's Chrome (at least I guess as much) and quite frankly I think that's the sole reason why you'll hardly see this in the enterprise. You don't want to teach your users after every upgrade that a certain icon suddenly changed position because it was impossible to make it do otherwise.

    The latest developments made me fully drop FF and TBird and I eventually moved over to SeaMonkey. I just want up to date software (at least capable of thwarting nasty software) without the need to get accustomed to a new interface every time.

    Still.. As much as I personally dislike FF & TBird right now I still respect the projects. And that respect has risen here. IMO the Mozilla team shows some cold hard common sense here; and MS... They simply don't seem to understand what hit 'm.

    My stance on /that/ ? "Figures".

    I love what MS has done with Windows 7 (no kidding) but with articles like these I think they never really did get past their "the internet is not important" way of doing business (read: seemingly ignoring everything which is happening in the world around them).

    1. JPO
      IT Angle

      Au contraire

      "I love what MS has done with Windows 7 (no kidding) but with articles like these I think they never really did get past their "the internet is not important" way of doing business (read: seemingly ignoring everything which is happening in the world around them)."

      Actually Microsoft is very serious about supporting the latest web standards. IE9 is among top-3 browsers supporting W3C standard HTML5. Windows 8 is targeted to be the best HTML5 standards compliant platform for web. IE10 is likely continuing on the route (and is part of W8).

      Based on latest information, it seems likely that Microsoft is making a huge shift towards latest web technologies, by making HTML5 as the user interface API for their operating systems and development tools.

      This approach has some excellent things in it. With HTML5 UI you can run the application from the web or with local back end (application).

      It seems that Microsoft is very keen on building their future platform using latest standards based web technologies.

      This is a separate thing from supporting a browser as long as the OS it shipped with is supported. While I do not recommend that event business customers should use 5-10 year old browser, I fully agree that a browser need to have at least 3-4 year lifespan. Not 3 months.

      1. Not That Andrew

        re: Au Countraire

        "Windows 8 is targeted to be the best HTML5 standards compliant platform for web."

        Eh? What a load of meaningless bulldust. The operating system has no bearing on HTML5 and other W3C standards compliance. Any reasonably modern OS is capable of running a modern, buzzword compliant web browser.

      2. jocaferro

        au au contraire

        "Actually Microsoft is very serious about supporting the latest web standards. IE9 is among top-3 browsers supporting W3C standard HTML5."

        Actually not. See the answer to your other PR post. Worst, since that report with "silly" tests ie9 still comply with 141 results more or less the same on 'that' report. Only in November there was 283 tests and now there are 450. As today I will repeat the results:

        ie8 14/450 - yes, 14!

        ie9 (w7) 141/450 - yes 141!

        Firefox 5 1.0 (Lubuntu 11.04) - 286/450

        Crhome 12 (w7) or Chromium 14 (Lubuntu 11.04) - 312/450.

        Sorry no more results since I have to ask a friend a Windows machine. Later I will try others but I'm sure the will eclipse any IE!

        "Windows 8 is targeted to be the best HTML5 standards compliant platform for web. IE10 is likely continuing on the route (and is part of W8)."

        Are you so 'inside' MS to make such futuristic statements?

        "It seems that Microsoft is very keen on building their future platform using latest standards based web technologies."

        Exactly. It 'seems'.

        I wish your comments were true and finally see MS respecting the standards but for the moment thet are mere propaganda and FUD vs Firefox.

      3. Ted Dannington

        Oh Contreally

        You *so* work for Microsoft.

        Not saying that as an insult, but son, you need some more training on this "how to spread positive influence without looking like you're being paid to do it" job you're on.

        A *lot* more training.

  9. Tasogare

    None of this would be an issue...

    None of this would be an issue if browsers were actually used *as browsers*, instead of as a sub-par general-purpose applications platform. The two uses have different goals and, now, different development cycles. That is not a bad thing. If a new Firefox version is capable of significant disruption to your business applications, those applications are broken as designed.

    There are safe, long-term-supported choices for application platforms. Browsers aren't and shouldn't be one of them. I'm not a fan of version inflation for marketing purposes, but I'm certainly not complaining about Mozilla's move on support grounds.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Who's the developer?

      If you have a web developer coding for a certain browser, you have a lazy web developer. Fire him/her and hire one who codes to w3 standards.

  10. ScifiterX

    Moz = Sad but understandable; MS = Funny

    Firefox and IE are the two mainstream browsers with the worst standards compliance. Firefox 5 scored 97 on Acid3 test and IE 9 scored 95 with compatibility mode turned off and 13 with compatibility mode turned on. Firefox also has a stronger UI and more extensibility than IE, as does Safari and Opera, Chrome has a weaker UI IMO but I cant fault it on speed, standards compliance, or extensibility. I don't blame Mozilla or any other browser company for wanting to avoid the hassles of supporting enterprise but Firefox is more capable than IE. Frankly, any other mainstream browser is.

    1. JPO

      Acid 3 is no longer HTML5 standards compliant

      "Firefox and IE are the two mainstream browsers with the worst standards compliance. Firefox 5 scored 97 on Acid3 test and IE 9 scored 95 with compatibility mode turned off"

      At the moment these 3-5 tests which fail in Acid3 are due the fact that current W3C HTML5 draft has a different spec than Acid3 test.

      W3C HTML5 test is a better metric for standards compliance

      You might find surprising that IE9 and Firefox rank as top-2 HTML5 compliant browsers. None of the browsers are 100% compliant yet (FF, IE, WebKit or Chrome)

      1. jocaferro



        You failed to mention the 'silly' results on that report so silly that W3C tried to desmistified that misinformation ( for example -;txt)

        Although you're right in one thing - html5 tests is a better metrics compliance for a modern browser. So, as today let's look how they are positioned:

        - IE8 14/450; (!!!)

        - IE9 141/450; (!!)

        - Firefox 5 1.0 (Lubuntu Linux) 286/450;

        - Chrome 12 (W7) 312/450;

        - Chromium 14 (Lubuntu Linux) 312/450.

        Don't believe?

        Why don't you try?

  11. Chris_Maresca

    Firefox 4 sucked

    It was possibly the worse browser I've ever used. On OSX, it would use upwards of 1.25gigs of RAM and 100% of a CPU core. Bad would be an understatement. FF2 or even Links would have been an improvement.

