4 ways Mozilla could fix its Firefox problem

1 week ago 7
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Mozilla has deed a stone bottommost marketplace stock and looks to beryllium heading toward irrelevancy. Jack Wallen has a fewer ideas however Mozilla could hole this problem.


Image: Mozilla

Mozilla has a Firefox problem.

The open-source app is 1 of the amended browsers connected the marketplace but has been hemorrhaging marketplace stock for years. As of today, Firefox lone has 3.66% of the web browser marketplace share. If I were to guess, the bulk of those users are connected Linux.

SEE: Linux turns 30: Celebrating the unfastened root operating strategy (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

That fig unsocial should archer you however overmuch occupation Firefox is in. We're talking "Danger, Will Robinson"-level trouble. A 3% marketplace stock is hard to bounce backmost from. So with Firefox truthful dangerously adjacent to implicit irrelevancy, what tin Mozilla bash to recover?

I person a fewer suggestions. Four, to beryllium exact. 

Let's conscionable dive in.

1. Improve workspaces

This whitethorn astonishment you, but I deliberation if Firefox would yet get a hint with tab management, they could pull immoderate caller users. Opera and Safari person travel retired connected apical successful this space, and you'd beryllium hard-pressed to find a amended solution than either Opera's Workspaces oregon Safari's instrumentality connected tab groups. 

What does Firefox have? A fewer addons that are honestly much occupation than they're worth. Not 1 of the Firefox tab absorption addons comes adjacent to what Opera and Safari person to offer. 

This is simply a problem. Why? Because each time that passes, much and much radical upwind up having to usage much and much tabs successful a moving browser window. I perpetually person truthful galore tabs unfastened successful Firefox that it becomes rather unwieldy to use. If I were successful Opera oregon Safari, this wouldn't beryllium a problem.

To that end, the Firefox developers earnestly request to look astatine however those 2 browsers woody with tab absorption and bash thing similar.

2. A regular merchandise schedule 

This is simply a existent problem, 1 that needs to beryllium addressed asap. At the moment, the Firefox merchandise docket is chaotic. There is perfectly zero consistency. Instead of taking this haphazard approach, the developers request to make a regular merchandise schedule, 1 that users tin number connected and cognize that astatine X month, a caller mentation of the browser volition beryllium made available. And erstwhile they make this calendar, instrumentality to it.

If Linux distributions (which are exponentially much analyzable than a web browser) tin instrumentality to a regular merchandise schedule, a web browser tin arsenic well.

SEE: 40+ unfastened root and Linux presumption you request to cognize (TechRepublic Premium)

I'd accidental that determination should beryllium monthly vulnerability patches (because that's crucial) and possibly quarterly insignificant releases (for assorted bug fixes and insignificant diagnostic additions) and biannual (or annual) large releases. This would besides marque it exponentially easier for radical similar maine to screen the browser. As is, I person to anticipation I don't miss the adjacent merchandise notification.

A regular merchandise docket would marque it easier for users to spot the browser and that the developers are perpetually moving to amended the application.

3. Keep it thin

Firefox has a past of getting bloated to the constituent of becoming unusable. Right now, the browser feels lean, truthful it works precise well. But the signifier has been clear:

  • Firefox gets lean.
  • Firefox starts to bloat.
  • Firefox gets excessively bloated.
  • Users complain.
  • Firefox gets lean.

Rinse, wash, repeat. Firefox cannot spend different iteration of this pattern. In fact, I'd spell truthful acold arsenic to accidental that if the browser starts to turn oversized and dilatory erstwhile more, it'll awesome the end. 

Mozilla indispensable marque definite Firefox remains trim, accelerated and escaped from bloat. End of story.

4. Marketing, marketing, selling

Like truthful overmuch of open-source, Mozilla doesn't cognize however to marketplace Firefox. I recognize that you can't marketplace without a budget, but if you don't marketplace nary 1 knows astir your product. Once upon a time, selling a web browser wasn't necessary. Less than a 4% marketplace stock is simply a wide indicator that clip has agelong past. And creating caller services similar Firefox Relay oregon a VPN isn't going to assistance the cause. Sure, those shiny caller things mightiness assistance Mozilla the institution (although I uncertainty it), they'll bash perfectly thing for the web browser.

Mozilla needs to make a superior advertisement run for the browser that's been its breadstuff and food for years. And that run needs to amusement the nationalist that Firefox tin bash what Chrome tin do, without tracking and utilizing their data. Chrome is the astir widely-used browser connected the satellite and it's not lone perpetually nether attack, but it besides tracks users' information much than immoderate different browser. Standing successful absorption to that is simply a large selling constituent Firefox could usage to its advantage. It's astir arsenic though Google is happily handing that slug constituent to each different browser connected the market, and Mozilla should capitalize connected it immediately. 


If Mozilla doesn't bash thing soon, Firefox volition go irrelevant. I'd hatred to spot that happen, due to the fact that (other than the mediocre tab management) the browser has go 1 of the amended options available. And though it mightiness consciousness similar a monumental task to undertake, Mozilla tin crook the tide. Fix tab management, deed a regular merchandise cycle, support the browser lean, and fto radical cognize wherefore Firefox is amended than the competition, and Mozilla could close the vessel earlier it sinks.

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