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back to article Microsoft pounces as Mozilla shuns enterprise

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 …

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Holmes

Interesting Title

What kind of support do you think Mozilla should offer for free to commercial enterprises?

Why should commercial enterprises expect free support from a non-profit organization?

Why are the browser requirements of corporate user different from a home user?

Why are you stirring up a fake controversy ?

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hm?

"What kind of support do you think Mozilla should offer for free to commercial enterprises?"

and who exactly said "free"? Enterprises are paying good money for support, nobody told they want if free. That support is not on offer, however.

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Flame

LTS

Mozilla needs to have Long Term Support versions.

It's unreasonable to "replace" a major application every few months. I saw this comming and ignored V4 except on one test machine. V3.6 and V5 should be supported till 2013 and 2018 respectively. At least.

Otherwise it's a consumer toy.

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Mushroom

What Mozilla said ..

"By releasing small, focused updates more often, we are able to deliver improved security and stability even as we introduce new features, which is better for our users, and for the Web,"

"We recognize that this shift may not be compatible with a large organization's IT policy and understand that it is challenging to organizations that have effort-intensive certification polices,"

"[But] tying Firefox product development to an organizational process we do not control would make it difficult for us to continue to innovate for our users and the betterment of the Web."

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9217896/Enterprise_IT_unhappy_with_Firefox_4_s_quick_demise?taxonomyId=211&pageNumber=2

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft pounces.

Three years too late. As ever.

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Just Downloaded Firefox 5

But I installed it in a different directory. So I thought I could keep my old one.

Well, I could. Sort of. But each time I switch from one to the other, it checks all my add-ons for compatibility again, as if I just did an install. Turns out both versions keep their settings in the same directory, in Application Data for Mozilla Firefox... instead of one putting it in a directory for Mozilla Firefox 4, and the other putting it in a directory for Mozilla Firefox 5.

And there's nowhere I can find to change the directory it keeps this in, so I can't have two different versions sit on my computer as two completely separate and independent well-behaved applications.

So, to answer a question - no, there's no reason to hand out free support to commercial businesses. But their needs should be kept in mind in the basic development of Firefox - because many sites are designed to be viewed from commercial businesses, and so just ignoring their needs in its design can mean Firefox ending up irrelevant.

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FAIL

Not learned any lessons yet, MS?

We haven't yet finished clearing up the terrible mess created by keeping IE6 on life support for far too long - and already MS are trying to repeat the mistake with IE8? Apart from anything else, even with the dumb decision to restrict IE9 to Vista or later, since XP extended support ends in 2014, surely so should IE8 support?

The idea of keeping a decade-old browser cluttering the Internet should horrify anyone online. MS should be working on killing off legacy versions now, not trying to exploit corporate ignorance and inertia to lock in marketshare at the expense of our safety and standards compliance.

I am disappointed by Firefox prematurely bumping versions from 4 to 5 - but the rest of the Internet has to deal with new versions coming out without sites breaking because of it, why can't this guy's intranet? We don't get Google, or theReg, or NYTimes.com whining that Firefox mustn't bring out a new version in case some bug in their site gets triggered - they just need to do their jobs properly.

Jacking up the version number like this does seem a really, really stupid own goal on Mozilla's part, as is EOLing Firefox 4 so soon - but expecting years of support for legacy browsers is, to me, as absurd as expecting a newspaper to go back and update old editions: a pointless distraction from the real job of producing *new* and better content.

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Apple.

Apple lack a long-tail support cycle too, which is a barrier to enterprise adoption.

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Safari is different

Safari doesn't run like Firefox nor allows that much customisation. It is a policy, a design choice much like Opera.

What Firefox is and at what levels it can be customised is the issue here. Extensions are really powerful and they should be really checked for compatibility when deploying a new version or things can really go wrong.

Obviously I don't expect that kind of support from Firefox or Mozilla team. Really absurd thing is, no company have seen market for firefox enterprise support including Mozilla team themselves. Free (as in freedom) software is expected to make majority of money that way, pretty much like Redhat.

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Anonymous Coward

Can I Update Yet?

I want to know in advance. The problem with the current system is that it installs the new browser version and then tells you that some of your extensions don't work.

The checking's, I think, a bunch of number comparisons so in principle it should be relatively easy.

A "Can I Update Yet?" button would be nice. Ideally though a checkbox for each Extension/Add-on "I Really Need This And Please Don't Update Firefox Unless It's Available For The New Version" [X] would help.

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To that admin and admins hacking/downloading their own MSI

Here you have a browser team which refuses to provide MSI and OS X .pkg files even while the tools to produce them are open source and free as in freedom.

Are you seriously expecting some kind of enterprise attitude from them? They don't even have a deployment kit in place, the real reason why IE 3+ took off.

Even Skype has a corporate friendly MSI edition. Yes, Skype.

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The problem with ignoring corporates...

... Is that those very corporates have to provide web sites that are usable by all those end users.

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Who cares?

In the end, you're better off with Firefox and their disregard for enterprise than Microsoft Internet Explorer and their disregard for standards, ethics, and security.

