Mozilla 0.9.2 Released
Friday June 29th, 2001
mozilla.org released milestone 0.9.2 today, which many at mozillaZine believe to be the best candidate for a 1.0 release yet, from an end user point of view. New items since 0.9.1 include 25 more top crash bugs fixed (as measured by Talkback) along with a new context sensitive help system, a new view source window, and a new preloader for windows called 'Turbo'.
Following 0.9.2 are two releases, 0.9.2.1, which will be taken from Netscape's branch after they complete their release from it, and 0.9.3 which will be taken from a branch off the trunk, and will not be under the same drivers checkin control, as previously reported.
#170 Worthwhile NOW
Friday July 6th, 2001 12:27 PM
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"I can't see IE ever having 99% marketshare. Supporting Mozilla and IE5+ with shared code is quite possible and reasonable to do."
I can see them having 99% market share. On Windows, it's almost exclusively the browser of choice now as its integrated into the system. Someone has to specifically choose not to use IE to use something else, rather than choose between IE and another browser. Macintosh is fast approaching that as Netscape's relative instability on that and Microsoft's quick work in getting IE working under OS X has begun locking up that platform as well. The only place IE doesn't even have a foothold is Unix-based systems (like Linux, Solaris, etc.), and the market share for those systems on desktops (which is where the majority of web browsers are) is decidedly tiny and with the release of OS X, the impending release of WinXP, and the failure of Linux companies and organizations to make a truly consistent and usable Linux desktop that works for the end-user, looks to be hitting a wall in acceptance. So, when we get back to the main operating systems that have 97-98% of the desktop market (WinXX and MacOS), you see IE being given not chosen. To make people switch to another browser, they need to have a good reason (speed benefits, memory benefits, better UI enhancements, more stability, etc. etc.) to even switch to it. If that doesn't happen, it's only a matter of time.
Right now, more and more people are moving away from coding for Netscape4 and IE5. Part of it is the WaSP push that tells people to abandon that in favor of standards-compliant pages. Well, IE and Mozilla are really the only two major browsers with the ability to support such pages (Opera's brand-name strength is negligible, but possibly growing). When you factor in that Mozilla isn't finished yet, you have people more likely to switch to IE over Mozilla. IE's market share on some sites I've been visiting is something like 88%. That's almost 9 out of 10 browsers. That's insane. Soon, "standards compliance" will mean "IE compliance", which no one in this community really wants. How will that happen? Simple, Microsoft will introduce very easy-to-use and slick tags that do very useful and inventive things. Page designers will easily pick them up for sites because 90-95% of surfers use a browser that supports them. Those stuck with Mozilla are either not going to get the full-experience or not going to get any experience.
That's why market share is important for Mozilla. Mozilla is fighting an open-standards battle. Supporting Mozilla, though, is only worthwhile if Mozilla can garner enough marketshare to make it more cost-effective to support both Mozilla and IE vs. code for only IE and lose business (ie. the amount of money you lose from having your designers test and code workarounds to make things work in both browsers is less than the money you lose from lost sales to Mozilla users). Even at 90%, I'd be willing to bet that those two are relatively equal, especially when you consider a cheap design department can do a site in FrontPage (which will produce IE-compliant code) a pittance.