HP Strategically Changes Web Browser to Mozilla for HP-UX
Friday March 28th, 2003
Vicne wrote in to tell us that HP are adopting Mozilla as the standard Web browser for their HP-UX operating system. Mozilla for HP-UX 11.0 and above will begin shipping soon and Mozilla will be the standard browser in future HP-UX releases. HP-UX versions of Netscape 7 and the older Netscape Communicator 4 will continue to be distributed.
HP's announcement is on pages 20 and 21 of the March 2003 Software Updates document (Adobe Acrobat Reader considers these pages to be 18 and 19). HP state that their version of Mozilla will be "fully supported and tested" and indicate that they may contribute engineering to the Mozilla project. They conclude that "the Open Source model that has turned the Netscape code base into Mozilla has been remarkably successful, and many developers have contributed their time to it. A number of programs and projects that the Mozilla project required have become models in the industry. In the uncertain world of the browser wars, Mozilla has proven that it is here to stay, and that it is a (sic) worthy and professional."
If Netscape want to have some market sgare they must release a feature release not once a year, but often, at least one in 4-5 month... I used NN7.02 on my notebook, but it lacks so many features, so yesturday I switched to Mozilla.
The other danger is that 75-80% of contributors are NN employes and when AOL sees that NN is unpopular it may discontinue the mozilla project and the mozilla will stagnate.
/The other danger is that 75-80% of contributors are NN employes and when AOL sees that NN is unpopular it may discontinue the mozilla project and the mozilla will stagnate./
Seems doubtful to me - for AOL, "discontinuing the mozilla project" would be stopping their sponsorship of it. Volunteers could still work on it (including HP by the looks of it).
Presumably after spending all that time and money on building mozilla, AOL would still use it as a base for the NS browser - meaning they'd have to create a fork and not give back any further modifications (the GPL allowing the open source version to continues with just volunteers). Then they lose the testing and bughunting and code they've been getting from volunteers.
If anything, I hope/expect AOL to try and figure out why Mozilla is more popular, and improve NS.
Well, if AOL want Netscape to be popular perhaps they should start by :
- release Spanish and Portuguese versions of NS7.02, how much work would it be doing it since NS7.0 is already available for these languages ? 2 days ? - Update the Spanish portal which still proposes the "brand new" Netscape 6.2, or just close it down. - fix the French netscape 7 French download page which download link is a 404 error - buy netscape.es and netsape.pt domain names and redirect them to Netscape download pages - Make links for the BASE installs, most people just need this and don't want all the (usually obsolete) crap stuffed in the 34MB archives
IMO, the main reason why Mozilla is more popular than NS7 is the simple fact that they give a much better basic end-user support (isn't it ironical !) than AOL, at least they provide up to date and valid links to the download archives and in many more languages ! Currently you have to be a die hard fan and be ready deep investigation of Netscape FTP servers if you want to install Netscape 7 in anything else than English-US.
#2 HP-UX Mozilla will need a 'good' workstation...
Friday March 28th, 2003 7:12 AM
I suspect the reason HP still ship Netscape 4.X with HP-UX is because the HP-UX Mozilla builds on mozilla.org really are quite resource intensive (both CPU-wise and RAM-wise) compared to NS 4.X. On old C class workstations (which do actually have a 64-bit processor in them), the startup time can be anything up to 2 minutes, whereas it's 10 seconds or so with NS 4.X on the same machine.
I suspect this will only benefit HP-UX users with reasonably recent workstations (i.e. PA-8500 or better) - other users will have to stick with NS 4.X for the moment. I don't know whether Phoenix on HP-UX might be a better way to go for older workstations...