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Monday June 17th, 2002

It's been almost a fortnight since Mozilla 1.0 came out but fresh news about the release is still being published. Wes McGee wrote to tell us that The Washington Post featured a review of Mozilla in its Fast Forward column on Sunday. Meanwhile, CNN is carrying an AP story that discusses the potential success of Mozilla and asks if it will threaten Microsoft (Marcel notes that there's a discussion about the article on Slashdot). Not everyone is optimistic though: in an interview with MacCentral, Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen said that he doesn't think that the browser wars are about to return. Once again, Slashdot has a story.

#3 browser wars are back allright

by jilles

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 2:47 AM

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Everybody is talking about it that means some marketshares are under pressure. What is happening is that the browser market which has been dominated by wintel PCs is fragmenting: apple is gaining marketshare, pdas and tablet pcs are increasingly popular for websurfing and even mobile phones can now do websurfing.

Mozilla won't replace IE on wintel pcs (even though some users will chose to use something else) simply because ms is the provider of the OS and will bundle IE. However, for mac os x users this may be different. If apples decides to bundle a good alternative for IE with their OS (likely to be mozilla based of course) that will have some impact. Considering how much other OSS software they already bundle this is not unlikely (wouldn't it be cool if they also included openoffice once it's ported?). Mobile and pda platforms not based on MS software (i.e. the vast majority of such platforms) are also likely to have a non IE browser.

However the browser war has always been a gross simplification of the situation. The word "war" implies that there must be a winner and hence a loser that is crushed by the winner. I don't believe in world domination for software. Competition is healthy. For the past few years IE has been the better browser and that inspired netscape to create mozilla (which is now my primary browser). It's here, it will get better and because it is OSS it will not go away even if world domination is not achieved.