    Mozilla should try to fix their broken crap before launch yet another set of useless features nobody wants. And now, with their policy of 6 months to EOL, you can't even roll back to a working version.... Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Making this shit up.

      Every time a new version of Firefox is released or even mentioned we get this same old shit. But never any data to back it up.,2680-10.html

      And you do know that browsers cache stuff. Think about this when you're looking at the closed tabs metrics ...

      But if you want to play the anecdote game, Firefox 4 runs just fine on my crappy, low-end Acer Aspire One running some crappy, low-end freetard OS.

      1. James O'Shea


        While I've not seen 100% CPU use, I _have_ seen Firefox grab up to 1.5 GB of RAM. Indeed, while I was reading your outrage at someone stating that your fav web browser was less than perfect, this is what my system was reporting for RAM usage. Note the real memory and CPU time results. And you really should add in the plug-ins, too, only two are visible in that shot but four were running. I _know_ that it wasn't for the fact that it's 09:00 on a Sunday morning when I wasn't doing very much, both the RAM usage and the CPU usage would be considerably higher.

        And all the downvotes in the world will not changes _facts_. Firefox 4 is a _dog_ under OS X.

        1. CD001


          I don't think Firefox is properly optimised for OSX.

          For instance: for some reason, people using FF on OSX have problems with our (company) website occasionally, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme nor reason to it (it's all bog standard, Standards compliant XHTML/CSS with a little non-essential JavaScript - turning the JS off merely breaks some shiny, has no effect on the functionality) - but sometimes it just hangs for them.

          I suspect it something to do with Firefox's crap cache management - which is, if we're honest about it, god awful on any system. Sometimes it won't reload linked stylesheets with the page, often it won't reload Flash or Java objects even if you clear out the history before reloading... there's something definitely iffy with FFs caching system... and I think it's iffier under OSX than anything else.

          ... and this is coming from someone who uses FF as their default browser despite also using IE8/9 (IE9 isn't bad actually), Opera and Chrome.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          "Indeed, while I was reading your outrage at someone stating that your fav web browser was less than perfect, this "

          I use chromium.

          "Your stats are fine in a test lab environment by where are the real-world usage stats and not reviews from people paid to say nice things."

          So lab data is bad. Anecdotes are good. And lab data is all just a conspiracy anyway. I'm guessing you call this "skepticism".

          1. Anonymous Coward


            so you don't actually use the browser in question, on any platform, and you put your trust in Official Statements rather than actual real-world user experience? I have FireFox 4 open now; it is using 269 MB. I also have IE9 open; it is using 39 MB. And I have Safari 5 open; it is using 98 MB. All have the same tabs open.

            Safari and IE9 together use a little more than half the RAM used by FireFox 4.

            This is on Win7 Pro 64 bit, running on a Toshiba Satellite L305 with 3 GB RAM.

            If the testing methodologies do not reveal what it is trivial to uncover in the real world, then the probability exists that something is wrong with the testing methodologies. It is simply quite clear that Firefox 4 has a major memory management problem. Indeed, I would say that the indecent haste with which Mozilla dumped it shows that they _know_ that there's a problem and that they won't, or, more likely, _can't_, fix it.

      2. MrCheese

        Stop spitting fire

        I don't need your links to tell me FF4 on my games rig with few to no add-ons installed DI eat RAM, did run like a goat and WAS less reliable than IE9, that's why I removed it.

        Your stats are fine in a test lab environment by where are the real-world usage stats and not reviews from people paid to say nice things.

        FF are just doing this to emulate Google and lor knows for waht reason, they've excluded a huge potential market here and now you'll see devs heading back to MS just becuase it'll be less of a headache of a platform, and we're talking about MICROSOFT here !?!?!

        1. streaky
          Paris Hilton


          Even out of the 'lab' you're wrong, that said I'm not going to discount the potential for a bug somewhere.

          As for devs moving to microsoft, /we/ don't even test IE these days let alone use it for dev. If it's fine in something webkit and ff we don't care if microsoft are screwing their browsers still (they are).

          1. Anonymous Coward


            "As for devs moving to microsoft, /we/ don't even test IE these days"

            Could you let me know the name of your company so I can avoid ever buying any of your software?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Firefox is open source

    Companies are free to fork it and produce a long-term supported version.

    Ubuntu already does provide long-term support for many open-source projects made available in its LTS editions of its OS.

    If the commercial world truly wants it, they are free to implement it. And what's more, implement it or have it implemented by a third party without having to beg and grovel to a certain software vendor in Redmond.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Companies don't want to fork a product, they want the manufacturers of a product to support it. Why would a non-internet company want to fork a browser, it's just not core business.

      1. Rob Carriere

        Of course...

        ...they wouldn't and shouldn't want to fork the browser. But, if there is an actual market for long term support (companies willing to pay cash, rather than just complain) then a third party whose core business is software can pick this up and provide an LTS Firefox with paid support. This could include conveniences like certification that web apps x, y and z will run on their version. That wouldn't help with any custom developed apps, but it could eliminate the need for a testing regime for many web apps.

        One of the important aspects of open source is that development and support need not be supplied by the same party.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: but...

        "Why would a non-internet company want to fork a browser, it's just not core business."

        This only leads to Bill Gates' idiotic remark about people not wanting to hack on their word processor and thus, in his proprietary world, it need not be open source. The whole point is that you can go to more than just the original developer and ask for support or enhancements if you don't want to disrupt your "core business". And that's exactly what software distributions offer.

        1. Cris E

          Are you high?

          How are you son? Ever worked in a real company, one where you have to explain to your boss what everyone does? Companies don't want to spend a headcount on something that should be easy to buy and forget. Companies don't want custom functionality or enhancement, they just want things to not break as time passes and the world moves away from a particular version. And we're not talking IE6 here either; the guy in the article didn't even get his release through testing before support was dropped. That's not cool.

          I think FF is wonderful and I recommend it widely, but the reason it has a bazillion downloads is that it's easier to reinstall than repair. Remember when everyone in open source made fun of MS for "Reboot - reinstall - resign"? Well it applies to FF now. It isn't simple software anymore, and the idea of casually reinstalling it on hundreds or thousands of desktops is laughable.

