Why Firefox will continue to lose market share
Mozilla Firefox is a great browser. Not everyone may agree with me on this but that is fine and expected. Firefox is the browser that gives users the most control over their browsing experience. It has the strongest add-on ecosystem of the three, and is backed by an organization that for the most part seems to be on the user's side of things when it comes to rights and such.
But it is also a fact that this browser has lost market share in the past years. This can be mostly attributed to the rise of Google Chrome thanks to Google pushing it with the help of its Internet properties, but also mobile browsing and a climate where customization options fell to the culture of simplifying things.
No one can say what would happen if Chrome would not have been released by Google, but it seems likely that Firefox would eventually have reached its peak.
With Chrome dominant, and Internet Explorer / Edge backed by the Windows operating system and Enterprise, it is Firefox that is trailing behind and losing market share.
Netmarketshare recorded Firefox's usage share at an all-time low of less than 9% in May 2016 down from more than 12% in June 2015. These reports are not 100% accurate but the very least they do is show a trend, and that trend signals that things will likely get worse before they might get better again.
Why Firefox will continue to lose market share
There are two main reasons why Firefox will continue to bleed market share on the desktop. The first, and probably the big one, is a number of changes that will roll out over the course of the next year or so.
This includes multi-process Firefox, add-on signing enforcement, focus on WebExtensions, and later on deprecation of part of the browser's old add-on system.
All this features or changes will impact part of the browser's user base. Some may notice that a favorite add-on won't work anymore, or that they cannot install a theme anymore that they have used for years.
Add-ons are one of the core reasons why users use Firefox, even though Mozilla stated recently that more than 40% of users don't use a single add-on.
With add-ons being impacted by that many changes, it is likely that some users will migrate away from Firefox. Many will probably switch to a browser such as Pale Moon that shares code with Firefox but won't implement these changes anytime soon or at all, while others may switch to Google Chrome directly instead.
Some might also add bad management decisions to Firefox's demise such as adding different types of advertisement offers to the browser (which got them pretty bad press coverage which, at times, was not overly fair but still expected).
Google Chrome Continuity
I considered "Why Google Chrome won't lose market share anytime soon" as the article title for a moment.
The second reason why Mozilla Firefox won't make leaps in regards to market share is Chrome's continuity.
Google is very careful about changes that it makes to Chrome. While it has made some changes to the interface throughout the existence of the web browser, none were as drastic as Mozilla's switch to the Australis interface (especially since it meant fewer customization options).
The browser UI, extension system, and behavior, remained more or less the same throughout the years.Â The screenshot above is of Chrome 3 released nearly seven years ago.
There is simply no reason for users to switch to another browser as Chrome works just as good, and behaves and looks nearly the same, as it did years ago
This won't change unless Google starts making drastic changes to the browser UI or behavior, but that seems highly unlikely.
Mozilla's way out
Waiting for Google to make a misstep is not the way to go forward, as it may never happen. Mozilla needs to implement features and make changes to Firefox that make the browser stand out when compared to Chrome.
While Mozilla can continue to match or beat Chrome when it comes to performance, web technology support or other under the hood features, it is not really something that most users will care about unless it is directly affecting them.
This leaves features that Google cannot or won't implement. If you look at recent Opera versions, you will notice that the company is doing exactly that. Opera implemented a native adblocker in the browser, a browser proxy, and a power saving feature.
All features that benefit users and set the browser apart from others.
Mozilla needs to focus on features that set it apart from Google Chrome and are highly sought after by users. This may force them to make difficult decisions, such as integrating an ad blocker into the browser despite not being in the best interest of Mozilla partners.
Now You: What do you think Mozilla needs to do to change the downward trend?
Chrome’s biggest advantage, IMO, is the fact that it is promoted on Google’s search page, the #1 website in the world. Visit that page in a browser besides Chrome, and a small popup asks you if you want to try Chrome. Chrome also often is offered as an install in various application installers, something I’ve never seen Mozilla do with Firefox.
Chrome is indeed a good browser, but all else being even, marketing and access to astronomical numbers of potential users plays a huge role in gaining market share.
I may as well go back to google chrome because firefox is worse on buffing
> Mozilla needs to focus on features that set it apart from Google Chrome and are highly sought after by users.
Like addons. What they will destroy. Yay. :/
Trouble is the most popular Firefox plugins are now available on Chrome. Mozilla is even adding Chrome extension support to Firefox, so eventually both browsers will run most of the same plugins. But it’s not only Firefox marketshare that’s shrinking, IE/Edge marketshare is shrinking more than Firefox . Firefox has surpassed IE marketshare for the first time in history (according to Statcounter).
StatCounter’s statistics are not at all accurate. StatCounter counts ALL visits not just unique visits and this tends to seriously skew the results.
Firefox extensions are way more powerful than chrome’s, chrome doesn’t allow extensions to modify majority of the interface, while firefox can. For example in firefox you can install an extension to allow multiple rows of tabs, this is impossible in Chrome.
I think Mozilla in order to stop losing Fx market share needs to:
1. head back to a project created by people for people not by corporation for profits and thus:
2. care about users opinions and feedback so another “australis” wouldn’t happen
3. stop trying to be a Chrome by all means and focus on own goals and ideas; keep and embrace the current add-ons platform
4. fire all shitturds who are focusing on fighting for crooked sjw “community” and gender political correctness propaganda (the quoted here, on ghcks case of .bro extension) instead of browser development
5. fix damn memory leaks in firefox /s
I would agree with a lot of that. In my opinion, the biggest mistake recently that Mozilla has made is that they’ve stopped listening and caring about their user’s opinions. They do what they want, and their users opinions are wrong (in essence).
Australis is the best example of this. I don’t know of a single person who used Firefox and who thought “I wish it could look just like Chrome and have a lot less flexibility”. Upon release, Mozilla’s feedback website was inundated with negative comments, and the “Classic Theme Restorer” addon quickly rose to be come one of the most popular addons available.
Yet have Mozilla looked at the common complaints/problems and tried to amend them and fix some of them? No.
Mozilla needs to go back to being an organisation that engages the community and that gives users what they want, not what Mozilla mistakenly believes they want.
The mention of Pale Moon in the article is an interesting one. Several times they’ve considered making a notable change to the browser, but have first set up polls and discussion threads for people to chip in. The outcomes have (at times) been surprising, and have had a real, tangible effect on development. That is what Mozilla needs to do if they are to regain any relevancy going forwards.
The main complaint by people abandoning Firefox is that it’s too slow and bloated compared to Chrome. It’s still a far more configurable browser than Chrome.
Defending gay rights is not “SJW”, it’s the right thing to do.
SJWs are the ones who hate white people and straight men and try to shout down everything that challenges their idiotic beliefs.
Donald Trump waved a gay pride flag around on stage, is he an SJW?
I did install firefox, I was impressed with what it could do, but….It crashes every 10 min. Did uninstall, no good for me, not tustworthy
Q – “What do you think Mozilla needs to do to change the downward trend?”
A – Buy up Vivaldi and rename it Firefox.
Why? We have enough Chromium-based browsers already.
I believe Hank’s reason might be because Vivaldi is ‘doing it right’. VIvaldi’s devs are former Opera devs who created Opera back in the day with tons of user-focused control. The point isn’t which engine it’s using, but rather what it’s doing with that engine.
Mozilla and Firefox seem to be aimless, and unfocused, throwing crap against the wall and seeing what sticks. They are constantly adding and removing features and can’t get things done. Vivaldi has accomplished a HUGE amount in a year, and it’s looking very good for the future.
It’s 2021, and Vivaldi’s market share has fallen to <0.01% as of mid-2020.
Sure, Vivaldi is yet another Chromium-based browser. But unlike the majority of Chromium-based browsers, Vivaldi has a completely different UI and much, much more preferences and tweaking-ability. Not to menton the fact that it’s created by former Opera devs, like @Jeff-FL said.
Vivaldi is actually based on Blink, which is close to Chromium, but it is a different engine.
Firefox needs to focus on normal and power users separately.
Give normal users the simplistic interface Chrome has (read: trim the extra buttons from toolbar, optimize settings and stuff for initial experience) and for power users, keep the features but hide them under “advanced settings” or such.
Right now it seems that they want to turn normal users into power users and vice-versa by focusing on both simultaneously.
Excellent summary. Totally agree!
I wouldn’t want what now possible to do with 2 clicks do with 10 clicks.
learn to cope with scripts
Man I wish Vivaldi were completely open source. It’s still a great browser though and what I use for 99% of my browsing.
Can Vivaldi do Tree-Style Tabs?
And not sure if they will support it (built-in or through extension)
If it has tree style tabs I probably won’t think about FIrefox anymore!
Vivaldi is SO NOT for sale.
Jon said he will not do the same mistake twice.
He lost Opera, he does not want to also lose Vivaldi.
We need more innovative features from Firefox. A glance at Vivaldi can indicate where to go- native mouse gestures, tab stacking..
And how is copying features from Vivaldi instead of Chrome being innovative?
Well .. it would be “innovative” to Firefox, just not at Vivaldi. I think you’re confusing innovation with originality/invention.
So….copy “innovative features” that have existed for about a decade (as either FF extensions or opera native)?
Switch to Cyberfox.
Not sure if serious or just stupid.
Cyberfox, Waterfox and similar are 1:1 Firefox rebrands, with minimal configuration and compiler changes, fully mirroring Firefox stable branch versioning and feature set, with all of its pros and cons.
I’m not stupid. Did you not understand that I wanted to open up the discussion to see what response there would be. For your benefit, I suppose I will have to put a smiley at the the end of the post so that you are able to realise that. Engage your brain before you post :-)
Stop being an asshole..
for your 2nd comment/..
Good analysis – though you’ve a remarkably kind view of Mozilla’s management.
Time to switch to Pale Moon…
Difficult to say what Mozilla could do. Now, while the ship seems sinking. Too many changes in the wrong direction – the few essential ones were already mentioned here.
It wasn’t the change to Australis in the first place, that made me leave FF. The whole package from native browser gimmicks, targeted ads and google download control to the more actual announcements of changing the whole browser. And finally, not listening to their users.
