More Mozilla RC1 Reviews
Thursday April 25th, 2002
Anonman writes: "c|net's article Don't Miss the Thrilla from Mozilla is quite positive. Their only complaint seemed to be a problem with Mozilla reading a Netscape profile. The reviewers liked Mozilla's quicklaunch, tabbed browsing and price, going so far as to suggest that 1.0 'may actually best its two most powerful competitors.'
#18 Re: Interesting article...
Saturday April 27th, 2002 8:57 AM
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Amusing... and out of touch with reality.
"The last major release, version 4.0, was released almost three years ago. Three years is an awfully long time in the Internet world. During this time, Netscape sat by, helplessly, as their market share plummeted."
Yes Netscape's market share fell between 1997 and 2000 when the article was written, but Mr Spolsky conviently ignores the number one reason the market share fell, Microsoft's preditory tatics. Best to ignore that because it didn't mesh with his goal of showing the rewrite of the code base as the root of all of Netscape's problems.
The truth is Netscape's market share was allready falling when the decession to do a rewrite was made. IE reached a rough parity with Netscape when both browsers were at the 4.0 level. The average user allready had IE, and there was little reason to download Netscape when it didn't have a substancial advantage over IE. People who allready had Netscape might upgrade to the new version, but IE captured most of the new users, at a time when the internet was undergrowing explosive growth, simply by allready being there. There is no reason to think that a Netscape 5.0 based on the old code based would have had the advantages over IE that would have caused most of these users to download it.
Without the rewrite we might have had a Netscape 5 and Mozilla 1 two years ago but it wouldn't have been good enough to stop IE from achieving the dominant postion it held by 2000. We might be looking at Mozilla 2.0 rc1 now instead of Mozilla 1.0 rc1, but I doubt it would be nearly as good as the present Mozilla without the Gecko engine, and all the other improvements that resulted from the rewrite. I doubt that the real Mozilla will be good enough to persude most of the IE users to switch, let alone a mythical Mozilla 2.0 that likely would have been inferior to the real Mozilla, so we would still have the same market share problems.
The rewritten Mozilla does have one thing that a Mozilla based on the old code never could have had, the ability to extend the code base, and That ability to intergrate third party aps into the browser is the big advantage that COULD cause Mozilla based browsers to become an attractive alternative to IE, one that could get the Windows users to switch in numbers. Until that switch happens, IE will continue dominate the web regardless of which code base Mozilla used.
The Third Party Aps made possible by the rewrite are the key to Mozilla's future. They are what it will take to get Windows users off IE.