Saturday, July 15, 2006

Firefox on Fire

Earlier this week, Kate Bevan from The Guardian said, “Firefox is wonderful. It's up there with chocolate and sex on the grand scale of great things about being alive.” I am a huge fan of Firefox, but right up there with chocolate and sex? Hmmmm, no comment.

Richard MacManus, a ZDNet blogger, suggests that Firefox's market share will continue to increase as enterprises begin to adopt it. I blogged on a similar topic earlier this week describing how “the tools that we use outside of work as consumers tend to creep into the enterprise.” MacManus describes this phenomenon and relates it back to Firefox with the following insights:

In a corporate blogging program that I'm involved in, a bunch of us were discussing the reasons why Firefox usage is growing. One person noted that in the XiTi survey of European patterns of use, Firefox is most often used at weekends. He inferred that this means personal and household adoption rates are higher than corporate ones.

This trend for Firefox adoption to be driven by the consumer market is a positive sign IMO, because we're currently seeing a larger trend of 'Web 2.0' consumer apps infiltrating the Enterprise. Just today I was speaking to some Salesforce.com execs and one of them pointed out that its Skype mashup is proving very popular amongst its customers. I can point to many other instances of social Web tools becoming utilized a lot more in enterprises - IM, wikis, Web Office services, indeed the software-as-a-service tools that Salesforce.com runs.

My point is that I think Firefox market share will continue its upward trend, particularly when Enterprises start using it more. (ZDNet)

MacManus is right. The applications that we use as consumers will gradually creep into the workplace, and when enough people across the enterprise begin demanding the use of any application, IT will usually relent and eventually begin supporting it to appease the masses. This is especially true for a secure, stable web browser, like Firefox, which would generate fewer IT objections than an application with questionable security or stability issues. It also helps when you can convince a few key people in senior management to request the application just to light a fire under the IT department!

2 comments:

Josh Bancroft said...

I'm also a HUGE Firefox fan and advocate. I practically live in it - so much of my life is on the web, that between Bloglines, Gmail, Flickr, del.icio.us, and my blogs, you can put me in front of just about any computer with Firefox, and I can be equally productive.

Also, don't miss the "Firefox at Intel" page on Intelpedia (internal). I started it as a list of tips and tweaks to make Firefox behave on the intranet (enabling NTLM authentication, etc.), but the community has added a lot to it, and it's grown into a great resource.

Looking forward to meeting you next week! :-)

GeekyGirl Dawn Foster said...

Josh,

I'm the same way with Firefox. I practically live in it.

Thanks for the pointer! I'll be sure to check out the Intel Firefox page, and I'll see you on Tuesday!

Dawn