back to article The future of Firefox is … Chrome

The head of Mozilla's Firefox browser is looking to the future. And, for the moment at least, it seems to lie in rival Chrome. Senior VP Mark Mayo caused a storm by revealing that the Firefox team is working on a next-generation browser that will run on the same technology as Google's Chrome browser. "Let's jump right in and …

  1. Kev99 Silver badge

    We have Chrome at work. I switched to Firefox because it just makes sense to me. I'd prefer Firefox not change.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      I'm in mood for collecting downvotes...

      "...I'd prefer Firefox not change...."

      And there we have it: the reactionary face of IT. Nobody wants change for the sake of change. But progress requires change, and, if you're stuck in a local minima, that can lead to things getting worse.

      For the record, I hate retraining as much as the rest of you.

      1. Tom 7

        Re: I'm in mood for collecting downvotes...

        I used Chrome for several weeks before returning to FF. There wasn't anything I wanted to do in the browser that couldn't be done in FF/HTML5 that I'd be interested in running in a browser.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm in mood for collecting downvotes...

        And there we have it: the reactionary face of IT. Nobody wants change for the sake of change. But progress requires change, and, if you're stuck in a local minima, that can lead to things getting worse.

        Maybe I don't want Chrome because it's made by data thief Google? Just as an alternative motive. It doesn't really have to be fear of change, because that would mean I would not have been using Vivaldi from when it still was in beta.

        I've been looking at Pale Moon too, but that's still very much in beta for OSX.

        1. Nigel 11

          Re: I'm in mood for collecting downvotes...

          Maybe I don't want Chrome because it's made by data thief Google?

          Surely one should assume, at least for now, that however much like Chrome the Mozilla user experience becomes, privacy invasion is not part of their plan?

          If evidence emerges to the contrary, or even if enough people much prefer the current Firefox UI, it's a sure bet that Firefox will fork.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Nigel 11 - Re: I'm in mood for collecting downvotes...

            it's a sure bet that Firefox will fork

            I think that's effectively what Palemoon is - it is no longer dependent on Firefox code.

            I don't know about privacy invasion, but one thing I liked about Palemoon was when I did an update and the first change highlighted in the release notes was something like "removed the last of the telemetry". That at least established where the Palemoon developers were coming from.

        2. Zot

          Re: I'm in mood for collecting downvotes...

          Calls Google 'data thieves' and yet uses OSX?!!

          Oh shum-on now!

    2. Michael Habel

      Beat give Palemoon a try all the Firefox goodness. None of the bitter Australis aftertaste.

  2. Len Goddard


    I moved off firefox to palemoon because the firefox UI had already changed to something I didn't like. TBH, I don't really care what is under the hood provided it works (although having too many browsers using the same core tech creates a worryingly vulnerable monoculture for hackers) but I do care about the UI because that is what I have to deal with.

    I generally don't use chrome because I very much prefer a separate search bar. Others don't, fine. In firefox/palemoon we all get our preference but in Chrome you are stuck with the mixed search/url nonsense.

    Hopefully if mozilla moves firefox off gecko someone else will pick it up.

    1. usbac Silver badge

      Re: Choice

      I agree completely. I use Palemoon because I simply hate the new Firefox UI. Chrome is out of the question because of the UI.

      It's really a shame most of the web these days won't work if your browser is more than a few hours old!

    2. Kurt Meyer

      Re: Choice

      @Len Goddard

      "I moved off firefox to palemoon because the firefox UI had already changed to something I didn't like. TBH, I don't really care what is under the hood provided it works... but I do care about the UI because that is what I have to deal with."

      A bullseye with your first shot.

      If you, Mr. Designer, would like to have a fancy new interface, that's fine with me. Please give the rest of us the option of using the old interface, if we so choose. You are "fixing" things that aren't broken, replacing things that work well.

      Give us a Goddam choice!

      1. ICPurvis47

        Re: Choice

        Same goes for Google Maps. Just because I choose to stay with XP, I am forced to use the broken husk that is Google Maps Lite, whereas before they "Fixed" GM, it used to run perfectly well on all my systems. If Mr. Designer/Developer is hell bent on "improving" our user experience, please make sure that a backwardly compatible path is left available for those - such as myself and thousands of others who have complained - to migrate back to what we know if we don't like it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Choice

          You really should be using a browser on the Internet with XP these days! Do your browsing on another machine.

      2. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: Choice

        "Give us a Goddam choice!"

        Verily, verily. Amen.

        Like, give us (back) the choice to "Remove Completed Downloads" ( and ) when we close the browser instead of bitching and moaning about how stupid we are for wanting to do things that way, and then saying it won't be fixed because that's not how the Mozilla developers want us to use their browser.


