After one of Mozilla's core employees said that the open source outfit is not concerned with enterprise customers – and likely never will be – Microsoft's Internet Explorer team has jumped into the breach to proclaim its undying love for the enterprise. With a blog post, Microsoft re-committed itself to providing support for …
I know what an MSI is. The OP is guilty of a suggesting windows-centric solution to a cross-platform application. You've muddied the waters with PKG. Do the formats compare? What about other operating systems?
"without any strings attached"
Yes. As long as your car is black.
@John Dee: Enterprise = Windows
Apple's latest antics with XServe, Java, Lion only available from the Mac App Store, the iOS-ation of Mac OS X and Final Cut Pro X means that nobody knows what Apple's focus is (probably least of all Apple) and here Mozilla might be right in saying that they don't want to dedicate resources to an enterprise version of Firefox on Mac OS X.
Most Linux distributions will have made a Firefox package available and the admin in the company in charge of supporting them will know what to do with it.
But as much as it pains some people, Enterprise (still) means Windows and MSI and this is where Firefox (Mozilla) is lacking. To respond to another post above at the same time, there is no MSI waiting to be extracted from Firefox's compacted Setup.exe (try and decompress the .exe with WinRAR and see what comes out). Enterprise admins shouldn't have to run round making their own unsupported Frankenstein MSI distributions every time there's a new revision of Firefox out with different files and registry keys between versions screwing up rollbacks.
And of course, a centralised profile is another necessity in Enterprise and something can bodged together with roaming profiles or network drives. But first Mozilla should pull its finger out and generate a Windows MSI build. It'll be relatively few extra lines to the Windows makefile yet go a long way in showing willingness to deliver what Enterprise needs. Mozilla can't last on Google's charity with their start page and search box forever and companies pay for support.
"Enterprise admins shouldn't have to run round [...]"
You're a bit like cleaners then. Complaining when you actually have to do your job. Let's make a deal. The world will make your job easier if you agree to take a pay cut.
" It'll be relatively few extra lines to the Windows makefile [...]"
So simple a competent admin could write their own script to do it for every new release ...
Not laziness, the point of this article the lack of support Mozilla offers to enterprise customers. My point is if they applied themselves to their needs as much as they do to shuffling the UI around every so often Mozilla could have paying customers, which is in their interest. Not too difficult to understand.
My role isn't admin by the way.
A tad arrogant?
Hmm. Looks like Mozilla have done themselves no favours here. If it wasn't for the vast range of add-ons, etc; and the flexibility of FF, I would be thinking of changing my allegiance.
Of course, if these "enterprise applications" were written to follow web standards, rather than being targeted on IE in the first place, testing on Firefox (or Chrome / Opera) would be quick and simple.
By not pushing the dinosaurs in enterprise onto new browsers, Microsoft / IE is holding back the rest of us from using new technologies such as HTML5 as a significant proportion of the world is still stuck on IE6.
Not that simple...
Actually, it wouldn't be.
Right, a lot of firefox fans evidently have never worked in a large environment. There is nothing wrong with that, but you simply don't understand the issues we have. An enterprise environment is not the same as your home PC where if something breaks then you just figure out what's wrong and then get around to fixing it later.
In an enterprise environment, if you roll out a new browser with no testing and stop just 5000 users working for a morning (3 hours) while you figure out what the problem is and then fix it you have cost the company 15000 working hours in lost productivity. To put that another way, it's 1875 (8 hour) working days or dammed near 7.5 man *years*. If you cause that, then sorry your going to be out of a job. It is expected that when you roll something out that it actually works first time, with no issues.
That is why we test things first. It's not just for the fun of it, and it's not just a case of opening up an app and saying "yep, this works!"
I have seen a standards compliant apparently "working" app that visually completed testing. However, the user then came back a day later and said that she hadn't received the confirmation email, checking with the provider showed they hadn't logged the order. In other words, the app silently failed. In those situations you can't upgrade the desktop estate of browsers until the app is fixed. That particular web app wasn't even ours or supported/supportable by us, yet it was mission critical to the business. Hence, we report it to the people that support it and continue testing everything.
The people supporting it also have other work to do, and upgrading a web app to support a new browser tends to get put in a que behind all the other work they have been given to do. It may well take weeks or months until they get around to supporting their app. Until they do, you simply have to stay with an older version of the browser.
This is the problem with Mozilla dropping support for a new browser *instantly*. Even if IT is willing to drop *everything* for every single new FireFox release then your still looking at a week to discover all of the problems with existing apps, and then however long it takes the (often 3rd party) developers to actually fix any problems discovered.