It’s sad to see FF going down, but as they still keep the idea of a better Chrome twin… what advice could help?
I wouldn’t use Chrome or IE/Edge either, for tracking every step you do.
I switched to Pale Moon for being more focused on usefull browsing functions, privacy and transparancy about what the browser does. Never looked back to FF, tho a very few add-ons were lost.
Amen! Although losing some of those addons REALLY hurt! :( Still PM for the win!
let it go.. let it go..
That made me laugh .. thanks :)
User experience – simple. Chrome does it better now than Firefox although it wasn’t always like that.
You have to give Chrome credit for waking up the browser market. They came in with simplicity and performance years ago. But times have changed. Since then, Firefox has responded with a 6-8 week release cycle for bug fixes and performance improvements. So the Firefox today is actually a better browser than Chrome. In most tests, Firefox is faster, and uses less memory/cpu than Chrome. I think the market share numbers are wrong. Chrome benefits from Android’s 80% global market share. Recently Firefox has touted its concern for user privacy. Chrome collects your browsing information. For these reasons, I will continue to use Firefox as my browser of choice.
THIS ^ I cannot say it better. As long as Google controls Chrome it won’t be my browser. Chrome integrates Google’s services and use its servers for storing my information. If it continues in this trend, i can even see an investigation about that coming from the EU.
>> You have to give Chrome credit for waking up the browser market.
I have to strongly disagree with that particular statement. It was Mozilla that broke up Microsoft’s IE dominance, not Google. For years we all were limited to IE, with Netscape being one of the few multi-platform options (and with only single digit market share numbers at that). Then Mozilla came about, pushed out its Mozilla suite, and then Firefox. At that point the browser wars started to heat up again. It wasn’t until years later Google released Chrome, and even then only it was only for Windows. In the mean time, Mozilla and Opera, with their much smaller development resources, were able to support multiple operating systems with concurrent version releases, Google could only claim it ‘was working on’ Linux and OS X versions, with even beta releases occurring several months later. Chrome didn’t ‘wake up’ the browser market, it just capitalized on Mozilla’s efforts.
Besides what others have said, they could easily integrate awesome features that addons have done – bake them into the browser. So a default out of the box FF will always have these working, and they can be so much better than any competitors. Maintaining them would be nothing in their budget.
– FindBar Tweak (way more powerful search options and so nice to use with highlighting in the scroll bar etc)
– much better cookie controls – take the best from all those good addons (Self destructing cookies, cookie controller etc)
– extra cookie stuff such as editing cookie values (cookies manager+), or how about a simple basic search field in the cookies exceptions window (CookiesExFilter)
– Menu Wizard (better controls to edit/change your menus)
– Cache viewer (I use CacheViewer2)
– A better print preview with options to remove elements etc (I never print stuff)
– Better zoom controls
– Better password options (ability to tag passwords, add notes,. export/import them etc)
– webpage/screenshot capture (maybe)
– better tab things (I don’t use tab add-ons, but come on – tab mix plus or whatever, it’s popular)
and I could go on.
Rather than saying all these things should be left to add-on developers – how about taking the best of the best (not talking about uMatrix or NoScript or downloaders etc – just core functions) and building them in. You see, 40% of users have NO addons. So no wonder their browser is boring and doesn’t stand out. Listen, FFS, to what the end users are using and want. Chrome doesn’t do any of these things. It too is a shit boring browser without extensions.
Really push home the privacy aspect. You have an audience. Start pointing out the hideous tracking chrome does.
On top of that, they need to get on top of the godamn security. Not that I use java, but they fixed a java security leak in 47 that was THREE years old. They still haven’t addressed like windows.name and history leaks for longer than that. Also, go listen to the Tor Browser Bundle guys. Its been seven or more years with resource://uri leaks.
Like others have said – innovate/new features not seen in FF. Who cares if it’s “copied” – once an “idea” is in the wild it’s anyone’s to run it. Get over it. Like Ray said above – native mouse gestures, tab stacking. Steal that idea of power saving mode.
tl;dr: What can FF do? A lot! Get your sh*t together Mozilla.
OK, here is what I think and what I’ve repeatedly mentioned on this blog: Mozilla today is all about MozCo, or profit making. You can see it everywhere in the browser: The default search engine, Pocket, ads in the page of new tabs and so on. Let’s face it, nobody uses YAHOO!, the overwhelming majority might just have switched back to Google upon the first browser restart. Nobody likes ads. Nobody uses Pocket. OK, apart from some 100K users the Pocket Add-On has had previously, but you get the point: There is absolutely no need for Pocket to be a part of Firefox, be it in the browser core, be it as a system Add-On. The MozCo greediness is one important factor. The other is that Mozilla desperately tries to transform Firefox into Chrome. I don’t know why, since I would just use the original then. Due to this non-philosophy on Mozilla’s part many great features and options were killed off, let me name some of them:
– the Add-On Bar
– the ability to set your own website as the default for new tabs
– Tabs on Bottom
– Small Button Mode
– a separate downloads window
– Tab Groups
– the ability to separate the bookmark star from its menu
– the ability to separate the Back/Forward buttons from the address bar
– the ability to separate the close button of the tab from the actual tab
The list goes on. This is just what came to my mind during the last 5 minutes. The feature massacre ranges from stupid design decisions to the removal of full-blown browser features. I hate this attitude. Thanks to Add-Ons like Classic Theme Restorer, Tab Mix Plus, Downloads Window and Tab Groups I was able to restore sanity to my Firefox. To be fair, I couldn’t have done this with any other browser today. And here comes the final nail in the coffin: The Add-Ons are going to be destroyed, too. Mozilla – seriously, are you nuts? The Add-Ons are the only reason to use this thing today. If you kill those off I am done with Firefox. You will disappoint even the last power user still aboard of your sinking ship. And no, you won’t sway me with shiny useless Chrome Add-Ons. The most capable Chrome clone won’t even be in your camp, it will be Vivaldi! Nevertheless, I have found Pale Moon some months ago. This is the Firefox that should have been. Do you hear me, Mozilla? Mind you, M.C. Straver (Pale Moon’s developer) doesn’t have your huge 300M$ budget, but if he had such a tremendous amount of money, I bet he would do better than you. I will use Firefox as long as I can keep my Add-Ons. However, Pale Moon and Vivaldi are intensively tested here. I am pissed, Mozilla!
PS: Due to some Mozilla Representative who doesn’t share my views I will end this comment now. I am not interested in getting burned as a heretic by S.H. (name changed).
Firefox’s biggest plus point is its privacy features – especially when you combine it with addons. It’s biggest downfall is it’s slow compared to Chrome and when you consider that Chrome now lets you use Android apps in the browser I can’t see how Mozilla can compete with that.
Google is definitely cornering the market with cheap Chromebooks, Chrome browser and Android apps. They are tying a whole eco system together which is effectively squeezing out Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer and Edge. If they continue down this road there will only be Chrome browser left – a fate worse than Windows 10 spyware.
Alan, mozilla panders to (markets to) privacy-conscious users but the promise of attention to preserving privacy is largely specious.
To wit, here’s a recent (er, forthcoming) example:
Mozilla is preparing a “pageshot” screencap/annotation/sharing feature. By design, “all your base are belong to googleanalytics”… and, by design, the tracking occurs server-side ~~ user cannot avoid it, cannot block it. Maybe (giving mozilla benefit of doubt here) maybe the documentation for PageShot hasn’t yet been fully drafted; as-is, it doesn’t disclose to users that their snaps/shares are subjected to googleanalytics tracking.
From reading through the code at github, AFAICT, a user must be logged in (fxaccount, mozilla user account like you need in order to use sync feature) to create a snip using “PageShot”. It cannot be used while offline. So, to me, the PageShot feature seems both asinine and privacy-unfriendly.
That’s moot. Even if you did disable those and the feature could still work (it most assuredly would not), the tracking is performed server-side ~~ on the mozilla pageshot server. The gajs script is injected into, and acted upon by, the nodejs script(s) running on the server.
Hey, don’t sweat it. The mechanism only knows: user’s fxaccount userID/email + IPaddress + DeviceInfo (OS version, etc).
“Chrome browser and Android apps”
If you meant ChromeOS + Android apps, I agree. I expect that will be hugely appealing to users & may represent the ultimate “knock out punch” in Google’s quest to corner the market.
If they continue down that road, i can see from here what can they get: an antritrust litigation from the EU about abusing its dominance.
I am 44 years old, and I have been using Firefox from day one and even before that, when it still was called Netscape and Mosaic was the arch rival. Mind you, I even had to pay for a “Gold” version at one time. I was there when they decided to rip out the mail client and spin it of into Thunderbird. I was there when Australis was the next big thing that would make Firefox even better. I listened to them telling me extension signing is a must for security and XUL has to go for the greater good. The world changes and I will adopt … in one way or the other. I have 32 extensions running atm, I am not sure what will happen to them in the future.
Maybe it would be best for Mozilla to make a clean cut. Let Firefox die and start anew. “Clean” codebase and all that. Easier said the done I suppose…
They have Servo for that. But for it to become a first player it would take years…
I am 44 years old, and I have been using Firefox from day one and even before that, when it still was called Netscape and Mosaic was the arch rival. Mind you, I even had to pay for a “Gold” version at one time. I was there when they decided to rip out the mail client and spin it of into Thunderbird. I was there when Australis was the next big thing that would make Firefox even better. I listened to them telling me extension signing is a must for security and XUL has to go for the greater good. The world changes and I will adopt … in one way or the other. I have 32 extensions running atm, I am not sure what will happen to them in the future.
Maybe it would be best for Mozilla to make a clean cut. Let Firefox die and start anew. “Clean” codebase and all that. Might just be easier said than done.
By no means a newbie and have been a Firefox user since it wasn’t called that. Memory issues are the main issue and I have gone through enough computers, different OSes, etc to know it’s not “just me”. If it was as stable as Chrome I could and probably would almost forgive some of the other changes, but it’s not even close.
no matter how shitty Firefox gets, I will keep using it because I refuse to submit more personal information to Google.
in the meantime, maybe Vivaldi becomes a usable alternative.