    3. Richard Boyce

      Re: Choice

      I use Firefox mainly because of its large range of useful extensions, and one of those is the Classic Theme Restorer because I didn't like the last appearance change.

      The best way to introduce a new look and feel is with an app or option that's active by default after a new installation, and inactive by default after an update of an old installation. Allow users to easily turn big UI changes off and on.

      1. Kurt Meyer

        Re: Choice

        @ Richard Boyce

        Classic Theme Restorer is one of many very good extensions, that make Firefox the best browser for my web surfing needs.

        My objection is needing CTR at all. Why isn't the choice built into the preferences?

        Or, for that matter, available in about:config?

    4. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Choice

      I added "Classic Theme Restorer" to Firefox and some other sauce to fix GUI stupidity in Thunderbird.

      Why can't Mozilla fix bugs and stop buggering the GUI?

      Print Selection still non-existent in Thunderbird, still buggy in firefox (may throw blank pages with header & footer for part before selection) and Print Preview only does whole page.

      Lots of other bugs ... "forgets" blocked cookies settings is an annoying one.

      1. paulf

        Re: Choice

        @ Mage (Firefox and Thunderbird printing)

        Firefox has always been bad at printing any page that is anything other than basic HTML that doesn't stray much further than the equivalent of "Hello World!". Anything more complicated than that it can render fine but printed copies tend to only show part of the page, if at all.

        I'm sure some will say it's lame to be saving web pages on bits of dead tree ("Duh, it's all in the cloudz") but there's a bit more to Printing than that. I tend to save a copy of web orders placed online as a PDF - very useful if I have a problem with the order for example.

        In contrast IE (yes, I know) can print almost any page I throw at it, as it's shown on the screen (albeit plus the ads normally blocked by Firefox). When Internet Explorer can wipe the floor with equivalent functionality in your browser you know something is very badly wrong....

    5. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Choice

      As a huge PaleMoon fan it's nice to see so prominent a thread saying everything I wanted to say for me.

      Er, that's it.

    6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Choice

      "I moved off firefox to palemoon because the firefox UI had already changed to something I didn't like."

      I use Seamonkey, partly for the same reason & partly because I prefer to have browser & mail/news client combined.

      And, in response to Mage, it nails both interface issues but a pity about the selection issue.

    7. illiad

      Re: Choice

      The BIG problem is Classic Theme Restorer does NOT do it ALL... I have tried, with 4 or 5 EXTRA ADDONS to try to bring back the old look & feel...

      go ahead compare it to FF V28.. Latest FF, Plus tons off addon bloat, etc, etc...

      WHY leave V28??

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    So what are they working on, Chrome's UI wrapped around Gecko or Firefox's UI wrapped around Blink? It seems like both, and neither seems particularly appealing.

  4. Nate Amsden

    How about an explanation

    of how firefox will be better once it embraces chrome? I am one of the ones who is on firefox but has been dragged kicking and screaming the past few years as firefox slowly goes down the tubes. What does copying chrome give them ? At that point really what is the reason a user would pick firefox over chrome if firefox is just trying to be chrome?

    Firefox seems to actively try to remove more and more functionality that I (and many others) like that differentiate it from other browsers. It's been quite sad to see.

    (Phoenix 0.3 I believe was my first exposure to what eventually became firefox, still my primary browser though I use an older ESR release with the various hacks to make it behave mostly like it used to many years ago - it's also the browser I use 99.99% of the time on mobile too - my mobile usage is more casual and obviously mobile firefox is pretty crippled feature wise compared to desktop)

    Firefox saying it was removing the feature that allows me to selectively accept cookies on a per website basis was another recent example, my firefox cookie database has probably 15,000 sites in it and has been built up over the past decade. I don't use any ad blockers on my desktop firefox though I do on mobile since I don't have that feature on mobile - also I can disable cookies globally with a click of a button with the prefbar firefox plugin that I have used for a decade as well, another thing I can't do easily on mobile - disabling cookies entirely is mostly useful for gaming sites that are just overloaded with cookies).

    1. Fibbles

      Re: How about an explanation

      Check out the Self Destructing Cookies addon. It lets you choose on a per website basis whether the cookies are permanent, blocked completely, or disappear when you close the tab.

      1. Someone_Somewhere

        Check out the Self Destructing Cookies addon.

        No, no, no, no, NO!!!

        WHY do people insist on recommending this waste of time?

        That's just locking the door after the burglars have long since made off with everything of value.