Until that time, your stuck on an older version with no support, vulnerable to known bugs otherwise known as exploitable security flaws. I take it you see the problem? This is why Enterprises simply can't use Mozilla apps in the enterprise, though every single tech in the IT department uses them at home. Then you have the side effects. The users use IE at work, and... what do you think they use at home? IE probably. If they were using FireFox at work, and found it better than IE at home, then don't you think they might consider switching at home?
Of course, enterprises are evil and don't deserve support. Ah, you just lost those users twice, btw. Once for their work installs, and once for lost home installs. They'll just stay on "The Internet" at home, having never heard of a browser or being interested in learning what it is.
Is supporting an old release for 6 months or so THAT hard? Yes? Ok, we'll have to stick with IE then. No, we don't want to. However, Mozilla leave us with no alternative.
See the problem? And no, we can't support Firefox ourselves FFS. Even if we had the developers time we don't have access to the top secret vulnerability reports submitted to Mozilla so we don't know what to fix until zero day exploits are in the wild. No thanks!
spot on. When I read the reports I couldn't believe that Mozilla would shoot themselves in the foot so bad, but on the further reading it became more and more apparent they just don't care to have any government/corporate users at all. And probably don't realize that their employees are private users when at home.
Well competition is a good thing, hope not only Microsoft benefits - Opera, I'm still waiting for support for color profiles!
@Peter2 thumbs up
Well said, that man. Sometimes the sheer arrogance of the browser community astonishes me.
In addition to your excellent post there, it's well worth pointing out that vast swathes of Civil Government IT is still based on IE6/XP, for the reasons outlined above. That's a huge chunk of the enterprise market in the UK, when you take into account all the service providers that assist Govt departments with their objectives - because it usually means that some (if not the vast majority) of these contractor systems are deployed to match those of the target environment, just to make sure new deployments are tested and work properly.
Setups like that simply can't be upgraded overnight. IE8 is just about being rolled out to user desktops in the organisation in which I work - but there are still core apps that are no longer being actively developed, or it would cost too much to upgrade to not depend on IE6 quirks. As a consequence, the cheapest option is to provide an IE6 environment - we're taking the Citrix option - for these apps.
It's not ideal, but it gives us a way forward. But it's still MS, because it's easier to maintain, manage, and deploy than ANY offerings elsewhere in the browser community.
"I'd much rather Mozilla spending its limited resources looking out for the billions of users"
That includes shafting *all* user types by breaking their plugins when you push them to upgrade ?
Yeah, I *really* feel supported by you right now.
I'm off to see if I can get Chrome or Opera versions of the plugins I use on a daily basis. I've heard they have a better attitude towards plugins, developers and users.
I have Adblock and no script set to block ALL advertisers (added to each time i come across a new one). I block the harvesters too... Google, doubleclick etc.
Why the hell would I want to use a browser that is designed to report to its writers? (Chrome)
Opera.. not used it since Netscape days, It was Advert supported in it's free form at that time. I haven't been tempted to use it since.
Google = Evil
too late MS, far too late
you left IE6 to rot and fester. Upstart browsers like Firefox, Safari & Chrome cam along and hit you where it hurts.
Developers won't fall for the IE only mantra ever again. All the Front end devs where I work code for Firefox but cert their stuff on Safari, Chrome and lastly IE9.
We still have to use IE because of the POS called Sharepoint. That is the only time IE is fired up on my systems. Sadly there is no replacement for that pile of dog poo on the horizon.
Even our main Homepage has had slitherlight removed. A lot of companies are building stuff on HTML5. There is no earthly reason to tie your business to a single browser any more.
Sorry MS, the game has changed. you lost Ok.
Tux coz it stands for everything MS hates with a vengance.
Your comment is the sort of boring fanboy nonsense that losers spout in order to justify their own nonsense opinion. When you have to substitute the actual titles of products with stupid alternatives (slitherlight?) is when you lose credibility.
High and Mighty
Sense of humour failure, obviously.
Those of us who have been in the game for 30 years, will recall that nicknames for products, companies etc. have always been part of the lingo. MS is not the only target. I don't see any decline in credibility by their use, but then again, I have a brain, a career and a life.
Acronymns also are famously useful for making pithy commentary. Here are a couple from the non-IT world. You will undoutedly dislike these as well.
FORD = Failed on raceday.
ETOPS = Engines turning or passengers swim.
NASA = Need another seven astronauts (might be 17 buy now though)
I agree with you, Scarepoint is truly nasty
I thought FORD was Fix Or Replace Daily?
Which lines up with FIAT - Fix It Again Tomorrow
Hadn't heard slitherlight before though. I've heard some truly awful ones in the past though, usually as a result of people overthinking it;
Took some time to work out what he meant, Fail being the opposite of Excel (as in to...)