Does Firefox use Google Safebrowsing? Yes.
Firefox comes with Google search bar by default. Firefox gains its money from Google for every search.
Firefox sell your data to its partners too (like Google)
so Firefox just a name for open-source lovers. You can turn off all spy features in Chrome.
Accept or deny.. Google controls the internet with its all services.
I switched to Opera and it is very good now. I still did not miss Firefox.
I hope servo will serve better. But it has more than years.. phh.. poor mozilla.. I cannot believe myself.. did I say these :(
If you’re looking for actual transparency and respect for its users switch to Palemoon! (which does none of the things listed above!)
beacuse Gecko engine is shitty.
I suppose that 0,001% of userbase is very worried about adequacy of browser engine.
Still better then webkit.
It’s funny, I never thought Firefox was an “good” browser during the IE days. It leaked memory like crazy, it was slower than IE in some specific cases, it started up slow. I only used Firefox b/c IE the alternative was crap and Opera was never made me look twice. When Chrome was released, I thought it was really only “ok” so I stuck with Firefox b/c of inertia.
Only in the recent years as its shares declined, that I thought that from a technical point Firefox has become really a technically “good” browser. Performance wise I think in many situations it beats Chrome and it is definitely lighter on resources for under-powered machines. Still the the convergence of feature set, gui between Firefox and Chrome is a reaching a point where now I will free admit, that if Mozilla stop making browsers, I could/would transition to Chrome full time with little inconvenience. Double edge sword going there. Damned if you don’t, damned if you do.
The main reason why I hate chrome, (it is owned by Google). The company whos motto WAS “Do no Evil”. So no matter how much better chrome gets than firefox, I will use firefox until it unuseable. Then I will swith to Palemoon or Vivaldi. Yes it probably is irrational, but I freaking hate Google.
I have been using FF for many years and I am still somewhat ok with it. Yes, there were many changes and for some of them I didn’t care for, some were just plain stupid or silly cosmetics. Still, the browser is highly customizable and in my opinion more privat than Google chrome, I do not trust Google one bit. Do I trust Mozilla a lot ? No, but I have a better feeling with it. Just a feeling, not a fact.
Do I get the feeling from the FF developers to listen to the needs of the enduser ? No.
Do I get the feeling they may use a lot of common sense to make their decisions ? No
So, after having all these feelings, I am still baffled to see how people are able and willing to destroy (or try to destroy) a fine product.
Or maybe they are just so much smarter and have endless wisdom. If that’s so, I’ll rest my case and apogolize from the depth of my heart and bow my head with humbleness.
I think you are wrong.
Mozilla did a lot of mistakes by adding crap and removing stuff that many of us used. Mozilla did that again and again.
After all – all those changes appeared to be quite bearable and there always were ways to fix those mistakes by applying proper userstyles (or themes, if you are a lazy or not tech-savvy), userscripts and add-ons in general.
Some of the add-ons died, but most vital ones are still there and working and most of them are still being maintained.
That. That is already quite a lot.
Now as for firefox core functionality (APIs, core features, support of technologies, bugs, etc…) – that all just improves (and I must tell you that I was the #1 critic of most ‘controversial’ (read as ‘stupid’) decisions made over past years by Mozilla to Firefox)!
The performance improves, there are less bugs, Firefox supports top modern technologies, it finally is available both as x32 and as x64, it became more snappy and Mozilla finally slowed down with taking stupid decisions..!
Yeah, in the near future it will get into problems because of e10s breaking support with many add-ins, but that will probably be temporary, the top vital add-ons seem to already work fine with e10s, some of the add-ons won’t survive, but the ones that are still being maintained – they will probably become compatible sooner or later.
If everything goes fine – we all will hail e10s and Servo in a few years.
As for losing users base / market share:
1. it was both predictable and inevitable, because switching to e10s is a thing that had to be a major compatibility breaker, it just couldn’t be different.
2. it’s not that bad for us advanced users, as our needs differ greatly from a needs of an average user. I don’t care if majority chooses simplicity over extensibility, because that’s not my choice. Let them have an army of chromium-clones (chromium, srware iron, google chrome, yandex browser, opera, vivaldi, safari and the rest) for that.
You may have some strong points I am not going to fight against it because I do not have the expertise and of course it’s always just “opinion” and mostly a strong matter of personal preferences. But: …..
Considering myself not an advanced user who does not play with scripts and simply relies on some addons and doing a little privacy tweaking, too many changes in FF have been and will be beyond me. And as you already stated there may, or will be more problems in the future.
I probably belong to the majority which chooses simplicity (or effectivness) and I do not always want to tweak, change scripts, look for another addon because the one I used is not usable after one of FF’s updates, and so on. Simplicity, security, customizable – that’s what I would like. Not “after update – tweaking, changing”, ….. I am repeating myself, sorry. So, that’s what’s important for me. Others may have a different view which is fine with me.
When you write “Simplicity, security, customizable – that’s what I would like.” you should realize that you want impossible things. Simplicity contradicts customizability.
If you use add-ons – you have to be ready that their lifetime may end, and not only because of Mozilla doing some changes to its core that causes the incompatibility with your add-on, but because the author of that add-on may simply just leave his project at any time and even small changes in browser – over the time will result into a broken compatibility with the outdated add-on.
With each installed add-on you lose in the simplicity of your browser’s end configuration. Part of that simplicity is visible to you (you get extra features, extra functions, extra options, etc.), but part of it is invisible to you, but it still exists (every add-on relies on browser’s internal APIs, which evolve over time, some of them become deprecated, etc.).
If you refuse to tweak stuff, if you refuse to find faulty add-ons, if you refuse to find replacements for dead add-ons – then you either will have to just suffer or make a better choice that suits your needs:
– you may use Firefox without add-ons at all (I’m pretty sure it will always work even when e10s/servo land);
– you may use Firefox without some of your lovely add-ons that got broken and don’t have an active maintainer to fix it;
– you may use a different browser that’s not going to land huge (and thus breaking) changes to its core in near future.
Things aren’t always as we want, that’s life. Even as species, we always have to adopt to the situation or else we’d become nonviable.
I greatly value things like customizability and extensibility which only Firefox gives (I haven’t tried Firefox forks though, but they seem to be dead ends, because they won’t ever develop because they’ll always lack resources, IMO) so I’ll try to stay on Firefox even through its hard times.
It is simple. As long as Mozilla thinks they have to compete with Chrome by all means even if includes to remove customization and choice from the core product, they will lose users.
Because people use Firefox because it offered exactly that, customization and choice built inside and not only in a total modular way like browsers like Google Chrome are handling that kind of things.
“Add-ons are one of the core reasons why users use Firefox, even though Mozilla stated recently that more than 40% of users don’t use a single add-on.”
Or, in other words, almost 60% of Firefox users use at least one add-on.
Pale Moon x64 is my primary browser and is the most stable and — historically speaking — by far the least problematic browser I have ever used. I run around 50 extensions in it, maybe 5 of which I consider critical and an additional 5 to 10 very important. Unfortunately, a small but slowly growing number of sites are starting not work, or work entirely well, in Pale Moon. In some cases, this might be because of coding designed to defeat and deter use of NoScript or uBlock Origin, but I’ve read that evolving (and not necessarily open) Web standards developed and pushed by heavy hitters like Google may also be at issue. Because of the difficulty of keeping up with these evolving standards, and because of the impending death of the main source of demand for XUL/XPCOM extensions (viz., from Firefox), continued development of Pale Moon in its current form is not assured.
Plain-vanilla Google Chrome is my fallback browser for pages that I can’t get to work in Pale Moon. I use it as seldom as possible, primarily because of concerns about tracking and data-mining, but also because its performance with more than a few open tabs is so much worse than Pale Moon’s or Firefox’s. (I used to use plain-vanilla Internet Explorer 11 for this purpose but a Windows Update patch a couple/few Patch Tuesdays ago started causing IE to crash. I don’t know if the problem has been fixed by subsequent Windows Update patches because now I only load IE to update Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR and doing that never triggered the crash. IE is still required to access the Windows Update Catalog, so I’m leaving it enabled. Anyway, that’s why I reluctantly reinstalled Google Chrome.)
Firefox x86 is what I had been planning to be my fallback primary browser in case I am forced to abandon Pale Moon. For now, I maintain it with what are essentially the same extensions I use in Pale Moon. (Post-Australis, I had to find substitutes for a handful of them in Pale Moon, and I was forced to hack one of them to get it to continue working in Pale Moon. I’m not a coder so I’m grateful someone posted the hack on a forum.) If electrolysis breaks any of my important extensions and they don’t get fixed, and if my important extensions have not been replaced with WebExtensions equivalents by the time Firefox stops supporting XUL and XPCOM, it’s hard to say whether Firefox would still be my choice for a primary browser. I would probably still trust it to protect my privacy better than Google Chrome (at least without having to do an extensive manual custom configuration), but I would have to see what my other options are at that point.
I still use Opera 12.18, not FF or Chrome because:
* Opera has a “Follower Page” feature that I haven’t found elsewhere
* Opera is either a great browser with a great RSS feed reader attached or a great feed reader with a great browser attached.
Overall, Original Opera does such a great job of meeting my needs out-of-the-box that it’s practically transparent; I don’t have to try to find ways to make it do what I want it to do.
I couldn’t agree more! It’s a shame Opera 12.18 is treated like a stepchild. The look and feel are unmatched by any other browser. The ability to change it into a Mack truck or a rag top Mustang. If you went to 10 different users, you’d see 10 different setups and features using the same Opera. It’s e-mail client works great. Nothing is better at debugging than dragonfly. The Presto engine, no one has ever knocked what’s hiding under the hood. The only problems you have with Opera, is not Opera but with websites you go to. Lazy web-masters not writing code for it. Vivaldi claims to be the new Opera 12. In time maybe it will be. IMO, Right now it has the feel of Chrome written all over it. There is Chrome and Chrome 2.0 (Opera 15 & up). If Vivaldi stays on the path, it’s going to be a loser. There isn’t good reason to have a Chrome 3.0
Hi there! The Windows 10 article and this one made me sad… Now my ‘illuminated’ idea about The Mozilla Corporation – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation – is the following:
the downslide has been done on purpose.
