Some days ago I read an article on Slashdot that I think deserves to have created more of a splash than it did. Amazing that we didn’t notice earlier when Chrome was released, that this could trigger a change with Mozilla.
The owners of the crazy-successful browser that most web professionals use, has a three-year contract with Google.
Slashdot raises the question: what next for Mozilla? It is a reasonable assumption that Google won’t want to renew the contract
Let’s look at what’s involved here:
- Google would not have developed Chrome if they weren’t intending to assume an even larger share of the online search market: the reasons why they’d want their own browser are obvious. They can now monitor even more closely what we’re all doing on the Web.
- This looks as if it is going to eventually turn into a showdown between the two browsers: Personally I think the balance will remain as there are two distinct user-groups: one clearly finds Chrome an advantage because of its speed, but the other loves the speed of Chrome but cannot forsake all the delicious addons that now come as standard with FireFox. But even Chrome’s speed is not an absolute: Adam Pash of LifeHacker reported back in September that if you strip the addons from FireFox, there’s no clear winner on speed issues.
- For now, FireFox remains the only credible challenger to the universally-hated Internet Explorer.
- Mozilla’s FireFox has something of an advantage because it has a dedicated group of followers: some of whom will even stick for ‘old time’s sake.’
- There is a growing group of disaffected Google users ( myself included) who will opt for another browser even if Chrome is clearly the more practical option because they are seriously concerned about Google’s present monopoly over all things Web.
There are varying points of view on this. As one comment on the Slashdot article put it:
“The most likely future for Mozilla is a continued partnership with Google. If Google ends its deal with Firefox, Google would be cutting itself off from the only viable challenger to IE. After all, Chrome only recently passed 1% in share of browser use.
Google needs Mozilla to keep putting the bones to Redmond.”
My personal take? I sincerely hope that Google doesn’t renew its contract with Mozilla and that a new contract is forged between Mozilla and a single search engine, or maybe even a group of smaller search engines. I don’t like monopolies: they lead to dangerously powerful institutions and a slip in standards.
We’d love to hear what you think: which will it be ultimately? Chrome or FireFox, and will Google renew its contract with Mozilla?
Patricia Skinner is an SEO consultant, social media coach & reputation management expert. She is also community leader at the nascent SEO Self Regulation Community. She can be reached any time through her SEO website. Why not follow her on Twitter & her LinkedIn profile.