4 ways Mozilla could fix its Firefox problem

Mozilla has hit a all-time low market share and appears to be heading towards irrelevancy. Jack Wallen has just a few concepts how Mozilla might repair this downside.


Picture: Mozilla

Mozilla has a Firefox downside.

The open-source app is likely one of the higher browsers available on the market however has been hemorrhaging market share for years. As of immediately, Firefox solely has 3.66% of the online browser market share. If I had been to guess, nearly all of these customers are on Linux.

SEE: Linux turns 30: Celebrating the open supply working system (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

That determine alone ought to let you know how a lot hassle Firefox is in. We’re speaking “Hazard, Will Robinson”-level hassle. A 3% market share is tough to bounce again from. So with Firefox so dangerously shut to finish irrelevancy, what can Mozilla do to recuperate?

I’ve just a few ideas. 4, to be precise. 

Let’s simply dive in.

1. Enhance workspaces

This will likely shock you, however I believe if Firefox would lastly get a clue with tab administration, they might entice some new customers. Opera and Safari have come out on high on this area, and you would be hard-pressed to discover a higher resolution than both Opera’s Workspaces or Safari’s tackle tab teams. 

What does Firefox have? A number of addons which can be actually extra hassle than they’re price. Not one of many Firefox tab administration addons comes near what Opera and Safari have to supply. 

This can be a downside. Why? As a result of every day that passes, an increasing number of folks wind up having to make use of an increasing number of tabs in a operating browser window. I continually have so many tabs open in Firefox that it turns into fairly unwieldy to make use of. If I had been in Opera or Safari, this would not be an issue.

To that finish, the Firefox builders significantly want to have a look at how these two browsers take care of tab administration and do one thing comparable.

2. An everyday launch schedule 

This can be a actual downside, one which must be addressed asap. In the meanwhile, the Firefox launch schedule is chaotic. There may be completely zero consistency. As an alternative of taking this haphazard method, the builders must create a daily launch schedule, one which customers can rely on and know that at X month, a brand new model of the browser might be made obtainable. And as soon as they develop this calendar, stick with it.

If Linux distributions (that are exponentially extra complicated than an online browser) can stick with a daily launch schedule, an online browser can as nicely.

SEE: 40+ open supply and Linux phrases you have to know (TechRepublic Premium)

I might say that there ought to be month-to-month vulnerability patches (as a result of that is essential) and perhaps quarterly minor releases (for varied bug fixes and minor characteristic additions) and biannual (or annual) main releases. This may additionally make it exponentially simpler for folks like me to cowl the browser. As is, I’ve to hope I do not miss the subsequent launch notification.

An everyday launch schedule would make it simpler for customers to belief the browser and that the builders are continually working to enhance the applying.

3. Preserve it lean

Firefox has a historical past of getting bloated to the purpose of turning into unusable. Proper now, the browser feels lean, so it really works very nicely. However the sample has been clear:

  • Firefox will get lean.
  • Firefox begins to bloat.
  • Firefox will get too bloated.
  • Customers complain.
  • Firefox will get lean.

Rinse, wash, repeat. Firefox can not afford one other iteration of this sample. The truth is, I might go as far as to say that if the browser begins to develop outsized and gradual as soon as extra, it’s going to sign the tip. 

Mozilla should be certain Firefox stays trim, quick and free from bloat. Finish of story.

4. Advertising and marketing, advertising, advertising

Like a lot of open-source, Mozilla would not know learn how to market Firefox. I perceive that you could’t market with out a finances, however in case you do not market nobody is aware of about your product. As soon as upon a time, advertising an online browser wasn’t essential. Lower than a 4% market share is a transparent indicator that point has long gone. And creating new companies like Firefox Relay or a VPN is not going to assist the trigger. Positive, these shiny new issues would possibly assist Mozilla the corporate (though I doubt it), they will do completely nothing for the online browser.

Mozilla must develop a severe advert marketing campaign for the browser that is been its bread and butter for years. And that marketing campaign wants to point out the general public that Firefox can do what Chrome can do, with out monitoring and utilizing their information. Chrome is essentially the most widely-used browser on the planet and it isn’t solely continually below assault, nevertheless it additionally tracks customers’ information greater than some other browser. Standing in opposition to that may be a main promoting level Firefox might use to its benefit. It is virtually as if Google is fortunately handing that bullet level to each different browser available on the market, and Mozilla ought to capitalize on it instantly. 


If Mozilla would not do one thing quickly, Firefox will turn into irrelevant. I might hate to see that occur, as a result of (aside from the poor tab administration) the browser has turn into one of many higher choices obtainable. And though it’d really feel like a monumental process to undertake, Mozilla can flip the tide. Repair tab administration, hit a daily launch cycle, preserve the browser lean, and let folks know why Firefox is healthier than the competitors, and Mozilla might proper the ship earlier than it sinks.

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