There are previous examples, Stephen Elop, the ex-Microsoft office head and then chief executive at Nokia, literally contributed to the Nokia demise. In my opinion Mozilla Corp. is doing the same with Mozilla Foundation (THE Mozilla anyone knows for Firefox Browser) but I have no evidence for it yet.
i used FF as main browser for several years ( ABP, No Script, delicious, and several other addons )
delicious was not maintained by yahoo after it was bought and FF had a stupid browser sync, tried several addons and all had some issues so i switched to chrome as it opened nearly instant while firefox had a 2-3 seconds lag each and every time.
after they decided they know what people want and switched to australis – > i`ve uninstalled firefox and with a bit of luck found Pale Moon.
at this moment my main browser is Chrome, fall back if issues appear > Pale Moon, if stuff needs old stuff – > Iexplore
if not…chrome forever :)
I noticed quite a few references to PaleMoon in the posts. I installed it today. What a disappointment.
I used the standard install not the custom install. This is what many people would use to familiarise themselves with PaleMoon (PM).
When I opened PM, it opened a “start.me” page. This was filled with a lot of boxes filled with links to different sites. Most of the links were to sites I would never access. E.G. Tesco, Argos, Gmail, Ebay US, etc, etc,.
The display reminded me of the Win10 start screen, full of useless links. I could find no way of removing the boxes and links.
I searched in vain for a configuration button, Despite hoverinig over all the buttons displayed and visiting the PM help page, I could find (unlike Chrome, Firefox, Cyberfox) no way to configure it ? :-(
When I looked at the Addons, I found that over 50% were greyed out and could NOT be installed.
I could not find any reference to an extension I use all the time, Print Friendly, which is available in Chrome and Firefox/Cyberfox.
To sum up,
Despite the fact that there are posters who rhapsodise about PM, after spending nearly 2 hours trying to configure it, I uninstalled PM. So please don’t post details of how to configure PM because I will not be using it.
I expect software to be intuitive to use not “guess what you have to do”. What a waste of 2 hours !
I never had a problem configuring Pale Moon by doing Tools, Options in the Menu Bar, but I’m old school. (As in Firefox, you can do more advanced configuring in the about:config page.) Is the Menu Bar no longer displayed by default? I installed Pale Moon so long ago I have no idea what it looks like with a fresh, plain-vanilla install. Besides, at the time I installed it you could still import your Firefox profile and have everything work pretty much the same in Pale Moon as in Firefox from the git-go, and that’s what I did. Anyway, the home page setting seems to be the very first setting on the very first tab of the Options menu.
When Firefox moved to Australis and then continued to evolve in a different direction, an increasing number of Firefox extensions evolved with it and started either breaking in Pale Moon or being identified on Mozilla’s Add-Ons site as incompatible with it. Pale Moon also continued evolving, but in a direction truer to the original, pre-Australis Firefox. For some of the grayed-out extensions, older (generally, pre-Australis) versions may continue to work in Pale Moon. And some extension developers have kindly made the effort to ensure that their extensions continue working in both browsers. None of my critical or very important extensions have definitively broken (or didn’t have Pale-Moon-compatible workalikes or substitutes), but that will definitely vary according to the user.
I’ve never used the “Print Friendly” extension. The “Print Friendly” bookmarklet button at http://www.printfriendly.com/browser_tool# might work for some Pale Moon users. It didn’t for me on the couple of pages I tried, but I have enough display-modifying extensions and custom configurations that my Pale Moon isn’t a definitive test.
At any rate, I’m sorry you didn’t like Pale Moon. It sounds to me like it’s mostly an interface issue, which is something I understand very well. I was once close to an expert at Microsoft Word and Excel going as far back as Windows 3.1, and the ribbon interface on newer versions drives me nuts. (I’ve switched to LibreOffice, but when I’m forced to use MS Office on someone else’s computer, I have to install UBitMenu to restore the old menu.) I imagine that for someone weaned on a “modern” browser interface like post-Australis Firefox’s or Google Chrome’s, switching to an older menu-driven interface might be equally frustrating.
Palemoon is the past, I’m interested in the future.
Try Portable apps, to avoid problems with having to use M$ Office. They let you take a browser, LO, Vera/TrueCrypt, KeePass and a lot more on a USB stick
Hahaha! Um, excuse me as I find it very hard for anyone to not be able to configure Pale Moon.
Yeah!? All you gotta do is right click one of the toolbars and then hit “Customize,” as well as “Options” in the AppMenu. Plus you can do a lot with CSS.
Well I’m sorry Pale Moon isn’t dumb done for your liking, I really am. Hope you find something that meets your needs man.
I have never ever heard such a load of childish babble.
If you dont like the start .me page then simply change it….its not rocket science is it.?
If you had bothered to do any form of research then you would of been informed about how to configure palemoon and the extensions issues.
It sounds like you have just installed palemoon and expected everything to be to YOUR liking.You and many users like you are becoming a pain and instead of standing high and mighty with your silver platter hanging out,visit the palemoon forum and seek guidance.
My full sympathy goes to software developers who have to cater for such small-minded and fussy clientele.
Martin, moderation again ?! now THIS post is awaitng moderation!!
Despite this, I enjoyed your article :-)
“browser market share”
Perhaps the article should have mentioned that among the several Google Search: PageOne sites who track/report the monthly stats, each month there is great disparity in the purported firefox marketshare. The w3schools (er, w3counter?) site has ff share around 17 or 18%, far removed from the eight-point-something percent reported by netmarketshare site.
More interesting to me are the stats which breakdown share according to mobile vs desktop (per user-agent string). I’ve been more alarmed to watch, consistently, desktop share being diluted into oblivion. Clearly the rising tide has not “lifted all ships”; from my grumpy old dude perspective, the internet is now overrun with chatspeaking mobiletards.
Where more granular stats are reported, it’s also interesting (to me) to note that only about half of the “seen as firefox” sightings indicate users are running the CURRENT version of firefox.
Mozilla recently purported that 40% of ff users install zero add-ons? Okeydoke, but for the balance of the userbase… according to addons.mozilla.org the #1 popular addon is Adblock Plus. So, hahaha, collectively we’re probably blocking connections to those tracking/reporting domains and our traffic isn’t being counted.
You are correct. Since MS introduced the UWP platform, combining Desktop and “smart phone”, these surveys are becoming less and less relevant. Desktops are for serious work. Phones and note pads are for the people who are constantly checking for new “friends” on Facebook or voraciously reading the latest “pearls of wisdom” posted on Twitter by Z list “celebrities”. If proper statistical analysis is done, by separating the serious from the inane, i believe a true picture would emerge regarding browser market share
I use six extensions/addons including ublock origin, canvasblocker, greasemonkey and selfdestructing cookies with Cyberfox.
As I stated in my post above, Palemoon “start.me” was full of links to sites pandering to the Twitterati and Facebookers, Ebayers, etc. I could find NO way to configure it like I can Cyberfox.
Google Chrome tries to grab as much personal data as possible.
A lot of the posters here sneer at Firefox and its forks such as Cyberfox and Waterfox, with dumb comments like “it is more Chrome than Chrome”. AT LEAST, with Firefox/Cyberfox, my personal data remains private !!
Not sure what you are talking about here… start.me is just a default page. You can either change it in a few seconds in PM’s options if you don’t like it, or register a free account to start.me and customize it at will.
Coincidentally, today I discovered this month-old related “stat spewing” ars article:
Let’s say Mozilla is correct. More than 40% of users of Firefox installed no add-ons at all. Well, these weren’t “loyal” users of Firefox. They didn’t “care” about Firefox. It’s just a browser on their system that they’re using because it is there. To really get the point of what Firefox **WAS**, you have to use add-ons–extensions, maybe themes, but definitely extensions, and more than one. We didn’t just use Firefox. We used the hell out of it. Now, it ain’t what it was, and it’s only going to get worse. Because Mozilla has abandoned its user base. Firefox is dying, and Mozilla is killing it. This has nothing to do with Chrome. It has nothing to do with Australis (a very good UI). It’s just Mozilla abandoning the principles upon which Mozilla was founded and Firefox was created. Users were once the focus. Now we’re not even an afterthought.
Firefox will soon start to gain users. The reasons:
-Mozilla has realized like Opera that they can’t ignore the new trend of simplicity and minimalism
Opera starts to gain users and as soon as Mozilla implements multi process and Chrome extension technology, tons of Chrome users will switch because many are frustrated and will jump ship as soon as something fulfills their needs.
If you want to be a big player you can’t support a minority of users who want special features because the majority sees these features today as bloat. Fact is, Mozilla can not survive anymore with only supporting power users needs. And today’s users just have another vision of what a feature is and of what is called bloat. If you ignore this, you go down.
No matter how much you dislike that movement, it will help Mozilla as soon as they become more secure and more stable thanks to multi process.
Seriously? Being like Chrome does help Firefox? That is the most dumbest thing i have heard in a long time. Firefox was famous because we have been able to have complex themes or that we have been able to change the layout to whatever we wanted.
This is all gone or will be gone soon. Only a minimum amount of Chrome users will switch to Firefox. Please explain to me again, why a Chrome user would abandon Chrome and use Firefox instead? A Firefox which is copying Chrome is still nothing more than a cheap copy.
There is only one who want Firefox to be like Chrome, and that is Mozilla. And no, Firefox was able to survive even without becoming a so called big player – and it still would be able to survive with being more of a niche browser.
You are right about so called Power Users.
3 days ago, Martin blogged about “Firefox 47 new features”.
One of the posters complained that he could only have 70 open tabs in Chrome, therefore it was useless to him.
He claimed that he could use Session Manager to load up to 200 tabs in Firefox !!!!
WHY the hell would he WANT to have 200 tabs open ?? How on earth would he be able to identify the tab he wanted to access when he would not be able to read the tab title. Why not use BOOKMARKS ?! I have 43 bookmarks in Cyberfox which are all easily readable and have one click access.