I race, so for me Fix On Race Day is closer to reality - and yes I have a Ford engined race car amongst others.
...no Buck Rogers. Since business isn't paying toward the development of Firefox, they're hardly in a position to moan that it doesn't move along at the glacial pace they seem to want.
I've always been slightly puzzled that someone somewhere doesn't produce a - paid for naturally - "business" browser more suited to web applications than general browsing use, and that focuses more on those applications needs. It seems a bit irresponsible to pay a small fortune for an application but leave the bit the user interacts with to the divergent goals of open source or the MS "please all/annoy everyone" fad of the week.
Actually businesses are paying good money for support of FSF software they use. Example is very close, see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/23/redhat_q1_f2011_numbers/
How is pretending to be standards compliant good for businesses?
My company will use standards compliant browsers and therefore not IE of any form. The savings in not having to write for IE are over 50% for us at the moment - with more nearly but not quite standards compliance for HTML5.ms (versions 1....x) the savings can only increase.
Dotzler is a dolt
"Years ago, we didn't have the resources. Today, I argue, we shouldn't care even if we do have the resources because of the cost benefit trade. A minute spent making a corporate user happy can better be spent making many regular users happy. I'd much rather Mozilla spending its limited resources looking out for the billions of users that don't have enterprise support systems already taking care of them."
I'll give you a clue, only one of the two is likely willing to part with money for support (i.e. patches etc). How does your business model go without Google slinging $$$ your way?
Mozilla is obsessed with numbers. Hey! The great new feature of Firefox five: *The Number FIVE*
Microsoft only made its browser usable by imitating Mozilla's features, eg tabbed browsing.
<--- Can I have TWO fail icons please?
Mozilla customers don't want numbers and cosmetic features: we want a browser that starts fast and doesn't demand Gb memory upgrades. Why not give us better 3 instead of wasting time on 4 and 5?
Actually, Firefox is one reason for my Linux conversion: it is faster, cleaner, more reliable in every way than the Windows version. Thanks, Mozilla --- but I'm sure that your majority Windows users would like to be given the same, so please, lay off the numbers game and give it to them? Before they all install Chrome.
3.6.xx is LTS
I'm happily staying on 3.6., currently at 3.6.18. I'm not missing any of the "innovative" stuff in FF 4/5/etc. The claims of "six times faster" are just marketing hype and have nothing to do with actual browsing experience.
The early adopters can get on the hamster wheel, I'm not. And the sysadmins should consider fixing on the 3.6 line as well. It gets all the security updates just as quickly as the latest and greatest Firefox.
I have 3.6 and 5.0
On two different computers. 5 is at least three time faster. Don't know about the claims but I can load a page in .25 seconds instead of 1 second. LOL ~ Not that it makes much of a difference!!! ~LOL~ Point is I do notice a snappy speed with 5. Just that I don't think speed matters all that much. I can still load any page just like before so I can't attest to better standards compliance.
Maybe Mozilla is right. Maybe they have their reasons. But those answers typify the head-up-the-backside, we-don't-give-a-toss, we-are-always-right, screw-those-who-don't-like-it attitude. Mozilla seem to be increasingly living in their own little world, with their own little views - where the "principle" is more important than the actual user. It's about their grand vision of taking over the world - it's not really about the needs of the people who use their software.
It wouldn't have killed him to be a bit more amenable and show some disposition for compromise. Yes, maybe they have their reasons to target home users more then corporate. But statements such as these essentially boil down to "you're not worth our time, we have better things to do" arrogance. I reckon they've been suckling too much on the big corporate tit.
It would also explain why they are dragging their feet developing Thunderbird + Lightning into a solid email and calendaring platform. They are filling the web and the real world with their dizzy marketing hype - while one of their core pieces of software is still stuck in the '90s. Corporate users do need an alternative to Outlook+Exchange - even in these days of clouds. But corporate users are not your problem now, are they Mozilla?
big corporate tits?
excuse me for a minute, while I think about that
Right. Agreed with most of what you say, although MS is the great world leader in taking over the world; MS thy software provider is a jealous software provider ... and all that biblical stuff.
And while they are doing that, yes, Mozilla seems to be retreating into its own world of version numbers and where the tabs are. Oh, and disagreeing with Microsoft. I don't see any other reason why they should say that they are not interested in the corporate world!
Hey? How about clicking the DONATE button?
I don't twice a year to Mozilla. Do you? No? Then don't expect anything to change. NOTHING is free!
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
As a staunch advocate of GNU/Linux and Free Software, let me be the first to say ... Mozilla are idiots.