        Never mind the pathetic SDC features, Cookie Monster stops them getting onto your system in the /first/ place.

        You can set a default policy and then selectively modify it on a case by case basis: whitelist, accept from domain or (subdomain only), accept temporarily, accept session cookies, delete upon changing policy, delete upon refreshing page, delete upon leaving domain, delete upon exit, delete upon closing tab, view individual cookies/by site/by domain (or subdomain).

        I have no affiliation with Cookie Monster in any way but it's the only cookie manager I would recommend - after NoScript and RequestPolicy. it's the first addon I install.

    2. bazza Silver badge

      Re: How about an explanation

      @Nate Amsden,

      "Firefox saying it was removing the feature that allows me to selectively accept cookies on a per website basis was another recent example, ..."

      I'd noticed too that about:permissions had vanished. However if you right click on a page, View Page Info, Permissions tab, you seem to be able to tweak what happens for a given page. It's clunkier than the old about:permissions, but I suspect it's The Way Things Are Supposed To Be Now.

    3. oiseau

      Re: How about an explanation

      > Firefox seems to actively try to remove more and more functionality that I (and many others) like that

      > differentiate it from other browsers. It's been quite sad to see.


      Well put.

      If only they would listen ...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    "It's not enough, when someone has a totally different idea they want to explore."

    Fair enough, I suppose - I wasn't paying for the product anyway, so I can't really grumble if they want to go exploring.

    But I'm not the exploring type - at least not when it comes to browsers. Since I discovered Palemoon my Firefox use has reduced to the same level as IE - virually nil.

    Mozilla seem to have caught the 'innovation, innovation, innovation' bug, which is a shame. Innovation for its own sake isn't necessarily a successful strategy.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "It's not enough, when someone has a totally different idea they want to explore."

      So you do, "Dance with the Devil under the Palemoon light"?

      1. Michael Habel

        Re: "It's not enough, when someone has a totally different idea they want to explore."

        So you do, "Dance with the Devil under the Palemoon light"?

        As a matter of fact, I have. We were on a blind date. Unfortunately he never returns my calls. Says I’m too creepy.

  6. PJF

    Dang it..

    Just give my Netscape Navigator back!

    FF has become more of a resource hog than anything else( in a W-7 environment, anyways).

    Slowly switching OS's, but PaleMoon seems to me, at least, isn't as hungry.

    If I wanted chrome, I would download it, or use a chrome book. I wanted something better than that, but am being pushed towards that with FF. Just (about 2hrs ago) had a pop-up in FF to upgrade to 45.0.2, why should I?

    Give me an ole clunky, gear crushing, grease drippin', oil spewing, simplistic browser any day of the week...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Dang it..

      "Just give my Netscape Navigator back!"

      OK -

  7. tempemeaty
    Big Brother



    Time to stick a fork in it.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Stick a Fork in it

      Ice Weasel then.

      1. davidp231

        Re: Stick a Fork in it

        Ice Weasel is just Debian's rebadged version of Firefox. Aside from the icons and name it's functionally identical, so that will go the same way eventually.

  8. Herby

    Genetic Diversity??

    This talk about different browsers may be good thing. Let's hope that there continue to be different browsers. If the "world" decided to only have one (a company in Redmond tried this) they will control the standard and it could go down a very bad path. Hopefully if we can keep a few different based browsers around, the herd will improve.

    One can only hope that the content makers will come around and stop "adapting" to bad browsers. I don't hold much hope, as some still adapt to IE6.

  9. Unicornpiss

    How it feels...

    I like FF a lot and have been using if for many years. If they're going to do this, I hope they get it right. It's impossible to tell what this will mean for it functionally or realistically from a few sentences.

    But what it feels like is getting a kite flying nice and high and stable, turning the string over to a kid and saying: "You got it? You got it?", then watching with sick resignation as he immediately plummets it into the top bough of some inaccessible tree.

  10. Palpy

    Sounds like a change of engine --

    -- not necessarily a change of interface?

    For myself, I could give a flying squirrel about details of the browser GUI -- round tabs, square tabs, search box, combo search-address box, whatever. Hamburger menu icon, gear icon, left-side, right-side, if I can find it I can use it. That puts me in a minority, I guess, which is also OK.

    Just gimme uBlock Origin and NoScript and Disconnect and a few other extensions. And make sure whatever FF ends up with renders pages impeccably.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just gimme uBlock Origin and NoScript and Disconnect and a few other extensions.

      And put the fucking menu back by default.

    2. JLV

      Re: Sounds like a change of engine --

      >flying squirrel


      >renders pages impeccably

      @ < 100MB RAM use / page, please, if that's not, like, asking too much.