This is an example of the idiocy of certain “power users” and the pointlessness of pandering to their whims.
You know, choice and having features is more of worth than minimalism and simplicity. Especially as both concepts can live at each others side without problems.
If you do not want to use a feature, ignore it. Or are you actually being angered if a feature exists which you do not need? Simple users are the reason why the whole software business going the dumb-down way.
For your information, we have 2016, features and new options should be embraced instead of demanding to go to the options stone-age! If you are actually angered by an existing feature.. i suggest you ignore it or learn how it works. You would be surprised how useful that so called minority features can be.
Seriously… what for an arrogance!
Idiocy is claiming that *all the people* must behave like one dictates
I had 1,500 tabs open in FF the other day, and I wasn’t trying to see how many tabs I can open. I don’t have to be able to read the names of the tabs; there’s the all tabs button that lets me see the titles, and I have Tab Mix Plus set to open new tabs immediately to the right of the parent tab, so I know by position what they’re about. New tabs are colored differently than unloaded or previously read tabs. You’d be surprised how well it can work– but only if you give up the idea that your way of doing things is the only way or the best way.
I would say idiocy would more refer to someone who does things one way and thinks that’s going to cut it for everyone. I don’t call you an idiot for not understanding the way I do it,,, why should I? You use the browser the way you want and I will do it the way I want.
The power user market is all that FF has. Chrome has the basic user market sewn up, and they have gotten very good at targeting those users. Firefox is throwing its most loyal users under the bus in the hope that Chrome users that are the target market for Chrome are going to switch to Firefox. They’re not. No matter how much like Chrome Firefox gets, the actual Chrome will always be chromier. It’s a fool’s errand. I hope Mozilla breaks the pattern they’ve been in for years and stops being foolish.
Yep, stupid. At most I have 20 or so tabs open. If it’s more then that I start to go see what ones aren’t needed to be open and bookmark them lol.
In addition to A Different Martin’s reply, a couple of other tips:
1) If you don’t like the start screen, one option is to set your preferred search engine home page using Tools -> Options -> General -> Home Page. Or install a different speed-dial page – my preference is Super Start (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/super-start/?src=ss) – the Pale Moon compatible version is 7.2.1-signed (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/super-start/versions/?page=1#version-7.2.1-signed).
2) This is a useful page to read: https://addons.palemoon.org/resources/incompatible/
Thank you for the input. However, as I said in my post, If an app or browser is non-intuitive for a new user then I will not use it.
When I installed Cyberfox, I was familiar with how to set up the start page, install extensions, etc.,within an hour. In a couple of more hours, I had a working knowledge of about:config. Any links displayed in the start page were removed easily.
What put me off PaleMoon was the fact that the links in start.me seemed to be unremovable. Not only that, being unable to find a config button and finding that a lot of the addons/extensions were greyed out and “not installable in Firefox 24” ???? was the last straw. So, no PaleMoon.
N.B. fwiw, Before I retired, I was a tech support engineer at HP and European Software Support Manager for Novell. That is why I like software which is easy to configure for every day users rather than more knowledgeable users.
If I understand correctly, start.me is now Pale Moon’s default home page and you are complaining because you had a hard time customizing the offerings within start.me. I know nothing about start.me — today is the first time I’ve ever seen it — but if you didn’t like start.me, you could simply have changed Pale Moon’s home page to something different. As I said, it’s the very first setting in the Menu Bar’s Tools, Options menu (in the first tab, General).
So long as a browser’s default home page is not sneaky or malicious, it’s a bit unfair to blame the browser for the default home page’s shortcomings. My home page is google.com, and when Google dropped a lot of specialized searches from its search interface, I didn’t blame any of my browsers.
You keep posting like you have skin in the game and yet your argument is full of contradictions & inanity. How could you have been an e-janitor at Big Recognizable Tech Corp and not known how to configure pre-australis Firefox? Is this a ‘pay per word’ assignment?
tldr: Don’t like it? Don’t use it.
The problem is that people may want to escape chrome because of its strict control and restrictions within its limitations and the conflicting attitudes of devs versus people/community but they are too silly (much like mozilla is) to see what they have before them.
Whilst mozilla continues upon this path they will more than disgruntle its power user base but also do little to differentiate itself from chrome itself.
Whilst other browsers have replicated the chrome model mozilla had resisted it for the most part and in turn made me feel that mozilla was onto something better and would not be satisfied like other browsers to settle for mediocrity.
We all know the chrome clones and also know that they will never be anything but as they have done little to create a valid competitor.
When most people consider browser and its competitors few names come to mind. Internet explorer, firefox and chrome (and to a lesser extent vivaldi and possibly opera and that is being generous) nobody talks about the other browsers because they simply are mediocre.
Palemoon falls far from this mediocre little neash and is poised to win a large market share if it plays its cards right and listen to the community.
A community project is lacking here, nobody had a stronger community than mozilla but it now seems they are intent on hosing that all down and running things as they see fit which is clearly at odds with what the community wants.
I feel as if chrome is simply dependent on its name and fandom reputation given that many people claim that it is the simplistic browser and way of the future then my question is if these users do not use addons and add on usage is not a factor in the majority to users then why isn’t internet explorer/edge er vivaldi leading the new frontier of browsing?
Surely if these users are not power users then what does chrome really order these users given that all.they do is browse the same websites in the most basic and similar ways to other browsers offerings.
The truth is that mozilla turned its back on the community and rather than recognizing its strengths and standing up by putting up a valid fight they buckled and faultered, they scrambled to compete by try to appease chrome users and thus lost their entire image and identity.
What is obvious is that the same community that made mozilla and intend phoenix (Firefox) great is still out there although they are beaten and uncared for as they drift into fragments spanning across the internet.
I believe the entire foundation of Firefox was to be a leaner and meaner version of its one time flagship browser Mozilla and therefore I firmly believe that it could have still maintained a significant hold on it market share and more if it had stayed true to its original design plan.
Essentially the future is that of a limited one which offers limited customization and flexibility to fit into a lean or power users browser.
We all have our opinions and I am sure I will get absolutely grilled for expressing mine but at the end of the day we must be true to ourselves and stand for what we believe in within a constructive and hopefully civil manner.
Umh, no. Chickenfart has some very good points. Not everybody is an advanced user but almost everybody wants things simple, easy and secure. And of course it is possible. Just because the industry does not deliver does not automatically imply the impossibility of producing such a thing.
They simply don’t want to. That’s the main reason. Why, please find out yourself, you are an advanced user.
I hope Mozilla really pushes servo as gecko’s successor which it seems they are very slowly doing. One thing that firefox i think will always have over chrome is privacy options. there are just so many more options one can tweak for better privacy in firefox vs chrome and i dont think chrome will ever adopt tighter privacy settings
Do really even need FireFox?
There seem to be many viable alternatives out there; Vivaldi, Pale Moon, Madori, Tor, Iron, Dragon, etc. The list goes on and on. Something for every need and desire, we live in a time of many options regarding browsers.
I was an Opera user for many years but always had some sort of compatibility problem, so always had to have some sort of second browser ready on standby. I jumped to Vivaldi, dumping Opera, the first week it was announced here at â€˜G-Hacksâ€™ and have been happy with it from the start. Recently I read here about â€œSlimJetâ€ and have been testing that, successfully so far. Soon my biggest problem will be which to use as a primary browser; Vivaldi, or SlimJet? Both being better than any of the “big name” browsers.
So to my mind put FireFox out its misery, cut loose from the past like I did with Opera, and take up with one of the many innovative browsers that are currently available. There are so many choices that no one needs to be stuck using Chrome, IE [Edge] or FireFox.
>Palemoon is the past…
>I can’t even use it…
Just go to the Palemoon official site for the list of available addons. Some of them are specifically created and are way less memeory hogs than the MOZILLA CORP. counterparts.
This is a superb analysis, and not only because I agree with it.
One thing I would like to know is what precipitated the initiation of Chrome, and was it a falling out between Mozilla and Google, or something altogether different. [I am aware that a contract ended, but what prevented that contract from being renewed? It seemed a sweet deal for both companies.]
Mozilla keeps losing share, and the dolts at the helm seem all the more driven to make it look and feel like Chrome. It becomes important to ask, “Has no one shown them that if people wanted to use Chrome, they would simply cut out the middle man and go to Chrome directly?” No one is hiding the download.
It is all about greed, jealousy and the wish for revenge to have proper payback because of what Google has done to Mozilla in all those years.
Mozilla looks at the ultimate market share of Chrome and wants to gain influence too, they want to be a big player like Google and they have the ultimate hate against Google because they got abused and thrown away after Google gave them “well Intentioned suggestions” how minimalism and simplicity is more of value than features and user choice, Mozilla was stumbling and after they have been weakened enough, Google sent them flying. Now they can not get away from the road (If Mozilla would do, they would admit failure and defeat and would become the laughing stick once more) and are ready to do everything to damage Google Chrome, even if that means they have to remove all the rest which still makes them unique. All for market share, all for battling Chrome.
First rule of self defense… If a competitor gives you “good advices” that does not mean you should believe them even if they are giving you tons of money. A lesson Mozilla failed to learn and comprehend.
I agree with Martin.
To me the plugins make or brake the browser. I’ve been using firefox since version 2. And to me that has been the most frustrating thing. Having addons that stop working, stop being updated, hog resources, or simply break the browser.
Right now I have 10 addons that I consider essential for browsing, mostly security oriented ones like HTTPS everywhere (which should be a feature of any browser no an extension). But to have these extension I have to give up performance, and I don’t mean “oh it takes 10 more seconds to load firefox”. It takes almost a minute to load, and it considerably slows down browsing also.
But this is mostly because of Mozilla’s poor regard for the developers, I’ve seen good devs switch to other browsers and/or the mobile platforms simply because of the way the plugin “market” for firefox is implemented, there’s no money to be made, there’s no adsense, and user’s are whiny little b….. that complain a lot but would not be willing to help develop the platform.
Ways Mozilla can still remain a competitor.