Personally, I don't see the problem. If the website or application is correctly written with standards in mind, then there should be no problem. Why is it Firefox's problem? Microsoft and the web coders that chose to write for Internet Explorer are the real troublemakers.

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hahaha

As a sysadmin of a few windows enterprise/standard boxes I can judge first hand how Microsoft handles "enterprise".

IE out of the box on standard/enterprise comes completely locked down. You can't do a thing with it until you jump through the hoops of disabling it all. That for starters is something that really says something.

IE would of been dead in the yard if it hadn't been and continues to be built into windows. There are some sites like Dun and Bradstreet that require you to use IE or you can't register free accounts. Some job sites that only work with IE.

Without these companies working with Microsoft and the ability to tie things into an operating system Microsoft would have less of a marketshare then they do by such large margins we might not even have it.

I shun the neverending firefox and thunderbird updates because they are at every corner. However I usually can't apply them because im using the software at the time. IE on the other hand has updates and I don't even use the stupid software. "Click here to update to IE whatever".

Who gives a damn, who ever permitted a web browser to be tied into an operating system to begin with.

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You're a sysadmin and you use Firefox and don't load security updates?

Then can you tell me the web addresses of some of your servers, please?

Also, exec script.js.takeItUpTheASP() and thankyou so much for opening this reply.

Take your updates when they're prescribed, if you don't want to have injections.

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Are you retarded . . .

. . . or simply never actually worked in an Enterprise environment ??

Ditch Windows altogether - given that whatever it's replaced with (whether some flavour of Linux or OS X) also requires a support licence, plus the retraining/replacing of all the relevant in house support staff; where exactly is the saving ??

Crummy blah blah - we use all of the things you've listed (except IIS), not everything is applicable in every situation.

Webkit based browser - like an awful lot of enterprise level companies, we're still using XP, Windows 7 isn't due till next year. Chrome phones Google, excellent, we want any information in a financial services company being bandied around outside our firewall. Safari, are you fucking kidding me??

Now, what you've called three simple steps, doesn't take into account the 100 or so 3rd party applications that we use (including MS Office) and the hundreds of in house built app's that would all need to be upgraded/replaced/recoded, not to mention the interation between mainframe/midrange and so on.

Those "three simple steps" would bankrupt most enterprises.

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They just don't realise it yet...

How can it be that Microsoft can be so devoid of enterprise strategy as to persistently miss the mark in understanding how to pitch their own product? Defeat is being snatched from the jaws of victory...

David Gale

CEO

SITFO.org

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WTF?

Corporate process?

I can't say I fully agree with Mozilla's stance but it's understandable and moreover the corporatists also have solutions.

First of all, I don't understand the double QA process. On one hand there is Mozilla's QA that OK's the browser for release and on the other there's the corporate deployment team that OK's the browser for the plugins and web apps that the company uses. Why doesn't the company delegate a couple of people to the Mozilla QA process, to ensure a release's compatibility with the corporate procedures, so that when the release is out, it's already OK'ed for corporate use?

And moreover, if a browser release is OK'ed for corporate use, why does it matter if it's supported by the parent company or not? The corporate environment is supposed to be safe and functional, therefore once a browser does what the corporate environment needs, all should be good.

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Plugin compatibility

The wife this week clicked the 'Upgrade Firefox Now' button when prompted by firefox and immediately discovered that the google toolbar wasn't compatible with no obvious way of reverting back to firefox 4. So I had to provide instructions on how to hack the install.rdf to get it to work.

If popular plugins from big players like google can't update before the release then there will also be problems with other smaller plugins, this will cause many headaches for users and they will blame the firefox update.

Changing the major version every three months makes a farce of the whole plugin version compatibility anyway.

Oh and firefox has crashed 6 times on me this morning already so v5 hasn't improved my experience yet.

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One size doesn't fit all

When I first read this my first thought was that Mozilla were shooting themselves in the foot, but the more I think about it the more I've come to the conclusion that it's not such a bit deal. The key is that one size rarely fits all successfully.

In a corporate environment the key requirements are stability and reliability. You want to know that everything will just work, wizzy new features are all well and good, but since the development / testing cycles take so long it's unlikely any internal apps etc will need the latest and greatest features in the short term. An admin wants control over what users are doing and how they do it, and the certainty that things will work as expected, so they don't end up with those on high yelling at them because something hasn’t behaved as expected. I agree with the comments about "apps should be standards compliant and just work", but in the real world that simply can't be relied upon. Telling the MD that staff can't do their work because the developer didn't follow the correct standards and it's not your fault won't wash.

In a home environment on the other hand most people are more tolerant of stability issues (I know I certainly am), but they want to be able to use the latest and greatest apps etc. Facebook games, streaming videos etc are important at home, not in the work place, so rapid deployment of the latest features is important to them. The raft of add-ons available in Firefox can be great for a home user, but again is a pain for an IT admin.

So, while I wonder if Mozilla are being short sighted in ignoring Enterprise environments, if their aim is to target a specific niche (eg home users) then in that respect this is probably the best way to do it, since MS clearly aren't aiming their efforts in that direction.

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