  11. Adam 1

    don't get it

    So FF now looks like chrome and will soon be based on chromium. If that is what I wanted, I would have just installed chrome.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: don't get it

      .. just so long as it doesn't phone home to Alphabet/Google?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: don't get it

        Chromium doesn't, so why would a Mozilla build?

        Opera has shown its possible to make a very fine chromium based browser with real product differentiators. Mozilla can too.

        It also means the whole world will be using the same, open source rendering engine, good for users, good for developers.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: don't get it

          Not particularly, for developers there are still version differences but for malware writers there's a higher chance of one exploit popping all browsers.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: don't get it

          £Opera has shown its possible to make a very fine chromium based browser with real product differentiators. Mozilla can too."

          Maybe it can. But that would only last a week or so until the next release.

        3. YARR

          Re: don't get it

          "It also means the whole world will be using the same, open source rendering engine, good for users, good for developers."

          The lack of diversity of browser engines would be bad - if a critical bug is found in one browser engine, users would no longer have an alternative.

          Are there major changes to browser standards in the pipeline which the Mozilla engine is incapable of supporting? Otherwise why replace a mature and well-supported product?

          Please don't confuse matters by taking the branding of a popular existing browser for a new browser - it's not hard to come up with an original name.

        4. Adam 1

          Re: don't get it

          > It also means the whole world will be using the same, open source rendering engine, good for users, good for developers.

          No. It creates a monoculture. I am not saying that there is anything horrendously wrong with chromium. There are certainly worse baselines that could have been chosen. I am saying that we already have a product with the specs they are proposing, that that product has around 50% market share depending on who's asking, that there is nothing so horrendous about it that will see a significant portion of that 50% jump ship so why bother. If the best defence is that monocultures rule, then mount an argument that there should only be one c compiler / one desktop environment / distro / in fact, one uber OS / and while we are at it, browser.

        5. Not That Andrew

          Re: Opera madness

          Opera? There are barely any differences between Opera and Chrome. Surely you mean Vivaldi, the browser Opera promised us when the switched to Google's fork of Apple's fork of KHTML?

          1. Someone_Somewhere

            Re: Vivaldi

            Firefox: almost usable as long as you don't overdo the addons - unfortunately, without the addons it's almost useless.

            Internet Explorer: you won't just /think/ you've been fucked by a train.

            Chrome: simply terrible but, even if it weren't, I'd still rather install Windows 10, turn on every slurping feature I can find, disable my firewall/antimalware and use Internet Explorer to visit sites known to deliver driveby nastiness of the kind that would make Satan himself blush.

            Opera: the experience is so bad I'd rather use Chrome!

            Vivaldi: my therapist says sitting in the dark and cutting myself would be less injurous to my psychoemotional wellbeing.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Vivaldi

              PaleMoon ?

      2. Someone_Somewhere

        Re: don't get it

        > .. just so long as it doesn't phone home to Alphabet/Google?

        Chromium contains binary blobs by Google - I wouldn't touch with /yours/.

  12. Notas Badoff

    Let sounds like another dev group disconnected ...

    from their users. Recently the E. coli-rich packets hit the turbulence generators over at Wikipedia when the dev head had to admit they had been developing software for basically no identified benefit to the users. And that that had led to one user revolt after another.

    Since the central Moz developers betrayed my (and others) interests years ago by purposefully not enhancing a core bit of functionality in favor of blue-skying a just-as-good that's *still* not available, I have no patience with "but it'll be better thisthat way, whichever way, our way..."

    Get with the users, develop a plan first, get buyin, then develop code to the users' satisfaction, okay?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Let sounds like another dev group disconnected ...

      get buyin from the users

      FTFY. I know it's what you meant but unless you're explicit Mozilla will interpret it how they want it. They probably will anyway. <sigh>

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: buyin

        That's the key word - you aren't actually "buying" anything from them. No exchange of cold hard cash for the product, no contract, so the supplier can dick around with the product as much as they like. It's not as if they're tinkering with something that you've physically paid for.

        1. DropBear

          Re: buyin

          " It's not as if they're tinkering with something that you've physically paid for."

          You seem to be confusing recovery of costs with going back on one's own mission statement. Do you think the folks writing LibreOffice wouldn't get yelled at loud and hard if the next version of LibreOffice would suddenly turn out to be a sheet music editor...? Or perhaps you're suggesting that simply because it takes your money, a software vendor would never dream of "tinkering" the wrong way *cough*Microsoft*cough* and/or would be more receptive to complaints...? Wait - you're serious, aren't you...?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Let sounds like another dev group disconnected ...