          1. Ammaross Danan

            @Cris E

            "And we're not talking IE6 here either; the guy in the article didn't even get his release through testing before support was dropped. That's not cool."

            This isn't some change from IE6 to IE7 where MS decided, yet again, to redo how every internal thing works. Firefox doesn't have (many) kludges you have to script around or UI display glitches to design around. Also, no one seems to realize that Firefox 5 is essentially the old Firefox 4.1-style release, but using Chrome's development cycle. They're trying to stuff minor/major browser frame tweaks and redesigns, update the javascript parser/JIT, add additional HTML5 support, etc. Most of these things should leave validation testing relatively unaffected as far as results are concerned.

            All this in mind, it's when you're forced to update from old versions (v3.6+) to the newest that they shoot themselves in the foot.

          2. Nigel 11
            Thumb Down

            Easier to reinstall that repair?!

            What sort of company systems are you running? Ones where the lusers log in with administrator privilege? Ones infested with malware?

            Firefox has a (near?) perfect division between user-read-only system files and read-write user profile files, and it pretty much avoids the chamber of horrors (Windows registry) altogether. Reinstalling Firefox doesn't actually clean up the user's profile, which is the only part of the installation that a non-privileged user ought to be able to mangle. Re-setting the user profile is just a matter of creating a new one and deleting the old one, and you don't need to reinstall Firefox to do it. A few extra keyclicks will copy his bookmarks from the old profile to the new, if you are feeling kind.

            As for IE ... let's just say that the "Internet Exploiter" tag is so accurate it's not funny, and the only reliable clean-up I've ever found is to create a whole new user account.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Who cares...

    I still prefer Firefox over IE. But my clients are free to use whatever version of both browsers that works for them. As long as it is not Chrome I am OK with it. Of course, I deal with small/medium business, so the flexibility is greater. But all this enterprise testing crap never helped any user of bigger companies. They complain when stuff doesn't work and they complain when you update any applications to a newer version. It is thankless position to support any browsers.

  14. azimutha

    Thousands of web apps?!?

    While it's somewhat helpful that Microsoft will support browser versions for years, it has also been a detriment that IE6 has lived on as long as it has. I can't really fault Mozilla for taking its stance. But what is amazing is that any enterprise with a need for that many apps would rely on web browsers as the primary vehicle. At least you'd think they'd code to Flash or Silverlight so that all they'd have to worry about was whether the browser supported the plug-in.

    1. rciafardone
      Thumb Up

      I was thinking exactly the same.

      Thousands of apps? I think is more likely that he is talking about half a dozen on thousands of machines, otherwise it is really mind blowing such strategy.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    No bucks... Buck Rogers. Since business isn't paying toward the development of Firefox, they're hardly in a position to moan that it doesn't move along at the glacial pace they seem to want.

    I've always been slightly puzzled that someone somewhere doesn't produce a - paid for naturally - "business" browser more suited to web applications than general browsing use, and that focuses more on those applications needs. It seems a bit irresponsible to pay a small fortune for an application but leave the bit the user interacts with to the divergent goals of open source or the MS "please all/annoy everyone" fad of the week.

    1. Bronek Kozicki

      not paying?

      Actually businesses are paying good money for support of FSF software they use. Example is very close, see

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dotzler is a dolt

    "Years ago, we didn't have the resources. Today, I argue, we shouldn't care even if we do have the resources because of the cost benefit trade. A minute spent making a corporate user happy can better be spent making many regular users happy. I'd much rather Mozilla spending its limited resources looking out for the billions of users that don't have enterprise support systems already taking care of them."

    I'll give you a clue, only one of the two is likely willing to part with money for support (i.e. patches etc). How does your business model go without Google slinging $$$ your way?

  17. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    too late MS, far too late

    you left IE6 to rot and fester. Upstart browsers like Firefox, Safari & Chrome cam along and hit you where it hurts.

    Developers won't fall for the IE only mantra ever again. All the Front end devs where I work code for Firefox but cert their stuff on Safari, Chrome and lastly IE9.

    We still have to use IE because of the POS called Sharepoint. That is the only time IE is fired up on my systems. Sadly there is no replacement for that pile of dog poo on the horizon.

    Even our main Homepage has had slitherlight removed. A lot of companies are building stuff on HTML5. There is no earthly reason to tie your business to a single browser any more.

    Sorry MS, the game has changed. you lost Ok.

    Tux coz it stands for everything MS hates with a vengance.

    1. Test Man


      Your comment is the sort of boring fanboy nonsense that losers spout in order to justify their own nonsense opinion. When you have to substitute the actual titles of products with stupid alternatives (slitherlight?) is when you lose credibility.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        High and Mighty

        Sense of humour failure, obviously.

        Those of us who have been in the game for 30 years, will recall that nicknames for products, companies etc. have always been part of the lingo. MS is not the only target. I don't see any decline in credibility by their use, but then again, I have a brain, a career and a life.

        Acronymns also are famously useful for making pithy commentary. Here are a couple from the non-IT world. You will undoutedly dislike these as well.

        FORD = Failed on raceday.

        ETOPS = Engines turning or passengers swim.

        NASA = Need another seven astronauts (might be 17 buy now though)

        1. Ben Tasker


          I thought FORD was Fix Or Replace Daily?

          Which lines up with FIAT - Fix It Again Tomorrow

          Hadn't heard slitherlight before though. I've heard some truly awful ones in the past though, usually as a result of people overthinking it;

          Load Fail

          Took some time to work out what he meant, Fail being the opposite of Excel (as in to...)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            I race, so for me Fix On Race Day is closer to reality - and yes I have a Ford engined race car amongst others.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      I agree with you, Scarepoint is truly nasty

  18. Real Ale is Best

    Oh dear...

    Of course, if these "enterprise applications" were written to follow web standards, rather than being targeted on IE in the first place, testing on Firefox (or Chrome / Opera) would be quick and simple.

    By not pushing the dinosaurs in enterprise onto new browsers, Microsoft / IE is holding back the rest of us from using new technologies such as HTML5 as a significant proportion of the world is still stuck on IE6.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Not that simple...

      Actually, it wouldn't be.

      Right, a lot of firefox fans evidently have never worked in a large environment. There is nothing wrong with that, but you simply don't understand the issues we have. An enterprise environment is not the same as your home PC where if something breaks then you just figure out what's wrong and then get around to fixing it later.