Revamp the extension system (and I don’t mean let’s just make it pretty like recently). Noooo. Invest on the devs, hire a few of them to develop exclusively for the platform, make your own firefox brand extensions and let user decide which ones they need or not. The third party ones should be re-reviewed and listed by compatibility at least and/or added to an “no longer working or supported list”. Apparently they’re going the other way and just ripoff googles plugins. It might work but I seriously doubt it.
The second thing that can set them apart is more security features. Many people like me have to install dozens of extensions that frankly are poorly optimized and hog down the system just to have simple functionality like, disable tracking, prioritize https over http, autoclean the cookies and other info on exit.
The third thing is make the browser multiprocess, which they are finally working on… (yay Mozilla realized it’s 2016 and multicore processors are a thing). But also have a way to see which plugins are slowing down your browser. like this now ” no longer working” extension used to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/about-addons-memory/.
Forgot to add that the Australis update, was the beginning of this downward spiral, simple because it messed with the 2 cores of firefox, customization and plugins. Lot’s a customization lost, and lot’s of plugins broken because of the changes.
Yep! I forgave them for that and tried to work around it. This year they dug their grave. I need a browser that works. I’ll miss the add ons .. oh wait chrome has a darker text extension and an adblocker extension. Never mind. I do wish it had a menu. I’ll go search for an extension. :P
Mozilla ought to hire Pants as head of their R&D.
and Marketing :)
I stopped using Firefox months ago because of news like this:
For the last decade, the Pwn2own hacking competition has pitted the world’s best hackers against web browsers to try and find zero-day vulnerabilities in a live event. The contest, which is sponsored by HPE and TrendMicro this year, is offering over half a million dollars in prize money, but for the first time, not a penny of that will directed to Mozilla Firefox. While Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Apple Safari are targets, Firefox isn’t because it’s apparently too easy and not keeping up with modern security: “‘We wanted to focus on the browsers that have made serious security improvements in the last year,’ Brian Gorenc, manager of Vulnerability Research at HPE said.”
When Firefox releases the sandbox version of their browser (a.k.a. Electrolysis) I may use their browser again.
stage 1 (FF49 at this stage): 2 processes, one for UI, one for content
stage 2: per tab processes
stage 3: sandboxing
stage 4: per addon processes
Bring on stage 4. Their goal is to do this by the end of 2016. Personally I can’t see it all happening that fast.
Impressive the response here, so no matter what you say, it still seems interesting and some people still care about it. I do agree that FF loses the battle because mentioned points but it’s a bit difficult to work with Mozilla because not all people want to submit each feature on a ticke based system, it could be a bit annoying and others is mostly immediately blocked.
I think Mozilla itself is out of ideas, look at the latest zoom changes, do someone really need that? I mean people which aren’t disabled or blind, there is no concept or roadmap besides stuff which needs to be implemented to not lose more market shares.
The thing is that if you try to steal/copy things from others scares more people away because the first thing they usually do is to say why they should not use the original? The customization thing was one thing which was awesome in Firefox until they started to kill it. It was/is the same with Opera and Mail, it was impressive good but there was always the encryption excuse (because licenses .. really?) and everyone wanted an all-in-one solution because the browser is mostly something which runs all the day and emails is important too (for most of all people) these two examples showing that this was unique or something which was loved by the community.
I think wrong decisions can ruin your product. No matter what you add after them, people not often forgive ‘huge’ mistakes.
Power users and geeks are forgiving. Let’s say Mozilla admits their mistake and brings back deeper built inside customization, i could see it actually happen that tons of users would jump back again towards Firefox.
Mozilla could still enter the ball inside the goal. There is still time to turn around things. Move it into the goal or miss another opportunity, which could be the last mistake they do before things really would go downhill without a happy ending.
Mozilla just has to turn around and implement features for power users again and not features which simple or Chrome users like. Both never have been their origin target user group. And for many of that people Firefox will always stay the geeky browser which they never will give a chance. So why bothering with user groups which are not interested?
Well, Mozilla has also experience in taking features from others, they do that since years from Chrome. So why not for once taking ideas from Otter-Browser, Qutebrowser, Qupzilla or Vivaldi or Brave? Hell, even Opera tries to implement more complexity again with built inside VPN, battery saving or adblocker.
Taking features from that list of browsers would be for sure much more appreciated by the users than Mozilla adopting simplicity, static and non customizable UI or weaker add-ons from Google Chrome.
Firefox will continue to lose market share because Mozilla doesn’t want the users that want Firefox. If they drop XPCOM and XUL I’m leaving their schizophrenic world once again.
I somehow thought that low Firefox market share was “unfair”.
So I took a quick look at some fresh benchmarks after a long time. The results for Firefox are disappointing:
Edge and Chrome are indeed the fastest browsers around today.
I tested Edge and it works so fluently and fast even though it has no tracking protection, adblockers, optimization options, etc. Of course it lacks add-ons and customization options (until the next Windows upgrade).
But to see such a difference from “out-of-the-box” browser (and even more – made by Microsoft), is just weird.
Firefox has become really sluggish compared to competition. I guess the time has come to switch the browser after 10 years..
That’s the thing? No addons, ability to use about config, etc? Imagine how that varies from user to user? It has become a little sluggish of late, however, I will stick with it. It does tend to crash on me a bit lately too. I forgive it. With modern processing speeds and ram, surely the speed thing is not such a big deal. I don’t know as much about this as everyone here, I just really like all the things you can do in FF :) (Apologies, forgot to use reply button).
I find it hilarious how often the comments talk about “listening to the users”. As if a browser with millions of users has one giant unit opinion, where everyone has the same wishes and there is a simple answer for everything.
Telemetry says it all, there are about 40% of users who don’t use a single addon. What do those users care about XUL?
DRM is another good example. In theory, DRM support goes against the principles of Mozilla. But without it, millions of users can’t access popular services like commercial video streaming.
So where are the easy answers that will save Firefox?
I think Firefox’s biggest problems is the dominance of Chrome, which gets pushed by Android and the Google services. There is just no fighting this for Mozilla.
Mobile Firefox isn’t perfect, but it would work better if it wasn’t intentionally abused by Google and other sites delivering outdated versions of their websites (like the more or less broken Google Search you get with a Firefox user agent, strangely it works perfectly fine with a Chrome user agent). But even then you have the problem that there’s just no reason to install another browser than Chrome (Microsoft was once punished for strongly bundling browser and os, but that doesn’t seem to count for Google).
Users expect Mozilla to fight for a free web, but are swarming to Google in the millions. Well, that’s not how it works.
And please don’t tell me Chrome is the better browser by default. Chrome uses lots of ressources, has tons of bugs and performance problems and Google doesn’t give a damn about user opinion (see the implementation of sidebar support or the user profile button in the title bar). Still it thrives. Because it doesn’t count if Chrome is the better browser, it just counts how visible it is on the web and how it gets promoted.
Wow that continuity of Chrome is awesome. I think the only breaking change they had was NPAPI.
I understand Firefox has to break some stuff for the future.
But…. as long as we don’t use XPCOM and XUL I am praying hard Firefox of the future allows us to use framescripts/ChromeWorkers(js-ctypes). I wrote a beautiful e10s communication API connecting all scopes (content-script, framescript, bootstrap, worker). It works better then the WebExtension communication API as I do transferring of data where possible. WebExts has callbacks but my design allows for that and progress callbacks. All my work is done in ChromeWorkers so there is no load on the main thread at all. I avoid XPCOM and XUL like the plague. I do use the minimal stuff from Services.jsm though. Praying hard!
I think Chrome’s success is directly related to how effective a browser can be working on multiple platforms. People using technology with different operating systems want a common connector and because they use a web browser so much. Google Chrome fills that requirement working on multi platforms. Firefox was missing from IOS until last year, and it has lost a lot of users to Chrome. It actually has a good syncing ability but lacks cross platform support. For example syncing within IOS Firefox still not there completely. You could also say that Chrome became so popular by a type word of mouth just as Google search became the default search engine. Once you get to a tipping point of popularity the followers tend to switch to whatever they feel is the trend. I’ sure many users switched to Chrome for the simple fact all their friends and co-workers did. Other browsers like the Edge simple fail at working on cross platforms so it’s hard to gain traction when your a browser on a very limited OS compatibility. Let’s also not forget Chrome is the sole browser on Chrome OS devices which by itself guarantee’s that all those devices will have Chrome. Google is not dumb, it certainly planned out this take over of browser market share.
it’s not a tragedy, not a drama. Welcome to real life.
1) FF could be on top at the times of geeks – and it was as close as possible in the MS-world with its default IE.
This was a relatively short era, when geeks were top of mind in PC world.
2) Then times changed: new dummy-users were driven not by geeks and authorities but directly by Google. And Chrome arrived.
3) At that moment FF has been doomed. You cannot resist to mass media and en masse desire for primitivism.
4) All that can be done to not loose the market rapidly – stand on it’s own. But FF-devs were caught in all the marketing traps placed by Google: they tried to cosplay every step of Google not camping any corresponding resource. No media, no enough money, no user base. Yes – most of users of FF were driven by relatively small share of geeks and admins. And all the new generation of users, who came in at the new era of mobile web and android, started with Chrome as there first desktop and mobile choice.
They even don’t know FF as they don’t need geeks and admins to start using web.
Moreover, FF had real problems with speed and stability that years of Google Chrome first steps, so MANY users had an intention to switch somewhere. This makes the first success of “simplistic, fast and clean” Chrome.
It was RAM-horror, which could be used to campaign back for FF but – oh, suddenly! – it was almost the same RAM-hog.
Last steps leading to full Chrome-mimicry are the white flag of full loser. I understand Mozilla as the are forced to keep the market share to sign new contracts to get money and stay in game. Market isn’t friendly, sure.
But folks, you don’t need the market share. You need to stand on your own, keep your roots, respect YOUR people.
Don’t try to get back to mainstream-leader role. Mainstream is for primitive ordinary people.
They should get their majority, their Chrome, their garbage piles and their numerous malware which is created specially for Chrome and its architecture.
