Salon on Mozilla

Tuesday March 12th, 2002

A number of people have submitted this article, and while it's not really news, it's just another example of how Mozilla is starting to win people over. This is also beneficial to the evangelism efforts going on.

#52 Yes, bundling is important, but not critical

by mpthomas

Thursday March 14th, 2002 2:05 PM

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I agree with you on (1) and (2). Zones are a brave attempt by Microsoft to reduce the complexity of security options, but they really don't work -- in part possibly because bunching settings like that means the effect of changing from the default is too major for anything but the default to be practical.

Security is a nasty issue, because you're playing with human nature. Humans are generally bad at investing for long-term gain, so most would rather use a pleasant but insecure program instead of a secure but confusing one -- they just can't calculate the average loss in satisfaction from probability*severity of a security problem. (That's one of the reasons why Microsoft software has been frustratingly popular -- it plays on this weakness.) You have to find the right balance, at every point.

And indeed, bundling is important, but we shouldn't just stumble on waiting for a favorable court judgement in that regard, or we'll end up old and gray (or just gray). As I suggest in the Top Ten list <…/storyReader$35#migration> , in order to overtake a bundled MSIE, we "only" need to make a browser which is twice as good. For example, MSIE 2.0 was bundled with later releases of Windows 95, but that didn't stop Netscape 3.0 from being massively more popular.

Can Mozilla be twice as good as MSIE 6, as Netscape 3.0 was at least twice as good as MSIE 2.0? I think it can. It will require massive simplification of some features, radical dehorkage of the UI, and lots of effort implementing things which are almost invisible to the user, but I definitely think it's possible.

-- mpt