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Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

Mozilla’s CEO whines about why Firefox and Thunderbird are still not allowed to assume the top spot when it comes to enterprise technology.
It’s those pesky companies!
They make the IT elves use proprietary software, and it’s against their will!
Don’t you just hate technological rape?
I think it would behoove Mozilla to take another look.
For starters, it’s unfair to blame companies for using proprietary software.
Microsoft’s IE has been the standard browser for years, and, like it or not, the fact that it forgives web developers for not designing their software according to standards is something that has to be dealt with.
I’ll be the first one to call the company I work for and its clients onto the carpet for developing kloogy software.
But it would take a huge amount of time and money to get all the code up-to-standard, and I seriously doubt Mozilla is going to provide the support necessary to do that.
Next, there’s the security considerations.
I’ve heard Firefox proponents rave about how secure FF is.
But they don’t consider that the reason FF doesn’t have very many viruses taylored for it is because it’s not nearly as popular as IE is.
If FF or Thunderbird (Thunderbird is Mozilla’s email client) ever become that popular, you can bet that the viruses will abound.
Finally, there’s the issue of stability.
I managed to crash FF six times yesterday, and I’m using the latest version of FF, running on a P4, 2GHZ box, using Windows 2000 with Service Pack4.
And don’t say it’s because I’m running Windows.
Contrary to what the hard-core Linux devotees will tell you, Linux crashes too, and in some pretty major ways.
But regardless of whether or not Linux or FF will crash, it’s pointless for Mozilla’s CEO to argue that the reason for their uninvited status is due solely to businesses “foolishly” insisting on using proprietary software.
The Open-Source community is seen as a bunch of geeks who have nothing better to do than write code all day long, whether that reputation is deserved or not.
And proprietary software is yet another way for businesses to make money.
For instance, if Company A develops a customer management application, and company B wants that application, Company A can sell the application and turn a profit by requiring Company B to purchase a license.
Businesses would have to add an extra step by making sure that the software in question is going to work with FF, and that’s pretty much taking the accessibility issue and multiplying it exponentially, since FF requires code to be somewhere close to standard, and IE doesn’t.
All I have to do is look at how long the company I work for has been willing to stand for the client dragging their feet when it comes to making their software accessible to screenreader users in order to figure out how far that initiative would go.
The client has done everything but come out and say it’s too much trouble and would cost too much for them to comply.
And their software definitely doesn’t run under FF.
That’s something I suspect is true across much of the board.
Companies very rarely require their developers to make sure their code is up-to-scratch as far as the standards set by the W3C, (after all, expecting developers to maintain standards is like expecting your average employee to maintain gramatical standards).
They’d have to pour a huge amount of money into getting everything else they’re using up-to-scratch.
Mozilla can’t possibly think businesses are going to overhaul all their software without being paid a whole lot of money, and that would be akin to bribing the market.
The only other option Mozilla has is to let FF make its own mark by proving it can outshine IE on a very large scale.
And that will take a long time.
They might want to start with an advertising campaign.


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