      I'll bet it's all based on the browser phoning home. The average user who doesn't care all that much and probably likes new bling are the ones who don't turn off the phone home stuff. Those of us who actually care about the browser look and functionality are the ones most likely to go looking for and switch off any reporting options.

      This probably leaves Mozilla with statistics showing that the vast majority of users use Firefox in it's default state, probably with some of the more well known add-ons and plug-ins.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I wanted Chrome I'd install Chrome or Chromium

    I loved Firefox in its early days. Fast, did what it said on the tin. Allowed me to ad bits to make web browsing a bit more secure. Great. It's slowly become a slow behemoth that doesn't always even work properly (for some reason, if I've just used a search engine, clicking on a results link doesn't always work, sometimes FF just sits there looking stupid, still displaying the results, and I have to ask it to open the link in a new tab or window).

    I also very much disliked the major UI changes that were foisted upon us. Same argument as with OS UI's - don;t impose changes, if you've ideas for an improved interface, make it an option that can be tried out so you don't p*** off your existing users. And if Gecko isn't up to snuff all of a sudden (why? I'm not a coder, I don't understand why a web engine that used to be great is no longer good enough) then FIX it rather than turning web browsers into something approaching a monoculture that's more easily attacked by the bad guys!

    I think Mozilla's lost its way. Badly.

  14. Captain DaFt

    Back when Firefox's devs first started losing their freakin' minds, I switched to SeaMonkey.

    Been very happy with that decision.

  15. Cameron Colley

    So, Chrome is the new IE then?

    Good to know that, in a few years time, there will only be one real browser choice with a few based upon it (Opera, Firefox [if it survives]) and a bunch of incompatible browsers which only render a few pages.

    Hopefully I'll be dead by then.

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: So, Chrome is the new IE then?

      I remember getting a slew of downvotes a couple of years ago on another tech oriented site when I suggested that a Chrome/Blink monoculture the likes of IE5/IE6 was fast developing. Seems like El Reg is still one of the few places this is recognised.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Just.... No!

    If I wanted to join the Borg I would install Chrome.

    I dropped Opera for this reason having been using it since the subscription days. Firefox is next to go by the looks of things.

    As others have said, the mono-culture is going to create a juicy attack target.

  17. wolfetone Silver badge

    Here's How To Fix Firefox

    1) Stop dicking around with it, stop adding more unused niche features, and just make it a really fast piece of software.

    2) Repeat Step 1

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS FF

    FF, FFS

  19. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    Another great piece of computing history has gone to the dogs.

    Oh well, Seamonkey and PaleMoon will replace it.

    That's the nice thing about the Internet - there's always someone willing to cut through the bull who has the skills and determination to make it happen for the rest of us.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge


      They both depend on Firefox though. If Gecko gets dropped, they may be forced to give up or move to Blink/WebKit.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: BURN THE HERETICS !!

        "If Gecko gets dropped"

        Opensource 101.

        It wouldn't matter if Mozilla drop Gecko, it would still exist. They could get together and maintain it themselves. In fact, as they'd then be in control they wouldn't have to spend their lives chasing the latest whatever-Mozilla-have-done-now.

        1. Someone_Somewhere

          Re: BURN THE HERETICS !!

          > In fact, as they'd then be in control they wouldn't have to spend their lives chasing the latest whatever-Mozilla-have-done-now.

          Yes, but they've already said that they're going to - so that's that blown out of the water before it really even had a chance.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: BURN THE HERETICS !!

          Mozilla are already having problems maintaining Gecko which is why they're dropping XUL. I don't think a bunch of hobbyists, however well intentioned, will manage any better.

  20. Starace

    Firefox used to be the future

    Then everyone at Mozilla disappeared up their own arses. Over the years all they've done is climbed further inside.

    Users and what they might want are obviously just an inconvenience.

  21. raving angry loony


    There's some serious functional lapses in Chrome as it now stands. It is not, for instance, possible to actually stop javascript the way it's done in Firefox. Chrome is an advertiser's wet dream - which makes sense, it was developed by an advertiser. If Firefox stops providing the functionality that has made it great I'm hoping someone will be providing a fork fairly quickly.

    As as aside:

    I've never understood why so many programmers who provide useful functionality are also so stupidly arrogant about imposing their often twisted idea of what a useful GUI might be.

    Provide the functionality. Let the user decide what interface they want to that functionality. If you have a favourite GUI, provide it, but don't fucking hard-code the damn thing in so that nobody else can provide THEIR favourite GUI, which is what seems to be happening more and more now.

    1. Boothy

      Re: Why?