      In an enterprise environment, if you roll out a new browser with no testing and stop just 5000 users working for a morning (3 hours) while you figure out what the problem is and then fix it you have cost the company 15000 working hours in lost productivity. To put that another way, it's 1875 (8 hour) working days or dammed near 7.5 man *years*. If you cause that, then sorry your going to be out of a job. It is expected that when you roll something out that it actually works first time, with no issues.

      That is why we test things first. It's not just for the fun of it, and it's not just a case of opening up an app and saying "yep, this works!"

      I have seen a standards compliant apparently "working" app that visually completed testing. However, the user then came back a day later and said that she hadn't received the confirmation email, checking with the provider showed they hadn't logged the order. In other words, the app silently failed. In those situations you can't upgrade the desktop estate of browsers until the app is fixed. That particular web app wasn't even ours or supported/supportable by us, yet it was mission critical to the business. Hence, we report it to the people that support it and continue testing everything.

      The people supporting it also have other work to do, and upgrading a web app to support a new browser tends to get put in a que behind all the other work they have been given to do. It may well take weeks or months until they get around to supporting their app. Until they do, you simply have to stay with an older version of the browser.

      This is the problem with Mozilla dropping support for a new browser *instantly*. Even if IT is willing to drop *everything* for every single new FireFox release then your still looking at a week to discover all of the problems with existing apps, and then however long it takes the (often 3rd party) developers to actually fix any problems discovered.

      Until that time, your stuck on an older version with no support, vulnerable to known bugs otherwise known as exploitable security flaws. I take it you see the problem? This is why Enterprises simply can't use Mozilla apps in the enterprise, though every single tech in the IT department uses them at home. Then you have the side effects. The users use IE at work, and... what do you think they use at home? IE probably. If they were using FireFox at work, and found it better than IE at home, then don't you think they might consider switching at home?

      Of course, enterprises are evil and don't deserve support. Ah, you just lost those users twice, btw. Once for their work installs, and once for lost home installs. They'll just stay on "The Internet" at home, having never heard of a browser or being interested in learning what it is.

      Is supporting an old release for 6 months or so THAT hard? Yes? Ok, we'll have to stick with IE then. No, we don't want to. However, Mozilla leave us with no alternative.

      See the problem? And no, we can't support Firefox ourselves FFS. Even if we had the developers time we don't have access to the top secret vulnerability reports submitted to Mozilla so we don't know what to fix until zero day exploits are in the wild. No thanks!

      1. Bronek Kozicki
        Thumb Up


        spot on. When I read the reports I couldn't believe that Mozilla would shoot themselves in the foot so bad, but on the further reading it became more and more apparent they just don't care to have any government/corporate users at all. And probably don't realize that their employees are private users when at home.

        Well competition is a good thing, hope not only Microsoft benefits - Opera, I'm still waiting for support for color profiles!

      2. Ben Holmes
        Thumb Up

        @Peter2 thumbs up

        Well said, that man. Sometimes the sheer arrogance of the browser community astonishes me.

        In addition to your excellent post there, it's well worth pointing out that vast swathes of Civil Government IT is still based on IE6/XP, for the reasons outlined above. That's a huge chunk of the enterprise market in the UK, when you take into account all the service providers that assist Govt departments with their objectives - because it usually means that some (if not the vast majority) of these contractor systems are deployed to match those of the target environment, just to make sure new deployments are tested and work properly.

        Setups like that simply can't be upgraded overnight. IE8 is just about being rolled out to user desktops in the organisation in which I work - but there are still core apps that are no longer being actively developed, or it would cost too much to upgrade to not depend on IE6 quirks. As a consequence, the cheapest option is to provide an IE6 environment - we're taking the Citrix option - for these apps.

        It's not ideal, but it gives us a way forward. But it's still MS, because it's easier to maintain, manage, and deploy than ANY offerings elsewhere in the browser community.

  19. A Non e-mouse Silver badge


    "I'd much rather Mozilla spending its limited resources looking out for the billions of users"

    That includes shafting *all* user types by breaking their plugins when you push them to upgrade ?

    Yeah, I *really* feel supported by you right now.

    I'm off to see if I can get Chrome or Opera versions of the plugins I use on a daily basis. I've heard they have a better attitude towards plugins, developers and users.

    1. stuff and nonesense


      I have Adblock and no script set to block ALL advertisers (added to each time i come across a new one). I block the harvesters too... Google, doubleclick etc.

      Why the hell would I want to use a browser that is designed to report to its writers? (Chrome)

      Opera.. not used it since Netscape days, It was Advert supported in it's free form at that time. I haven't been tempted to use it since.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Like Android

        Google = Evil

  20. xj25vm


    Maybe Mozilla is right. Maybe they have their reasons. But those answers typify the head-up-the-backside, we-don't-give-a-toss, we-are-always-right, screw-those-who-don't-like-it attitude. Mozilla seem to be increasingly living in their own little world, with their own little views - where the "principle" is more important than the actual user. It's about their grand vision of taking over the world - it's not really about the needs of the people who use their software.

    It wouldn't have killed him to be a bit more amenable and show some disposition for compromise. Yes, maybe they have their reasons to target home users more then corporate. But statements such as these essentially boil down to "you're not worth our time, we have better things to do" arrogance. I reckon they've been suckling too much on the big corporate tit.

    It would also explain why they are dragging their feet developing Thunderbird + Lightning into a solid email and calendaring platform. They are filling the web and the real world with their dizzy marketing hype - while one of their core pieces of software is still stuck in the '90s. Corporate users do need an alternative to Outlook+Exchange - even in these days of clouds. But corporate users are not your problem now, are they Mozilla?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      big corporate tits?

      excuse me for a minute, while I think about that


      Right. Agreed with most of what you say, although MS is the great world leader in taking over the world; MS thy software provider is a jealous software provider ... and all that biblical stuff.

      And while they are doing that, yes, Mozilla seems to be retreating into its own world of version numbers and where the tabs are. Oh, and disagreeing with Microsoft. I don't see any other reason why they should say that they are not interested in the corporate world!

    2. Jim in Hayward
      Thumb Down

      Hey? How about clicking the DONATE button?

      I don't twice a year to Mozilla. Do you? No? Then don't expect anything to change. NOTHING is free!

