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    If only we had a way to systematically invest into and maintain the most important infrastructure projects our lives depend on…

    I have no idea why is Mozilal dragging their feet lobbying EU representatives to support it’s development. It’s normal for EU to spend billions of EUR on communications and broadband subsidies…

    It could be rather mutually beneficial relationship, since EU would get a way to introduce eIDAS and eGovernment services years ahead of it’s current schedule simply by implementing all relevant functionality (eID, signing, validation, e-delivery) in Firefox directly, which would definitely boost Firefox’s corporate and public sector usage.

    One can dream…

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      TBH I don’t see much point in Mozilla any more, as much as it may hurt some people to hear it.

      Without a large userbase they don’t have any power to negotiate new web standards, and the faustian bargain with Google limits them even if they did have the userbase. The low hanging fruit examples are DRM video and the neutered tracking protection, carefully designed not to block Google.

      They spent years ignoring user feedback, dumbing down their browser, and sucking up to Google, and it turned off big blocks of the userbase.

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        We still, right now, in late 2020, have a viable (and in most respects pretty good) Firefox, as a currently-usable artifact.

        While it seems increasingly clear that Firefox is doomed as a project, it’s not impossible to imagine something being done about that. Time is short, and would be shorter if Google didn’t have incentives to maintain some kind of plausible deniability about their monopoly, but it’s not impossible.

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        As long as Firefox users are heavily invested in Google web properties, they will always be able to ensure that Firefox provides a slightly worse experience than Chrome, no matter what Mozilla actually does. To an end-user, a browser is nothing without web pages. Mozilla can’t give up on running Google’s websites entirely, but they need enough competition so that Firefox users will perceive Slow YouTube as Google’s fault instead of perceiving it as Firefox’s fault, which means they need competition on the web site side.

        This is probably why Pocket seemed like such a good idea to them. It gives people a nice site to spend their time on that Google doesn’t operate (meaning they can’t make it advertise Chrome), that doesn’t take too much money for Mozilla to run (it doesn’t involve video streaming), and that has mainstream and niche content (niche websites usually work pretty well in Firefox already, but… YouTube).

        It didn’t seem to work, but it wasn’t a stupid idea on the face of it. Even if we ignore the revenue diversity thing, Mozilla need to do something about the whole competing with a wannabe vertical monopoly thing.

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          I don’t have any insight into what Mozilla could’ve done better, but I am glad that they exist, even as I don’t use their software.

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              I have heard such phrases since several years now while Firefox is improving from release to release remaining relevant and modern browser.

              Chrome/Chromium pisses me off with its many ‘features’ like forcing me to translate pages and several other things that would require code modification.

              There are other Chromium based browsers but to be frank with you Firefox sucks the least from all this current ‘browsers landscape’ for me.

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                I think the more remarkable thing is that Mozilla, despite its endless string of strategic mistakes, despite it being located in SV and, presumably, has to pay Mountain View salaries despite being a non-profit, continues to make a very decent browser.

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                  presumably, has to pay Mountain View salaries despite being a non-profit

                  Even before 2020, a large chunk – at least half – of the Mozilla Corporation’s staff (that’s the people who make Firefox, among other things) were fully remote and distributed around the world.

                  After the end of my own time at Mozilla (I worked there 2011-2015), my very next job – at a startup – more than doubled my former Mozilla salary. While I know there are people who are and were paid more than I was, I also personally believe Mozilla, at least at that time, was not generally competitive on salary with other household-name tech companies.

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                    They haven’t killed Firefox yet.

                    Despite trying really hard.

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                      I have been using Firefox for last 10 years and all I see are improvements – at least on the browser side, the features that have been forcefully implemented (i.e. out-of-the-box Pocket integration) were easily removable and didn’t cause any additional headaches.

                      Despite trying really hard.

                      could you elaborate on this?

                      Mozilla as a company surely went through some very unpleasant hoops in the past few years, but I think it didn’t affect the browser experience overall.

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                        I don’t think “despite” was the right word, but as they say in systems theory: The purpose of a system is what it does, and what Mozilla appears to do is attempt kill Firefox in some Pinky & The Brain style scheme every now and again.

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                          They try to expand market share. They just are trying their best, which from the outside and with the benefit of hindsight, isn’t enough.

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                      What I’m seeing is that somewhere between 6 and 13 percent of all desktop web browsing is done using Firefox. That’s not very few. In fact, I would say 13% share of a market that’s as big as “all desktop web browsing” is fairly massive.

                      It’s much lower than it once was, obviously, so you may say there’s a trend here which is worrying for Firefox, and I’d agree. But taken in isolation, it’s not a terrible number.

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                        I also use FreeBSD which has a lot smaller user base then Firefox so being in minority is not a problem for me :)

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                          This seems to include also mobile. Is there a picture just for desktops?

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                        I’ve always been an avid Mozilla supporter but even I’ve run out of goodwill at this point. Mozilla is a company that doesn’t want to make an open source browser, they just want to make money.

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                          It takes an awful lot of money if you want to make a modern web browser. Even if you assume Mozilla could run on 10% of what it does, that’s a boatload of cash.

                          Their money making product has historically been providing arguments that Google has competition . Since the writing is on the wall for a Google antitrust suit, it seems like this funding is likely to dry up – and even if it didn’t, reliance on that product should make you uneasy. Open source contribution doesn’t seem like it can keep up with the army of Chromium developers.

                          This has always been the end game of complexifying standards. I don’t see a way out without a massive cultural shift.

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                            Overall I agree almost entirely, but one question:

                            I’ve always naively assumed that a weak but extant Firefox benefits Google’s arguments that it isn’t anticompetitive, to the point that I assumed Google’s “paying for default search placement” is really about paying enough to ensure an alternative that captures low double digits of use exists.

                            I would think that increased antitrust scrutiny means that Firefox is likely to continue to see funding from Google, not have it dry up. Wouldn’t you?

                            Unless, of course, the end game is to break Google up… which could actually be amazing.

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                              The point is that if keeping Mozilla alive doesn’t protect them from the anti-trust suite, then they don’t need to waste that money on them.