      Can't they just add a skin API/plugin type interface?

      i.e. They provide a couple of built in skins, the new wizzy 'default' UI, and perhaps an old school retro/legacy one.

      And then release the API docs, and let the community produce their own skins?

  22. anoco

    The Nokiazation of Mozilla

    Mozilla is suffering from something very similar to what happened to Nokia, and the end will be the same.

    Nokia and Mozilla both stopped listening to their user base. By doing that, they both found a way to kill their market share fast and efficiently. The only difference is that while Nokia was creating a Frankenstein, Mozilla is creating a straw man. The end result will be the same.

    We all better pack our bags and move on because it's just a matter of time until Mozilla ceases to exist. If anybody is listening, I'm ready to pay for a browser that I can have fine control of. There, I said it!

    I won't be at all surprised if the person(s) involved in this sham end up moving to Redmond so that they can legally rake their pay for a job well done.

    1. PushF12

      Re: The Nokiazation of Mozilla

      Mozilla might already be dead, and this news is just an early public report of its decomposition.

      Just like how RIM died a few years ago, but the BlackBerry brand was grafted onto an Android product only recently.

  23. Terry 6 Silver badge

    fn committee

    I'm guessing, but my experience of various well intentioned committee groups is that they get divorced from the ordinary members' (users) needs. [I'm guessing that a board is just another kind of committee].

    The committee group want to do new things, change this, modify that, replace a section there, gooff in a new direction here. Often without even thinking what the users actually do with the stuff.

    The users just want to get on with doing stuff and only want changes that will make life easier. But the more resistant the users get the more insulated the committee make themselves. Eventually they begin to see the voices against a new change as personal challenges. Users become The Enemy. Critics are ignored or vilified. At its worst a kind of paranoia sets in.

    Which probably also explains why Microsoft keep making dumb decisions and why there are so many 'nux forks and variants.

  24. theModge

    A side note about Thunderbird

    Thunderbird may indeed be the ugly step child at Mozilla, but to me at least it offers all the necessary functionally of outlook, much more efficiently. Granted, outlook integrates nicely with office, but I've never missed that in thunderbird. No one else has made a client to rival it (that I'm aware of any way). So it does then annoy me greatly that no one at Mozilla seems interested in it's continued development. Yes I realise since it's open source the thing to do is for ME to take it forward, but my spare time right now is currently not adequate for that task.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: A side note about Thunderbird

      Google Thunderbird and LibreOffice.

  25. Charlie Clark Silver badge


    Personally, I think it's interesting that the blog is no longer on a Mozilla webserver but on That aside the article is worth reading:

    For example, the prototype we’re feeling good about right now is built with Electron and React, not Gecko and XUL (our go-to technologies for building browsers). For a small team starting out pursuing a new product concept it’s a great choice — Electron is a wonderful tool for us to do prototyping with…

    This sounds very much like the approach adopted by the Vivaldi team and has some merit: XUL is probably at the end of its life as a GUI framework. With the release of Positron this presumably means that they can go back to running Gecko as the renderer if they want.

    I guess what everyone is worried about is why the need for a rapid-prototyping environment for the browser's chrome? Well, apart from the "who moved my cheese argument" for some of the "improvements" to the desktop browser, the big argument will be the continuing rise of mobile use and wanting to have the same codebase for the various versions and using the principles of responsive design to manage part of this. Seems reasonable to me.

    But Mozilla does have to worry about focus and feature creep. It has, in my opinion, done the right thing and dropped side projects such as Thunderbird – nobody at Mozilla wanted to work on it – it should now work hard at avoiding picking up new side projects.

  26. Jagged
    Thumb Down




  27. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    I'll go with it if they can keep adblock working on Android..

    My main browser is Chrome, on Android it's Firefox because of Adblock. Frankly it sucks, Chrome is more stable, faster, more functional for gmail and facebook - but it doesn't block ads.

    However, Firefox is considerably more cross platform than Chrome

  28. td0s


    I've been using e10s as a daily driver for a while now, performance is much improved and I can keep the browser open for days without needing to resrtart (although eventually it gets slow). I expect to stay with Firefox for the foreseeable future

  29. Spender


    A new IE6 for the next generation. Sufficient time has passed that a whole younger generation of devs and users don't remember why a browser monopoly is a fucking terrible idea.

    I use Firefox because it isn't Chrome and it isn't IE (both of which have serious issues with the commercial concerns of their respective owners and the agendas that they are trying to push). Let's not remove that choice.

  30. Unicornpiss

    I suppose if this happens..