  21. Captain TickTock


    On the one hand:

    Ubuntu has its LTS (long term support release) to encourage and support enterprise adoption.

    Has Mozilla missed an opportunity?

    On the other:

    My impression is that Firefox 5 is not nearly as big a jump from 4, as 4 was from 3.6.

    Is the other side of EOL'ing 4, that Mozilla promises not to break 4-compatible add-ons?

    Did Mr Enterprise make such a big deal of moving from 3.5 to 3.6? Is he just hung up on version numbers?

    And what about businesses who put everything on the cloud and lose complete control of the IT upgrade cycle anyway?

    I'm caring much less about this already. Not sure where the FAIL is now, except maybe in Mozilla's PR.

    "we don't care about you" is not a good look.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    No win

    Mozilla is obsessed with numbers. Hey! The great new feature of Firefox five: *The Number FIVE*

    Microsoft only made its browser usable by imitating Mozilla's features, eg tabbed browsing.

    <--- Can I have TWO fail icons please?

    Mozilla customers don't want numbers and cosmetic features: we want a browser that starts fast and doesn't demand Gb memory upgrades. Why not give us better 3 instead of wasting time on 4 and 5?

    Actually, Firefox is one reason for my Linux conversion: it is faster, cleaner, more reliable in every way than the Windows version. Thanks, Mozilla --- but I'm sure that your majority Windows users would like to be given the same, so please, lay off the numbers game and give it to them? Before they all install Chrome.

  23. jugear

    3.6.xx is LTS

    I'm happily staying on 3.6., currently at 3.6.18. I'm not missing any of the "innovative" stuff in FF 4/5/etc. The claims of "six times faster" are just marketing hype and have nothing to do with actual browsing experience.

    The early adopters can get on the hamster wheel, I'm not. And the sysadmins should consider fixing on the 3.6 line as well. It gets all the security updates just as quickly as the latest and greatest Firefox.

    1. Jim in Hayward
      Thumb Up

      I have 3.6 and 5.0

      On two different computers. 5 is at least three time faster. Don't know about the claims but I can load a page in .25 seconds instead of 1 second. LOL ~ Not that it makes much of a difference!!! ~LOL~ Point is I do notice a snappy speed with 5. Just that I don't think speed matters all that much. I can still load any page just like before so I can't attest to better standards compliance.

  24. Tom 7

    How is pretending to be standards compliant good for businesses?

    My company will use standards compliant browsers and therefore not IE of any form. The savings in not having to write for IE are over 50% for us at the moment - with more nearly but not quite standards compliance for (versions 1....x) the savings can only increase.

  25. Homer 1

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    As a staunch advocate of GNU/Linux and Free Software, let me be the first to say ... Mozilla are idiots.

    Corporate desktops are one of the primary sources of standards lock-in, which then filters down to customers in the form of products and services. Mozilla are supposed to be trying to WIN the standards war, not handing it to Microsoft on a silver plater.

    And they're doing this ... why, exactly? So they can have bragging rights on shiny-new version numbers once every few months?

    Let me say it again ... idiots!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. David 45

    A tad arrogant?

    Hmm. Looks like Mozilla have done themselves no favours here. If it wasn't for the vast range of add-ons, etc; and the flexibility of FF, I would be thinking of changing my allegiance.

  27. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Oh, sort it out Mozilla

    It's not that difficult... package it in an MSI, more options in prefs.js to disable UI elements and allow it to read from a central profile as well as a user profile. This has been staring the company in the face for years and yet the big decision makers in the company refuse to do it for some unfathomable reason.

    The decision to change major version numbers every quarter for relatively minor changes was purely a marketing one driven by Google-envy, the technical problem is that previously major version numbers were for major changes and point version numbers for minor changes and extensions used that to determine compatibility and now it's coming back to haunt them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      What's that then?

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: MSI

        It's something that a competent admin doesn't actually *need* and that they can generate themselves if they really *want*, given a functional setup program.

      2. Ilgaz

        MSI is native windows installer.

        MSI is the format which you are expected to deploy (install) all apps on Windows. It has some excellent features that allows real cool things even for single user home PCs, like "repair" option. You can make your own MSI files, even a MS employee maintained, truly opensource without any strings attached application exists on sourceforge. Yes, MS even chose to make people less paranoid. BTW, while you see ordinary setup.exe files, they are generally packaged MSI files just being more compatible and old school friendly. They (setup.exe) generally extracts a MSI file to temp folder and instructs explorer to open it.

        Similar situation exists on OS X too. Mozilla refuses to use OS X native installer format, .PKG even while Apple trusts and succeeds entire OS installs to it. That creates issues in Mac enterprise (well, Hollywood) and even small home networks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          End Sarcasm

          I know what an MSI is. The OP is guilty of a suggesting windows-centric solution to a cross-platform application. You've muddied the waters with PKG. Do the formats compare? What about other operating systems?

          "without any strings attached"

          Yes. As long as your car is black.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            @John Dee: Enterprise = Windows

            Apple's latest antics with XServe, Java, Lion only available from the Mac App Store, the iOS-ation of Mac OS X and Final Cut Pro X means that nobody knows what Apple's focus is (probably least of all Apple) and here Mozilla might be right in saying that they don't want to dedicate resources to an enterprise version of Firefox on Mac OS X.

            Most Linux distributions will have made a Firefox package available and the admin in the company in charge of supporting them will know what to do with it.

            But as much as it pains some people, Enterprise (still) means Windows and MSI and this is where Firefox (Mozilla) is lacking. To respond to another post above at the same time, there is no MSI waiting to be extracted from Firefox's compacted Setup.exe (try and decompress the .exe with WinRAR and see what comes out). Enterprise admins shouldn't have to run round making their own unsupported Frankenstein MSI distributions every time there's a new revision of Firefox out with different files and registry keys between versions screwing up rollbacks.

            And of course, a centralised profile is another necessity in Enterprise and something can bodged together with roaming profiles or network drives. But first Mozilla should pull its finger out and generate a Windows MSI build. It'll be relatively few extra lines to the Windows makefile yet go a long way in showing willingness to deliver what Enterprise needs. Mozilla can't last on Google's charity with their start page and search box forever and companies pay for support.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              "Enterprise admins shouldn't have to run round [...]"

