Suite à un article de Laurent Bervas sur le blog sur CEO Blogger's Club, je me suis fendu d'un "petit" commentaire en anglais sur le sujet. Je le reproduis ici:

Very nice piece, I wish I had written it as a former Netscapee.. It's true that the vision layed out by Netscape starts to be true with applications like Google Mail, like Blogs, like Flickr, Bloglines, delicious or like Wikis...

Who needs desktop tools anymore except the browser ? Not many.. Well maybe those desktop tools that connect to web services.. As Laurent points out, Firefox includes a cross platform API to build rich applications using a new generation of open standards which has triggered already a big amount of extensions (Bloglines, delicious). Maybe the desktop tools you can get for free like OpenOffice or GIMP..

I remember the time when my family bought a computer and asked me for software and the only solution was either to copy illegally software or send them to spend some additional money for this software. Now just install free software for the basic stuff and train them on the web browser, by far the most important thing.

But as Alec points out, Microsoft is strong and even if Firefox makes a lot of noise, Internet Explorer still has a global statistic of over 90% and Microsoft was able to overturn the 80% lead by Netscape thanks to bundle tatics with Windows.

Now I do believe there is a chance of history not repeating and this browser to have a chance to change things. Why ?

- Firefox is currently really a better browser, popup blocker, tabbed navigation, right button search and many many others.

  • First because there are signs that "prescriptors" are already using Firefox. Most webmasters, most technologist, most bloggers are using Firefox.
  • Firefox is spreading fast using word to mouth methods. The prescriptors are fed-up with IEs problems and supporting other users so they direct these users to Firefox.
  • Microsoft has done nothing on IE in the past 4 years (or more) and is caught as usual in the protection of its desktop monopoly. The technology community is aware of that and knows that it is not a partner to be trusted to solve the community's needs but only to take care of Windows. And the community's needs are pretty clear in the technologists mind:
    • standards, standards, standards
    • interoperable web technologies
    • no dependence on hardware and operating systems
    • upgrade when you need and not when the vendor wants
    • upgrade things separately and not all at the same time

      Because of this vision, most projects are staying with standard HTML, introducing Javascript and CSS in a limited fashion (because of interoperability difficulties with the current browser having 90% of the market). Technologies like Flash, Java haven't found their users because they didn't meet all the needs although they met the "rich client" need. The community has shown that the other criterias where more important. This is also partly why .Net has very limited success. The ideal solution would be to see the advanced web standard proposed by Firefox being implemented by IE and Apple Safari. But Microsoft has never been interested.. So the community has stayed on interoperable web based technologies and introduces cross platform solutions as they come to do more. Otherwise they just say "no".

      - Microsoft can do nothing against Firefox because Firefox has a stable model based on the open-source community and donations. The only thing Microsoft can do is catching-up technology wise and this would be a great win for the project.

      So the conclusion is.. Firefox can take back the web and it is important that all of you participate in this challenge. It is important because Microsoft cannot allow Firefox to go over 50% market share otherwise they will really loose the web. If the market share of Firefox goes up, Microsoft will have to enhance Internet Explorer again in a interoperable way and everybody will have better tools.

      So CEO Bloggers if you don't do it because your company gain productivity (tabbed browsing, popups) and reduce costs for management (viruses, upgrades), do it because you will help build a web that's more productive and innovative. This will be a win for your company in the end because your infrastructure costs and web strategy costs will reduce and/or the benefits from a web strategy will increase..

      Take back the web

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