    ..then the company I work for will not have any browsers that will work with certain cites. I've been switching users back and forth between IE and FF every time some of our vendor/partner sites make changes. Used to be Chrome, but now that Chrome refuses to support Java, forget it. And before you get started about Java being insecure, yes, I know. But there are still myriads of corporations that haven't bothered to update their sites and won't anytime soon. Our company studied banning FF because of the difficulty of centrally managing it via policies, but after the outcry from weary IT workers and corporate users, that directive was shelved, at least for now. (it's amazing how much clout the Payroll dept. has when people realize that there may be severe difficulties in processing employee pay)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone surprised? When they got rid of the technical guy and replaced him with a marketing guy the writing was on the wall. More webkit for the masses

    Only recently started using firefox again as chrome can't run Kibana to save its life. Was thinking how nice it was now days. Oh well.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...another browser that won't work with a load of hardware.

    So in the future for most users there will be:

    Edge (but only on windows)

    Chrome based

    Webkit based

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brilliant.....

      I would greatly appreciate it if Microsoft released Edge as open source. I was actually surprised at how responsive it is. My dad used to use Opera until he got a new laptop and it came with Windows 10.

      I wanted to give Edge a shot while downloading a different browser. In the end, I was surprised at how fast and stable it is and told my dad to just forget about other browsers, since Edge works just fine, and that I'll download an e-mail client for him to use instead of Opera since it's already on its last legs.

  33. jason 7


    Some people like brown sauce and some people like tomato sauce.

    This is like HP saying "Hey to make it better for everyone we are dumping brown sauce and making it just like tomato sauce!"

    This is just a move to reduce costs by letting someone else do 90% of the work.

    Have these people no pride and honour?

  34. PassiveSmoking

    Remember when IE was the dominant browser? Monocultures are bad.

    Even if you don't like Firefox, the existence of more than one HTML rendering engine is important for a healthy web.

  35. Florida1920

    This is what progress looks like sometimes

    Those of us who have been around a while remember when NTSC color television came along in the U.S. The system was mandated to be compatible with existing monochrome TVs. With only 525 lines, when large CRTs and projection systems became available, the image looked even more terrible. Finally, FCC required a switch to digital transmission, where high-quality images are at last possible. You may not approve of the American HDTV standards, but you have to admit the image quality is a vast improvement over NTSC, with which it is incompatible.

    This conflict seems to be at the heart of Mozilla's decision to adopt what they feel is a better browser engine. Yes, the Chrome UI has shortcomings, and now is a good time to lobby for FF to do it better. But I wish them success in this surely difficult decision to not hold onto the past for no other reason than that's the way they always did it.

  36. Anonymous Crowbar

    I won't use Chrome until they give me the ability to put my tabs under the address bar.

    I use FF/PaleMoon for now.

  37. Sil

    One has to wonder what Firefox does with the yearly hundreds of million dollar it gets, except specializing in failed projects such a Firefox OS.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, sounds like we're going to be down to just two major rendering engines?

    When it comes to web browsing, I like a certain amount of diversity. Edge and Chrome (and everything else that uses the same underlying tech, as Chrome) doesn't strike me as terribly diverse. So well done Firefox, for throwing in the towel.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, sounds like we're going to be down to just two major rendering engines?

      ".. doesn't strike me as terribly diverse."

      That's because it's not; it would be another duopoly.

      But we're not quite there yet. There's still regular FF with Gecko, and I think Safari uses still Webkit. Konqueor uses KHTML.

      1. Havin_it

        Re: So, sounds like we're going to be down to just two major rendering engines?

        >There's still regular FF with Gecko

        Until they bin Gecko for Blink, which is the possibility raised in the article (although Servo is all their own so fingers crossed that works out and gets the nod). Either way, with Gecko will also vanish the current extensions (unless they get ported), that's what troubles me.

        >Konqueor uses KHTML.

        ...which is not something to be overly boastful about, IME; Daddy of WebKit it may be, but the Apple fell quite a long way from the tree (sorry, couldn't resist). As an aside, Konqueror can use WebKit instead of KHTML thanks to its modular architecture; however that's academic, as it has no maintainer now and isn't likely to survive into KDE5. Shame, really; awesome file manager.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FF Speed

    To be honest, sites seem to render quickly no matter which browser I'm using: IE, Safari, FF, Vivaldi (uses the Chrome engine) and so on. They're all fast already.

    The reason I do not use Chrome is because I do not like Chrome. And I don't care if a browser uses a Chrome engine, I'd actually prefer it didn't. And if I had two browsers to choose from, Edge and Chrome, I'd use Edge.