Let Firefox stay niÑhe browser for most unordinary, advanced, curious and smart users. But this Firefox should be fast, stable, responsive and respectful to all its users.
You cannot become more Chrommish than Chrome. You shouldn’t. You don’t need it, dear Firefox.
I believe that to stop losing market share Firefox developers should start to listed that its user asks for. For example that god damned U2F security tokens. There is almost 500 votes for this feature, but…
that bug was opened 2 years ago. For one whole year Mozilla didnt expressed ANY interest in that, only lazy discussion. Just in winter 2015/2016 SOME actual work started, but in spring its all stalled again. Problem – Mozilla dont see that feature worth, dont want embrace “Google” standard and hesitating to import some libs to work with USB. Result – no progress.
BUT at same moment they implementing obscure FlyWeb (Internet of things) project without any clear goals and future.
Why I use Firefox over Chrome:
a. block HTML5 video ads, block Facebook,Twitter, Youtube buttons/content from loading as 3rd party content, all possible with Noscript extension
b. new blank pages stay blank, instead of automatically loading Google’s search. By going to Google each time, Google is told of the next site you go to, even if you manually type in the URL.
c. turn off animated GiF’s with a setting in about:config
d. all those other settings in about:config, to turn on/off/set different values. Chrome has no such equivalent.
e. Youtube serves me H.264 videos with hardware acceleration = low, low CPU usage. Chrome defaults to the lousy VP9 codec, which has no acceleration, thus taking ZERO advantage of your graphics card. And consumes even more CPU, in a browser that already consumes lots of CPU. On an older machine, this makes Youtube a pain. With Firefox, you can get 1080p Youtube on even a weak single/dual core CPU, as long as you have a decent graphics card.
f. Firefox has a menu check box to turn off browser history-keeping. Google has no such thing (you can delete, but can’t stop it from being recorded in the first place). When I use Chrome, I manually clear my browsing data, Ctrl-H, before I exit, every time.
I love Firefox. However, I don’t like it that it has got dictatorial with blocking my plugins when they’re not up to date. What I really hate is that with the last version it won’t even allow me to update the plugin after it has been blocked. Like it says to click on X link to update, and instead of going to an update page for the plugin, it loops back to Firefox update. I get the feeling that it now wants me to log in – is that correct? Without being honest to say – you need to register and log in first before mighty we are going to allow you to update your plugin?
Interesting article, i just went back to firefox after being infuriated with google ditching the decades-old backspace shortcut.
I had not touched it since chrome was released 8 years ago and it just amazed me how good it became. It still launch slightly slower than chrome, but aside from that, it’s perfect.
I could see see google future decisions to dumb down chrome to the least common denominator slowing moving geeks back to firefox (or even Edge, if MS plays this right).
I love Firefox and would like to support those guys. I’ve been through this before. Like finding it impossible to work with Firefox any longer. Then going somewhere else like Chrome and returning. It goes OK for some time, then bad hits again.
My last browser I tried was Maxthon, which has turned into a backup browser. I don’t like it 100%, but at least it is not completely GOOGLE Chrome, and it works light to the touch. I don’t like GOOGLE as I find Google Chrome not transparent in the browser settings. I also don’t want to have to log in in order to have the settings work. It just is too controlling.
I have a Windows 7 Professional OS on a state of the art Dell Optiplex Desktop with 8GB RAM and state of the art specs. Also a good ISP with a broadband line – I don’t use WiFi. I’m a heavy user and build VPSs with PuTTY, and spend plenty of time on Forums and such, but I don’t go where I shouldn’t, am reasonably computer literate, and I know how to take care of my computer system. I’m the one they usually ask to help others. So although I don’t see myself as a super geek, or maybe even a real geek, I’m maybe a touch above computer literate. I spend like 15 hours minimum a day on it. So these are genuine Firefox complaints about things that aren’t working for me. I’ve been with Firefox since ever, so it’s not new.
My woes presently are that every now and then, more often than not, when I have more than 8 tabs open Firefox starts to black out. Used to be that it would then come up with a screen so one can click out of it and restart Firefox with all of the tabs reloaded, but after the last upgrade it doesn’t do it any longer. At the time when I could get the reloaded Firefox windows I didn’t have to do the reloading that often. Like the Firefox would go down maybe once in two weeks or so. Now it’s going down a few times a week. I’m getting these black outs much more than I did before the upgrade.
I hate it when Firefox decides to disable my flash player or Silverlight or any other tools as though I’m too dumb to fix it myself. I realize I can disable it by configuring Firefox, but I don’t want to have to fiddle with the reconfiguring feature. Like it just shouldn’t happen like that. Then to make it worse after the update at least it used to enable a person to easily update the software, but now it goes in a loop, like one can’t go straight from the tools that need to be updated to the vendor to update it. Also one of the tools had a hickup at Firefox. I.e even if it is updated, Firefox had an issue where the script went into conflict and couldn’t see it as updated.
Most of all, it used to be easy to Google solutions to a Firefox problem. Like you type a Firefox problem into Google search box, and it instantly came up with UP TO DATE answers. I’m beginning to see answers that are dated and find myself having to search deeper and deeper and seem to be getting the really good ones not at Firefox but by discussions outside Firefox, which to me means you guys are on the right track. Less and less people are using it, so the solutions are getting fewer. People aren’t communicating as much with Firefox, as they’re not getting anywhere.
I’m sorry Firefox. You’re like a really close family member of mine, but if you don’t get your act together soon. I’ll have to change to somewhere else and for keeps this time. First of all I want you to stop crashing. I want you to stop being a security police to the extent you have become. Like trying to compete with my anti-virus security system and creating conflicts with them. Think for this you’ll have to go and sit down and peel away all of the layers upon layers of update bloat. So you can become easy and lightweight like you used to be a long LONG time ago. Like at one time of my life with you I wasn’t even aware you were there, it was so effortless. Now you’re beginning to get into my way.
Are you using the x86 Firefox?
I too use Win x64, and FF crashed all the time before I switched to the x64 version (when it reached alpha stage). Since then, Firefox just doesn’t crash. It can bog down when I have a couple hundred tabs open, but not crash (or become unresponsive).
It’s about contiguous memory. When FF runs out, it crashes hard. There are addons to warn you that the contiguous memory is getting low, and if you restart FF or allow it to auto restart in the settings, it won’t crash.
Casual – light heart User: I want to open Twitter and YT so I can see latest star’s rants.
“Power” User: I used Firefox for years, I found the right AdBlock for me after some months of research. YES! I modify about:config NOW? The firefox I knew well is not her anymore.
Casual Users should go with Google Chrome (huh that’s Alphabet now)
Powerusers can go for Palemoon or K-Meleon.
1 internets to the guy who uses Opera 12.
This comment will be a little long, its goal is to show a clearer picture of what Firefox is today and considerations for users on what is best for the health of the browser market.
Firefox has faster JS, deals with high number of tabs way better, uses less memory, is way more privacy-oriented. What reason is there to use Chrome, aside from Chromecast ? (Not to mention Firefox for Android does work with Chromecast.)
Someone pointed a benchmark where Firefox loses: That’s because it’s 64-bit. Firefox 64-bit is very recent and not the default. Wait until Mozilla converts all eligible users to 64-bit before waving benchmarks as an argument. (Otherwise I’ll just benchmark Chrome’s latest JS compiler, Turbofan, which is not performing good at all in many areas because it’s still recent)
Security wise Chrome is reputed to be better. But if you add NoScript to Firefox, Firefox wins. Adblockers are also more thorough in Firefox than in Chrome, which adds to security and privacy.
Finally, multiprocess Firefox is on the way with an even more modern architecture than Chrome, building on what browser developers learned about Chrome’s sandboxing model over the years of on-the-field experimentation. Then you have the extremely secure language Rust that first started being integrated in Firefox 48, which is likely to use it more and more over the years. Rust is way more secure than C++ yet comparably efficient.
And on top of it all, Firefox benefits from the work of Tor Project, author of the best privacy tools in the world. Tor Browser it basically Firefox with a number of crucial privacy improvements. Guess what ? Mozilla has decided to import all these improvements back into Firefox.
I honestly see no reason to use Chrome, really, and the transition from Chrome to Firefox isn’t hard or time consuming either. Firefox add-on are able to do more and you should find a counterpart for all your Chrome add-ons. You are asked whether or not you want to import your bookmarks into Firefox.
One final note:
1/ For innovation, it’s best that there are at least 3 major browsers and none of them above 50% market share. Already we see that innovation has stiffled now that Chrome has reached such heights, nowadays most work is done according to large companies interests: DRM, Media, pushing data, tracking API. So having Chrome so dominant hurts even Chrome users. (The arrival of Edge may have started something, but it won’t be meaningful unless Chrome starts losing market share.)
2/ Last time I checked, Chrome, Firefox and IE had similar shares in Germany. Firefox is strong there and it’s at about 25% in France. It’s not the dying browser that the US think it is, but prophecies have a tendency to be self-fulfilling. That’s why I am forced to do some advocacy (based on actual facts and merits), all because of point 1/
3/ Privacy wise, it’s unfortunately best that there aren’t too many popular browsers. Rule #2 of privacy on the web is not standing out, and it can only be achieved when you stand in a group of users that look like you. This argument adds up with the innovation issue to show that 30%/30%/30% market shares is ideal for all users regardless of their preferred browser.
Call me old fashioned, but I will never use Chrome for the simple fact that Google doesn’t believe that their browser needs a menu bar. So I will never use it just because of that. I also have in the last couple years discarded my reliance on most of their services, with the exception of an occasional search or use of maps. I use DuckDuckGo for everything these days and Outlook for mail.
If I leave Firefox, I am going to have to look at one of the variants like Waterfox or Seamonkey. I tried Pale Moon and I didn’t like it. I might even see how Opera works these days.
Never will I use Chrome though.
You can use Startpage.com if you want Google quality results without being privacy invaded.
I clearly prefer its privacy and security setup over DuckDuckGo’s, although the Duck is pretty good too.
Startpage has high grade encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy by default and isn’t based in the US. It doesn’t log IP address or anything that can fingerprint or be traced back to your browser.