              You're a bit like cleaners then. Complaining when you actually have to do your job. Let's make a deal. The world will make your job easier if you agree to take a pay cut.

              " It'll be relatively few extra lines to the Windows makefile [...]"

              So simple a competent admin could write their own script to do it for every new release ...

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                @John Dee

                Not laziness, the point of this article the lack of support Mozilla offers to enterprise customers. My point is if they applied themselves to their needs as much as they do to shuffling the UI around every so often Mozilla could have paying customers, which is in their interest. Not too difficult to understand.

                My role isn't admin by the way.

  28. Leeroy

    Firefox in the office.

    From what I remember IE has a lot of settings that can be controled by group policy to "provide a consistent reliable system".

    I do not believe Firefox can be controlled in this way and as far as i am concerned it should not be bending over backwards to support a proprietory Microsoft technology.

    As for support, the software is free. Do you really expect something for nothing ?

    1. dave 46

      Firefox in usermode

      Can you even update firefox without admin?

      1. Ilgaz

        The update process is wrong anyway

        I am sure security guys who are doing heuristics had to add some exceptions for Firefox update process on Windows as it acts almost like a cracked/infected binary.

        Executable, downloading and writing to its own directory? This behaviour is not good since Windows NT 4. That behaviour is the reason why people (home users, their market too) has to run as Admin all the time and get blamed.

        Funny is, Java updater process is also wrong. It doesn't "cwd" to a sane dir (for example, "sudo" users or system %temp%) so it fails even if you "run as" administrator.

        Both guys (Mozila and Oracle) really should take Apple software updater for Windows as example. Not speaking about its ethics. Just how it works, like a perfectly legimate Windows updater app. Even uses systems native scheduler unlike Sun/oracle who made into "disable its startup" tips.

    2. stuff and nonesense

      Firefox in the office.

      "From what I remember IE has a lot of settings that can be controled by group policy to "provide a consistent reliable system"."


      That is the main reason given to me that I am not 'allowed' to use Firefox at work.

      At home the nightly 64 bit FF is nice to use, no crashes so far....

    3. El Cid Campeador

      And this is why I'm not surprised

      Exactly--no Group Policy plugins make Firefox (unfortunately IMO) unsuitable for enterprise use if your enterprise uses a Windows environment (and let's face it--as much as most of us would like to change that, the desktop will be mostly Windows for the foreseeable future). As an admin, I need to make sure the users aren't misbehaving or getting pwned (the proxy is awesome, and I use other tools, but locking down the browser is an important line of defense) AND I need to be able to push updates without disturbing the users... Given that they've never bothered to put out tools for this, it comes as no surprise that enterprise support is not a priority at Mozilla.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Locking Down The Browser

        Arguably that falls within the remit of the OS and user interface manager rather than at the application level.

        With that said, it would be nice if applications would try to integrate their preferences mechanisms with the host platform in order to ease administration. Personally, I'm more concerned with KDE's group administration than its MS equivalent, but the principle is the same.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: And this is why I'm not surprised

        "Exactly--no Group Policy plugins make Firefox (unfortunately IMO) unsuitable for enterprise use if your enterprise uses a Windows environment"

        And the companies adding this to Firefox and making some nice money from grateful corporate customers are? Oh right, it's easier to whine that someone else developing something that you get from them for free won't add the thing that's so essential to you.

        You can make money from open source, but your potential customers first have to learn how to open the corporate wallet and unlearn the notion that open source means "free stuff, work harder hippies!"

      3. Levente Szileszky

        RE: And this is why I'm not surprised

        As someone running a 100+ Windows network w/ FF as primary browser (IE and Chrome being other choices) I am failing to see how "no Group Policy plugins make Firefox (unfortunately IMO) unsuitable for enterprise use if your enterprise uses a Windows environment" - care to elaborate?

        "As an admin, I need to make sure the users aren't misbehaving or getting pwned" - right because IE is soooo famous about being secure (the WORST-EVER browser) and that browser security is soooo GPO-dependent... of course, it isn't either. Even if I give you the benefit of doubt and assume you have at least a slight clue about the subject (I doubt) you still couldn't make a single valid connection here FYI.

        "AND I need to be able to push updates without disturbing the users... " which, once again, has nothing to do with IE vs FF as both needs to be restarted after patching.... seriously: have you ever seen a browser updated without a restart? Conversely any proper mgmt system will provide silent install, y'know.

        "Given that they've never bothered to put out tools for this, it comes as no surprise that enterprise support is not a priority at Mozilla."

        OK, so here is the point when I will argue that you lack even the most basic experience in this field, sorry - if you are a corporation you can pick from several different patch mgmt/distribution systems (we use KACE but there are others like LANdesk, Altiris etc) but even if you are some cheap@ss garage-firm you can still use WSUS/SMS-based deployment provided you know how to roll an msi yourself (a better developed chimp can learn it.)

        Did I mention with KACE/AppDeploy you can even deploy a fully sandboxed, secure Firefox...?

        1. El Cid Campeador

          Before you make any assumptions....

          ...realize that some of us aren't allowed to use the tools we would like. I'd elaborate further but why expose myself to another barrage of mistaken assumptions and abusive language?

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: RE: And this is why I'm not surprised

          That's all good mate, but why the shitty attitude?

          The lad you're replying to may or may not have much of a clue, but one thing is certain: his dick size is such that it doesn't need to mention his "100+ Windows network"(*) to feel a man :-)

          (*) My commiserations by the way. Who have you pissed off to end up in that position?

          1. Levente Szileszky
            IT Angle

            RE: Re: RE: And this is why I'm not surprised

            I'm a bit perplexed: it IS fully relevant here (ie Firefox in a corporate Windows environment bigger than "manual install everywhere"), why the comments about "dick-size"' and "feel a man"...? =:$

            If anything then a "100+ Windows network" is considered rather small in corporate networking so I'm not sure how could be even assumed as a "dick-sizing" argument...

            Hah, nobody :D - it's a network mostly I have designed and built over 10+ years, from SANs down to desktops. ;)

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Even Google are more clued up than Mozilla

    With the arrival of Google Chrome Frame for IE, Google have spotted an opening (well more of a small chink) in the enterprise sector. For those able to install it, it may provide some benefits but you are still stuck with the ghastly interface of IE. I hate IE9 more than the previous versions...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Different issues

    The fact that Microsoft is more interested, in a methodical practical way, in amassing vast gobs of cash, does not have any bearing on the well-attested and generally acknowledged fact that Mozilla produces much better software.