    I feel over Googled, and I resent that their cookies, beacons, and server side Javascripts are everywhere, and that I feel I can't get away from them.

    So, I don't care about the Chrome or the Chrome engine. I'd rather Mozilla didn't.

    Google is backed by mind boggling billions, and all the leading techniology that kind of money can pay for. It's tempting to make them the one and only for all things computer, but I think it is a mistake, and so I put up my little resistence.

    To be honest, the speed of feedback a Google search webpage offers compared to any other is sort of creepy. I find myself asking what sort of weird alien dimensional portal technology are they using? (NO, I don't actually believe in UFOs, but it does cross my mind).

    So yeah, I use technologies, websites, and products that aren't Google DELIBERATELY, such as the non-Google FireFox browser I'm typing this with, just because.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    A browser for PCs and mobile devices

    Have they tried something like Konqueror: browser, universal viewer, file manager, fully customizable with plugins.

  41. nilfs2

    Chrome = evil

    Chrome is a malware/adware/spyware infested mess, guess I will have to look for alternatives.

  42. Michael Habel

    Well hell I didn't see this a'coming

    So if the future of Firebadger really is Chrome. Then WTH am I doing wasting my time on Firefox for? Oh yeah that's right I'm using Palemoon on the Beige Box, and (of all things), Chrome on the 'Droid. So I'm not panicking yet. But, it does seem like the writing is on the wall for the simple stand alone Web browser that isn't out to be prudy and dumps my active downloads into the history tab.

    But, then it was kinda clear that Mozzila lost its way when they switched over to Australis, and those God awful rounded Tabs.

  43. Yoru

    On the PC, I started on Netscape after a very brief spell of Mosaic, before Opera finally came along, which was good for a long time, due to it being so flexible and configurable, before it deteriorated, changed its engine and lost its way. But then I transitioned to Firefox, and with the help of the many plug-ins got most of the old Opera functionality back, but with increased reliability.

    So what is the future of Firefox – will it be similar to the mistake that Opera made. I'll certainly be keeping an eye on possible options just in case, including Vivaldi, which is also multi-platform, but that one needs a lot of development yet.

    As for Microsoft Internet Explorer – always avoided it like the plague.

  44. LordLestat

    And here we have it. Since Australis people told that Mozilla is going to copy Chrome more and more... And nobody wanted to believe it. What for a better prove that it is true than that news?

    It is all Mozilla's old jealousy and dislike of Google with Google Chrome which drives them to do exactly that. Google abused them, "good-will guiding them" to implement minimalism (Australis) instead of features and customization into Firefox, users have been running away as a result and after Mozilla was weakened enough, Google gave them the boot.

    If Mozilla wants to survive, they should kick out minimalism and implement again features and customization, stop being jealous of Chrome's massive market share and stop their hate relationship with them and just ignore Google.

    But they can't. Their ego is in full control. That is their problem. And this is the reason why they will fail. How is it called? Self fulfilling prophecy?

  45. Dwarf


    So which version of Adblock plus do I install, the one for Firefox or the one for Chrome ??

  46. energystar

    So far, so much for Mozilla License.

    As Open Software take off, Lots of projects are going to be taken over. Richard Stallman told us so.

  47. arobertson1

    Just give me something that has good javascript control, ad blocking, tracker blocking, super cookie blocking, secure ciphers with forward secrecy, geo-tracking removed, dom-storage disabled, network referrer off and click to play flash. Oh, wait, doesn't Firefox allow all this already?

    The dummies that use Chrome do so because it came free with the packet of Corn Flakes software they installed the other day and they were too lazy / ignorant to understand that said software was also going to install Chrome. Maybe Mozilla should adopt the same tactics? "Free Kardashians wallpaper - now with Mozilla Firefox".

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lets see,

    If I wanted to use Chrome then I would use Chrome.

    But as I want to use Firefox I use Firefox

    When do the users of the product get asked what they want ?

    1. Someone_Somewhere

      Re: When do the users of the product get asked what they want ?

      I was gonna say "When they pay for it" but then I heard myself and fell off my chair laughing at the silliness of the idea.

  49. Zot

    What I like about Chrome...

    Is the 'find in page...' feature, it's very useful when looking at research.

    Also they were the first to introduce the single address bar is a search bar idea.

    They were also the first to run WebGL, which is nice...

    I find the Firefox UI is quite broken in places, and it's font rendering to start with was truly horrible and pixelated, which they eventually fixed, but it took a while.

  50. Someone_Somewhere
    Black Helicopters

    The FBI May Be Sitting on a Firefox Vulnerability

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New FF logo is so inovative :)

    Just the new firefox logo

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