Corporate desktops are one of the primary sources of standards lock-in, which then filters down to customers in the form of products and services. Mozilla are supposed to be trying to WIN the standards war, not handing it to Microsoft on a silver plater.
And they're doing this ... why, exactly? So they can have bragging rights on shiny-new version numbers once every few months?
Let me say it again ... idiots!
How long after IE8 did MS release IE9 again?
As a supporter of the GPL and Opensource, but not the GNU/Linux movement (I love Linux but cant stand the pathetic politics behind RMS) I disagree completely. All you've said is that "Corporate desktops are one of the primary sources of standards lock-in" and that "Mozilla are idiots". Not sure if you've noticed but Mozilla market to the home user...as it stands marketing to the corporate user would be pointless as they are already locked into old, crummy packages built for IE5. It'll be a good few years before they can even think about taking on the corporate world.
I'm pretty sure Mozilla are a little bit more intelligent than you or I and know what they are doing....idiot ;)
On the one hand:
Ubuntu has its LTS (long term support release) to encourage and support enterprise adoption.
Has Mozilla missed an opportunity?
On the other:
My impression is that Firefox 5 is not nearly as big a jump from 4, as 4 was from 3.6.
Is the other side of EOL'ing 4, that Mozilla promises not to break 4-compatible add-ons?
Did Mr Enterprise make such a big deal of moving from 3.5 to 3.6? Is he just hung up on version numbers?
And what about businesses who put everything on the cloud and lose complete control of the IT upgrade cycle anyway?
I'm caring much less about this already. Not sure where the FAIL is now, except maybe in Mozilla's PR.
"we don't care about you" is not a good look.
Firefox in the office.
From what I remember IE has a lot of settings that can be controled by group policy to "provide a consistent reliable system".
I do not believe Firefox can be controlled in this way and as far as i am concerned it should not be bending over backwards to support a proprietory Microsoft technology.
As for support, the software is free. Do you really expect something for nothing ?
Firefox in usermode
Can you even update firefox without admin?
Firefox in the office.
"From what I remember IE has a lot of settings that can be controled by group policy to "provide a consistent reliable system"."
That is the main reason given to me that I am not 'allowed' to use Firefox at work.
At home the nightly 64 bit FF is nice to use, no crashes so far....
And this is why I'm not surprised
Exactly--no Group Policy plugins make Firefox (unfortunately IMO) unsuitable for enterprise use if your enterprise uses a Windows environment (and let's face it--as much as most of us would like to change that, the desktop will be mostly Windows for the foreseeable future). As an admin, I need to make sure the users aren't misbehaving or getting pwned (the proxy is awesome, and I use other tools, but locking down the browser is an important line of defense) AND I need to be able to push updates without disturbing the users... Given that they've never bothered to put out tools for this, it comes as no surprise that enterprise support is not a priority at Mozilla.
Locking Down The Browser
Arguably that falls within the remit of the OS and user interface manager rather than at the application level.
With that said, it would be nice if applications would try to integrate their preferences mechanisms with the host platform in order to ease administration. Personally, I'm more concerned with KDE's group administration than its MS equivalent, but the principle is the same.
Re: And this is why I'm not surprised
"Exactly--no Group Policy plugins make Firefox (unfortunately IMO) unsuitable for enterprise use if your enterprise uses a Windows environment"
And the companies adding this to Firefox and making some nice money from grateful corporate customers are? Oh right, it's easier to whine that someone else developing something that you get from them for free won't add the thing that's so essential to you.
You can make money from open source, but your potential customers first have to learn how to open the corporate wallet and unlearn the notion that open source means "free stuff, work harder hippies!"
The update process is wrong anyway
I am sure security guys who are doing heuristics had to add some exceptions for Firefox update process on Windows as it acts almost like a cracked/infected binary.
Executable, downloading and writing to its own directory? This behaviour is not good since Windows NT 4. That behaviour is the reason why people (home users, their market too) has to run as Admin all the time and get blamed.
Funny is, Java updater process is also wrong. It doesn't "cwd" to a sane dir (for example, "sudo" users or system %temp%) so it fails even if you "run as" administrator.
Both guys (Mozila and Oracle) really should take Apple software updater for Windows as example. Not speaking about its ethics. Just how it works, like a perfectly legimate Windows updater app. Even uses systems native scheduler unlike Sun/oracle who made into "disable its startup" tips.
RE: And this is why I'm not surprised
As someone running a 100+ Windows network w/ FF as primary browser (IE and Chrome being other choices) I am failing to see how "no Group Policy plugins make Firefox (unfortunately IMO) unsuitable for enterprise use if your enterprise uses a Windows environment" - care to elaborate?
