Re: I'm suffering from deja vu!
I seem to remember roughly two decades ago a company that obtained a near monopoly on browsers, but chose to write that browser for the benefit of others, rather than for the benefit of the end user.
This persisted for a couple of years until the community got together and showed what they thought of that idea by developing a new browser called Pheonix.
Well, not exactly, though I agree in spirit with your message.
Netscape 4.x was regarded by a lot of people as a mess, so Netscape gave in to temptation and threw it all out and started with a new code base. That caused a long delay between Netscape 4.x and the next major upgrade, at a time when Netscape could ill afford to be banking on an old, crash-prone product while they wrote something better from scratch.
That new product became Netscape 6. As MS was busy killing Netscape, they (Netscape) took the unusual step of open-sourcing their software, while continuing to pay developers to work on it. That became the basis for Mozilla Suite. AOL purchased Netscape, apparently for the purpose of using the threat of including Netscape with their AOL client to push MS into a favorable licensing arrangement with IE, which formed the basis of their AOL browser. Once that was accomplished, AOL closed Netscape. Mozilla Suite, with its browser component, lived on.
Some people didn't like how "bloated" Mozilla Suite's browser was, with all kinds of features that they thought most people would not want (a lot of the same complaints leveled at Netscape 4), so Mozilla began work on an experimental version of the browser as a standalone, and with all but the most universally-desired features removed. The idea was that people who wanted those features could add them back with extensions, and no one would end up with a browser that was bulkier than it had to be because of features they would not use. It was to be lean and mean, and fast.
That was Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox, which held to the idea of allowing users to add back the features that Mozilla had lopped off all the way until the "Quantum" leap backward with v57. By that time, Mozilla had been copying Chrome for years. The classic UI was ditched in favor of Australis, which strongly resembled Chrome. Feature after feature was removed with little reason listed in Bugzilla other than that "Chrome does it that way." Mozilla copied Chrome's rapid release schedule and numbering system. They removed the status bar, since Chrome didn't have one. They removed the ability of the browser to selectively accept or reject cookies because Chrome didn't do that. They even copied Chrome's addons-- and the limitations engineered into them.
While Mozilla had battled MS by making a browser that was better than IE in every possible way, with many distinguishing features not found in IE to show people that there was a better way, they've chosen to "battle" Google by removing, one by one, all the features that make it different and better than Chrome. Chrome has more market share, so that means that Chrome must be exactly what users want!
By copying Chrome, the idea is that Firefox will be it so familiar to Chrome users that they'll migrate, for some reason, even though they're already using the Chromiest browser in existence. Mozilla will have made it as painless as possible for the people least interested in changing browsers to switch to Firefox, while alienating all of the users that want something other than Chrome. They will have made the move to Firefox as pointless for Chrome users as it is painless.
The naysayers will point out features that Firefox has that Chrome does not, but that only means Mozilla hasn't gotten around to removing them yet. They seem to think that there is some magic number of features that must be removed before suddenly the Chrome users come flooding in! Even after years of shedding market share as quickly as they shed features, they keep at it, seemingly as convinced as ever that making Firefox as bad as possible will eventually pay off.
Firefox is still better than Chrome, but that's a testament to the lack of redeeming features of Chrome more than the ongoing excellence of Firefox.