  31. James Marten


    Even if there really are 2m downloads per day from individual users (and I'm sure that does not equate to 2m new Firefox users per day), 500k users in a large enterprise is not to be sneezed at and surely ought to be a good marketing point for Mozilla. Sadly it seems that one of them, at least, don't want that.

    I'd like to propose Marten's Law: "Any open source or community project, whatever its organizational structure, always has at least one person designated as official foot-shooter".

    Congratulations to Asa Dotzler, you're it.

  32. a cynic writes...

    Welcome to the world of cultural difference...

    Mr Dotzler's job is about the "community" which is probably why he completely failed to see what the Corporate crowd where asking for - versions not to be EOL as soon as the new one is out. In fact the general view in the original thread was if Mozilla periodically marked versions LTS, everybody would be happy.

    I will admit that, like most TV stations, Mozilla Corporation only profits from its users indirectly and it's also true that the larger corporates could fork the code - but why should they bother when they can just mandate IE?

    I suspect that all public statements aside Mr Dotzler will shortly be invited to an interview without coffee.

  33. Steen Hive
    Thumb Up

    Enterprise can be enterprising

    And put in the features they need. Hell, they don't even have to release the code they write. Mozilla are 100% correct not to waste their own resources providing compatibility for broken applications.

  34. DJV Silver badge


    We've got to make our web sites support IE8 until 2020? Oh bugger...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    end users should be allowed to use whatever they want to. at work i use ie only for some intranet forms that don't work with firefox. everyone in my office uses firefox for browsing. in fact i do not know anyone who doesn't use firefox for browsing.

  36. doperative

    Interesting Title

    What kind of support do you think Mozilla should offer for free to commercial enterprises?

    Why should commercial enterprises expect free support from a non-profit organization?

    Why are the browser requirements of corporate user different from a home user?

    Why are you stirring up a fake controversy ?

    1. Bronek Kozicki


      "What kind of support do you think Mozilla should offer for free to commercial enterprises?"

      and who exactly said "free"? Enterprises are paying good money for support, nobody told they want if free. That support is not on offer, however.

  37. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Storm in a tea cup?

    While somewhat undiplomatic Dotzler is probably entirely right. Corporates who really care should be submitting test cases to Mozilla and have a vested interest in upgrading regularly and ensuring their "enterprise requirements" are catered for.

    The whole major, minor, patch release strategy has had a coach and horses driven through it by Google, who update your browser without your consent. Where's the hue and cry about that? Will Google provide LTS for its browser? Possibly, but it's just as likely to require regular new versions for working with its websites and applications and, as they are unlikely to work on Neanderthal Explorer, people will just have to bite the bullet.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    What Mozilla said ..

    "By releasing small, focused updates more often, we are able to deliver improved security and stability even as we introduce new features, which is better for our users, and for the Web,"

    "We recognize that this shift may not be compatible with a large organization's IT policy and understand that it is challenging to organizations that have effort-intensive certification polices,"

    "[But] tying Firefox product development to an organizational process we do not control would make it difficult for us to continue to innovate for our users and the betterment of the Web."

  39. Mage Silver badge


    Mozilla needs to have Long Term Support versions.

    It's unreasonable to "replace" a major application every few months. I saw this comming and ignored V4 except on one test machine. V3.6 and V5 should be supported till 2013 and 2018 respectively. At least.

    Otherwise it's a consumer toy.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft pounces.

    Three years too late. As ever.

  41. John Savard

    Just Downloaded Firefox 5

    But I installed it in a different directory. So I thought I could keep my old one.

    Well, I could. Sort of. But each time I switch from one to the other, it checks all my add-ons for compatibility again, as if I just did an install. Turns out both versions keep their settings in the same directory, in Application Data for Mozilla Firefox... instead of one putting it in a directory for Mozilla Firefox 4, and the other putting it in a directory for Mozilla Firefox 5.

    And there's nowhere I can find to change the directory it keeps this in, so I can't have two different versions sit on my computer as two completely separate and independent well-behaved applications.

    So, to answer a question - no, there's no reason to hand out free support to commercial businesses. But their needs should be kept in mind in the basic development of Firefox - because many sites are designed to be viewed from commercial businesses, and so just ignoring their needs in its design can mean Firefox ending up irrelevant.

  42. This post has been deleted by its author

  43. James 100

    Not learned any lessons yet, MS?

    We haven't yet finished clearing up the terrible mess created by keeping IE6 on life support for far too long - and already MS are trying to repeat the mistake with IE8? Apart from anything else, even with the dumb decision to restrict IE9 to Vista or later, since XP extended support ends in 2014, surely so should IE8 support?

    The idea of keeping a decade-old browser cluttering the Internet should horrify anyone online. MS should be working on killing off legacy versions now, not trying to exploit corporate ignorance and inertia to lock in marketshare at the expense of our safety and standards compliance.

    I am disappointed by Firefox prematurely bumping versions from 4 to 5 - but the rest of the Internet has to deal with new versions coming out without sites breaking because of it, why can't this guy's intranet? We don't get Google, or theReg, or whining that Firefox mustn't bring out a new version in case some bug in their site gets triggered - they just need to do their jobs properly.

    Jacking up the version number like this does seem a really, really stupid own goal on Mozilla's part, as is EOLing Firefox 4 so soon - but expecting years of support for legacy browsers is, to me, as absurd as expecting a newspaper to go back and update old editions: a pointless distraction from the real job of producing *new* and better content.

  44. kosh


    Apple lack a long-tail support cycle too, which is a barrier to enterprise adoption.

    1. Ilgaz

      Safari is different

      Safari doesn't run like Firefox nor allows that much customisation. It is a policy, a design choice much like Opera.

      What Firefox is and at what levels it can be customised is the issue here. Extensions are really powerful and they should be really checked for compatibility when deploying a new version or things can really go wrong.

      Obviously I don't expect that kind of support from Firefox or Mozilla team. Really absurd thing is, no company have seen market for firefox enterprise support including Mozilla team themselves. Free (as in freedom) software is expected to make majority of money that way, pretty much like Redhat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Can I Update Yet?