"As an admin, I need to make sure the users aren't misbehaving or getting pwned" - right because IE is soooo famous about being secure (the WORST-EVER browser) and that browser security is soooo GPO-dependent... of course, it isn't either. Even if I give you the benefit of doubt and assume you have at least a slight clue about the subject (I doubt) you still couldn't make a single valid connection here FYI.
"AND I need to be able to push updates without disturbing the users... " which, once again, has nothing to do with IE vs FF as both needs to be restarted after patching.... seriously: have you ever seen a browser updated without a restart? Conversely any proper mgmt system will provide silent install, y'know.
"Given that they've never bothered to put out tools for this, it comes as no surprise that enterprise support is not a priority at Mozilla."
OK, so here is the point when I will argue that you lack even the most basic experience in this field, sorry - if you are a corporation you can pick from several different patch mgmt/distribution systems (we use KACE but there are others like LANdesk, Altiris etc) but even if you are some cheap@ss garage-firm you can still use WSUS/SMS-based deployment provided you know how to roll an msi yourself (a better developed chimp can learn it.)
Did I mention with KACE/AppDeploy you can even deploy a fully sandboxed, secure Firefox...?
Before you make any assumptions....
...realize that some of us aren't allowed to use the tools we would like. I'd elaborate further but why expose myself to another barrage of mistaken assumptions and abusive language?
Re: RE: And this is why I'm not surprised
That's all good mate, but why the shitty attitude?
The lad you're replying to may or may not have much of a clue, but one thing is certain: his dick size is such that it doesn't need to mention his "100+ Windows network"(*) to feel a man :-)
(*) My commiserations by the way. Who have you pissed off to end up in that position?
RE: Re: RE: And this is why I'm not surprised
I'm a bit perplexed: it IS fully relevant here (ie Firefox in a corporate Windows environment bigger than "manual install everywhere"), why the comments about "dick-size"' and "feel a man"...? =:$
If anything then a "100+ Windows network" is considered rather small in corporate networking so I'm not sure how could be even assumed as a "dick-sizing" argument...
Hah, nobody :D - it's a network mostly I have designed and built over 10+ years, from SANs down to desktops. ;)
Enterprise can be enterprising
And put in the features they need. Hell, they don't even have to release the code they write. Mozilla are 100% correct not to waste their own resources providing compatibility for broken applications.
Even if there really are 2m downloads per day from individual users (and I'm sure that does not equate to 2m new Firefox users per day), 500k users in a large enterprise is not to be sneezed at and surely ought to be a good marketing point for Mozilla. Sadly it seems that one of them, at least, don't want that.
I'd like to propose Marten's Law: "Any open source or community project, whatever its organizational structure, always has at least one person designated as official foot-shooter".
Congratulations to Asa Dotzler, you're it.
Even Google are more clued up than Mozilla
With the arrival of Google Chrome Frame for IE, Google have spotted an opening (well more of a small chink) in the enterprise sector. For those able to install it, it may provide some benefits but you are still stuck with the ghastly interface of IE. I hate IE9 more than the previous versions...
Welcome to the world of cultural difference...
Mr Dotzler's job is about the "community" which is probably why he completely failed to see what the Corporate crowd where asking for - versions not to be EOL as soon as the new one is out. In fact the general view in the original thread was if Mozilla periodically marked versions LTS, everybody would be happy.
I will admit that, like most TV stations, Mozilla Corporation only profits from its users indirectly and it's also true that the larger corporates could fork the code - but why should they bother when they can just mandate IE?
I suspect that all public statements aside Mr Dotzler will shortly be invited to an interview without coffee.
The fact that Microsoft is more interested, in a methodical practical way, in amassing vast gobs of cash, does not have any bearing on the well-attested and generally acknowledged fact that Mozilla produces much better software.
We've got to make our web sites support IE8 until 2020? Oh bugger...
end users should be allowed to use whatever they want to. at work i use ie only for some intranet forms that don't work with firefox. everyone in my office uses firefox for browsing. in fact i do not know anyone who doesn't use firefox for browsing.
Storm in a tea cup?
While somewhat undiplomatic Dotzler is probably entirely right. Corporates who really care should be submitting test cases to Mozilla and have a vested interest in upgrading regularly and ensuring their "enterprise requirements" are catered for.
The whole major, minor, patch release strategy has had a coach and horses driven through it by Google, who update your browser without your consent. Where's the hue and cry about that? Will Google provide LTS for its browser? Possibly, but it's just as likely to require regular new versions for working with its websites and applications and, as they are unlikely to work on Neanderthal Explorer, people will just have to bite the bullet.
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