        I want to know in advance. The problem with the current system is that it installs the new browser version and then tells you that some of your extensions don't work.

        The checking's, I think, a bunch of number comparisons so in principle it should be relatively easy.

        A "Can I Update Yet?" button would be nice. Ideally though a checkbox for each Extension/Add-on "I Really Need This And Please Don't Update Firefox Unless It's Available For The New Version" [X] would help.

  45. Ilgaz

    To that admin and admins hacking/downloading their own MSI

    Here you have a browser team which refuses to provide MSI and OS X .pkg files even while the tools to produce them are open source and free as in freedom.

    Are you seriously expecting some kind of enterprise attitude from them? They don't even have a deployment kit in place, the real reason why IE 3+ took off.

    Even Skype has a corporate friendly MSI edition. Yes, Skype.

  46. Wensleydale Cheese

    The problem with ignoring corporates...

    ... Is that those very corporates have to provide web sites that are usable by all those end users.

  47. Tristan Young

    Who cares?

    In the end, you're better off with Firefox and their disregard for enterprise than Microsoft Internet Explorer and their disregard for standards, ethics, and security.

    Personally, I don't see the problem. If the website or application is correctly written with standards in mind, then there should be no problem. Why is it Firefox's problem? Microsoft and the web coders that chose to write for Internet Explorer are the real troublemakers.

  48. James Woods


    As a sysadmin of a few windows enterprise/standard boxes I can judge first hand how Microsoft handles "enterprise".

    IE out of the box on standard/enterprise comes completely locked down. You can't do a thing with it until you jump through the hoops of disabling it all. That for starters is something that really says something.

    IE would of been dead in the yard if it hadn't been and continues to be built into windows. There are some sites like Dun and Bradstreet that require you to use IE or you can't register free accounts. Some job sites that only work with IE.

    Without these companies working with Microsoft and the ability to tie things into an operating system Microsoft would have less of a marketshare then they do by such large margins we might not even have it.

    I shun the neverending firefox and thunderbird updates because they are at every corner. However I usually can't apply them because im using the software at the time. IE on the other hand has updates and I don't even use the stupid software. "Click here to update to IE whatever".

    Who gives a damn, who ever permitted a web browser to be tied into an operating system to begin with.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      You're a sysadmin and you use Firefox and don't load security updates?

      Then can you tell me the web addresses of some of your servers, please?

      Also, exec script.js.takeItUpTheASP() and thankyou so much for opening this reply.

      Take your updates when they're prescribed, if you don't want to have injections.

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. EvilGav 1

      Are you retarded . . .

      . . . or simply never actually worked in an Enterprise environment ??

      Ditch Windows altogether - given that whatever it's replaced with (whether some flavour of Linux or OS X) also requires a support licence, plus the retraining/replacing of all the relevant in house support staff; where exactly is the saving ??

      Crummy blah blah - we use all of the things you've listed (except IIS), not everything is applicable in every situation.

      Webkit based browser - like an awful lot of enterprise level companies, we're still using XP, Windows 7 isn't due till next year. Chrome phones Google, excellent, we want any information in a financial services company being bandied around outside our firewall. Safari, are you fucking kidding me??

      Now, what you've called three simple steps, doesn't take into account the 100 or so 3rd party applications that we use (including MS Office) and the hundreds of in house built app's that would all need to be upgraded/replaced/recoded, not to mention the interation between mainframe/midrange and so on.

      Those "three simple steps" would bankrupt most enterprises.

  50. David Gale

    They just don't realise it yet...

    How can it be that Microsoft can be so devoid of enterprise strategy as to persistently miss the mark in understanding how to pitch their own product? Defeat is being snatched from the jaws of victory...

    David Gale


  51. austerusz

    Corporate process?

    I can't say I fully agree with Mozilla's stance but it's understandable and moreover the corporatists also have solutions.

    First of all, I don't understand the double QA process. On one hand there is Mozilla's QA that OK's the browser for release and on the other there's the corporate deployment team that OK's the browser for the plugins and web apps that the company uses. Why doesn't the company delegate a couple of people to the Mozilla QA process, to ensure a release's compatibility with the corporate procedures, so that when the release is out, it's already OK'ed for corporate use?

    And moreover, if a browser release is OK'ed for corporate use, why does it matter if it's supported by the parent company or not? The corporate environment is supposed to be safe and functional, therefore once a browser does what the corporate environment needs, all should be good.

  52. Rimpel

    Plugin compatibility

    The wife this week clicked the 'Upgrade Firefox Now' button when prompted by firefox and immediately discovered that the google toolbar wasn't compatible with no obvious way of reverting back to firefox 4. So I had to provide instructions on how to hack the install.rdf to get it to work.

    If popular plugins from big players like google can't update before the release then there will also be problems with other smaller plugins, this will cause many headaches for users and they will blame the firefox update.

    Changing the major version every three months makes a farce of the whole plugin version compatibility anyway.

    Oh and firefox has crashed 6 times on me this morning already so v5 hasn't improved my experience yet.

  53. Keith Langmead

    One size doesn't fit all

    When I first read this my first thought was that Mozilla were shooting themselves in the foot, but the more I think about it the more I've come to the conclusion that it's not such a bit deal. The key is that one size rarely fits all successfully.

    In a corporate environment the key requirements are stability and reliability. You want to know that everything will just work, wizzy new features are all well and good, but since the development / testing cycles take so long it's unlikely any internal apps etc will need the latest and greatest features in the short term. An admin wants control over what users are doing and how they do it, and the certainty that things will work as expected, so they don't end up with those on high yelling at them because something hasn’t behaved as expected. I agree with the comments about "apps should be standards compliant and just work", but in the real world that simply can't be relied upon. Telling the MD that staff can't do their work because the developer didn't follow the correct standards and it's not your fault won't wash.

    In a home environment on the other hand most people are more tolerant of stability issues (I know I certainly am), but they want to be able to use the latest and greatest apps etc. Facebook games, streaming videos etc are important at home, not in the work place, so rapid deployment of the latest features is important to them. The raft of add-ons available in Firefox can be great for a home user, but again is a pain for an IT admin.

    So, while I wonder if Mozilla are being short sighted in ignoring Enterprise environments, if their aim is to target a specific niche (eg home users) then in that respect this is probably the best way to do it, since MS clearly aren't aiming their efforts in that direction.

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