I’ve never understood why any power users or geeks (or geek imposters, more like) use Google Chrome. When Chrome was new and Google started to push for adoptation of it, I did try it, but I found it to be absolutely primitive in terms of settings etc. I couldn’t see anything special about it, besides being very simplistic, the display is mainly showing the actual site browsed and there’s Google prying on you. I get that Chromium is nice, but the actual end product is outright dumb.
Now back in the day Netscape Navigator and later on Mozilla had excellent settings and you could easily alter what you wanted, without some end-user underestimating about:config nonsense. Firefox started off (around 1.0) as promising and I never had to use about:config. Everything looked fine and Gecko was something neat. I’m not sure when exactly the downhill for us power users and geeks began, but I think it started when they stopped being indie and thought Google Chrome is their enemy and they need to adapt themselves to be as “cool” as them.
From there onwards it has been mostly downhill for the true Mozilla ideology, which still existed in the original Mozilla and the first stages of Firefox. The version numbering trick was honestly speaking outright idiocy and I lost track of development after it. Now the release cycle between whole version numbers is even faster, hence I haven’t noticed any *real* progress; no, Hello, Pocket, new GUI, dumbing down the settings etc. etc. aren’t progress – it’s retardation. Furthermore I’m very cautious about the fact that they integrated Google so heavily in Firefox in terms of search and “SafeBrowsing”, which really means it’s not any better for privacy and being indie, than using Google Chrome. I’ve gotten rid of Google functions in Firefox, but I hate it’s so ingrained for the typical users.
Mozilla is not trying to make another Chrome out of Firefox. They’re just doing a good but seldom understood strategy move.
Mozilla has to make user migration from Chrome to Firefox easy, because that’s where users are, on Chrome. This requires:
– Supporting Chrome extensions as a subset of what Firefox extensions can actually do (WebExtensions API). Then you have a Firefox that can run most Chrome extensions while the reverse is impossible, because Firefox add-ons are more “powerful”.
– Having a UI that is familiar and easy to interact with when you only ever used Chrome, but can be largely customized without (and even more so with) add-ons and themes.
Hello and Pocket were experiments, basically R&D. Google and every companies hoping to innovate goes through this. Mozilla is just way more transparent and that’s a great thing. I prefer Mozilla to focus on more browser-specific things but it’s not bad that they try. Hello was a potentially amazing tool, way better for privacy than other mainstream messengers could ever be.
Regarding *real* progress, this rapid release schedule has been linked to some kind of golden era for two years, during the “browser wars”. Then Chrome got too much market share and the frenzy dried out. During the next 3 years, browsers barely tried to keep catching up with Flash features anymore, Chrome became bloated and privacy invasive while Firefox experimented things. Pocket, Hello, Panorama, asm.js… Some were loved, others not so much.
Still, at this point most of the browser work was related to large companies’ requests for special standards like DRM, encryption, Mediasource. Things that are only ever useful to a handful of companies, but since these companies are the ones that actually make the standards, “hidden” behind names like W3C and IETF, that’s what we’ve been getting for the last 3 years.
But nowadays, things seem to be heating up again, most likely thanks to the release of Edge. Here’s the program:
– Firefox multi-process, improving on Chrome’s architecture which has a few drawbacks. (Notably IPC overhead and RAM usage as amount of tabs increases)
– Firefox 64-bit by default for all eligible users. (Some security gains, future-proofing)
– Implementing Tor Browser privacy patches back into Firefox (Possibly the boldest privacy move ever made by a mainstream browser company)
– Progressively replacing Firefox codebase with the Rust language, which is memory and thread safe and equivalent to C++ in performance.
– WebAssembly. A web standard that improves on asm.js and NaCl to bring native speed to the browser. A C++ codebase can be compiled and ran in the browser as-is. (And later also Java, C#, …). It could be a new era for web gaming, and we may see more complex apps that rival Photoshop.
– Some kind of new tab organisation much more friendly for heavy users. Hope this will turn out good because without Panorama, this is sorely missing. I should use an add-on but I don’t like to have too many, so I haven’t given in yet.
As for privacy, Firefox is no question the best mainstream browser period. Only beaten by Tor Browser, which is a non-mainstream fork of Firefox and the best privacy/anonymity tool in the world after Tails (which is an operating system that does use Tor Browser anyway). And Firefox will unfork Tor Browser, absorbing its privacy improvements, and enabling them by default or as an opt-in option depending on usability concerns. Read this if you want to improve privacy in current Firefox: https://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/16/iridium-privacy-focused-chromium-based-browser/#comment-3959115
“Mozilla is not trying to make another Chrome out of Firefox.”
You obviously haven’t been paying attention.
“They’re just doing a good but seldom understood strategy move.”
To kill Firefox so that Google makes more money?
I’ve never liked Chrome, its for the easily led blind masses.
Firefox is far better, has been my favourite for years.
I also install Palemoon as I always like dual browsers.
I think you have to figure that some of Chrome’s success is at the expense of lost Firefox users. Most likely because those users found Chrome more to their liking than Firefox. If you look at world wide browser use, Chrome probably has the success it has from Android, Chromebooks, and Google search and Chromecast. All of which promote Chrome browser and that has to help numbers. Now Firefox is not the weakest browser of them because IE and Edge being on every Windows PC from first boot hardly makes a good dent in users anymore. Take away enterprise and IE is dead.
I too think Firefox is perfectly fine and takes user privacy a bit more seriously than a Chrome or even Edge. But Firefox has a identity problem with the average user who see’s Chrome as the popular choice now.
I spent a lot of time making Firefox behave as my old Opera used to in its heyday, and I even gained new functionality in the process, so I’m going to be really pissed if they take that away from me again. I have 30 extensions installed, a large number of which I use every single day. Going from my own browser to a vanilla installation feels worse than using a computer with a no wheel, 2 button mouse and a keyboard without a numpad and scrambled auxiliary keys.
I don’t understand and don’t want to understand how some people can be satisfied with the bare minimum of functionality, and I wish more companies stopped pandering to them. What Opera did years ago was like if Adobe or Autodesk had gutted their software to make it feel closer to MSPaint. So streamlined, so useless.
But I think what pains me the most is how it used to be a given not so long ago that every tech blog and site out there would always root for Firefox, trying to reverse the dominance of IE and Microsoft’s attempt at a monopoly. Nowadays is the opposite: we have this huge monolithic company with a dangerous hold on the personal information of a sizable part of the population in the entire Western world, in a way the world has never seen before, and what should be the experts going happily along with it.
Firefox is a distant second to Chrome now in many stats. Don’t see Edge winning many over. But I also don’t see Firefox winning back Chrome users.
I still think Firefox is the best browser out there.
I tried every browser… Palemoon, Vivandi, Chrome, etc… but the only cross-platform browser that I think is comparable to firefox is Opera because you can use chrome plugins and opera plugins and you can use a simple and free VPN.
Still if we compare Download Helper on firefox with the one on Chrome (the same that you can use on Opera)… well, there is no comparation at all. Download helper on firefox can even download stream flux.
Palemoon like Vivandi got a terrible mac version… and I hate chrome push on log in your google account in your browser.
i just migrated from firefox to chrome because FIREFOX DOESNT WORK ANYMORE. for as long as i can remember now, it persistently crashes in google streetview and persistently crashes when using url bar autocomplete. its clearly lost its way and needs consigning to the dustbin.
I almost never see or hear anything about SeaMonkey. Pretty much all I know is that it’s from Mozilla, it’s an all-in-one browser, email client, IRC client, newsgroup client, etc., etc., and that it at least used to support the same extensions as Firefox (I think). Oh, and also that a “major” update to it was released around a week ago. Is anyone here familiar with SeaMonkey? Has it followed Firefox in adopting Australis? Will it be following Firefox in killing support for XUL/XPCOM extensions? I’m just curious.
You can focus on many reasons, but the biggest one is just plain bloat. Leads to problems, fixes, and a host of issues. People want things to work first and foremost. Recently Firefox seems to have at least one problem or the other. When you are trying to get something done you don’t want to have to fix Firefox first? Put simply, features are fine but just working when needed is paramount. Strange how software developers have to keep finding that out!
IKR? Gah I was working on a book chapter in an online editor and firefox is goingggggggg like this and curser is going blink blink bbbliikk ME: [email protected]#$ You can’t do anything on that piece of crap.
“Many will probably switch to a browser such as Pale Moon that shares code with Firefox but won’t implement these changes anytime soon or at all, while others may switch to Google Chrome directly instead.”
Nope. Pale Moon killed jetpack add-ons. So you can use Firefox with half of your add-ons broken, or Pale Moon with the other half of your add-ons broken. Waterfox claims they’re going to continue to support both.
I really, really want to use Firefox/Waterfox/Pale Moon because I love my Tree-Style Tabs and DownThemAll, etc. but it’s
every time I
try to scroll a
do anything it
lags and locks
up for seconds at a time.
So I go to Chrome and it’s so much more responsive, but lacks all the customizability. Ugh I wish there were a good browser in the world.
I rolled back to Pale Moon 26.5 because I “can’t live without” some of the add-ons that became incompatible or semi-borked in 27.x. It’s as responsive and stable* as ever, but more and more webmasters are rolling out sites that don’t work in Pale Moon, so I know I’m living on borrowed time in terms of functionality as well as security.
*In the five or six years (longer?) I’ve been using Pale Moon, it’s crashed or hung on me a tiny handful of times. One of those times was when Mozilla botched its initial release of signed extensions, and Pale Moon’s developers responded to the problem quickly and effectively. The other time I can remember was a couple of days ago:
I almost never load Internet Explorer except to update Flash and I was getting annoyed to find that it had apparently been running in background (leaving cookies and a cache) for reasons unknown. I went into the Programs and Features Control Panel with a view to disabling Internet Explorer 11, noticed the warning that doing so might disable other features and programs, and clicked on the “more information” link. The link opened in my default browser, Pale Moon x64. The tab started trying to load; then the browser hung; and then the browser froze. Now Pale Moon has appeared to hang on me a couple of times before, typically when I was running out of free RAM (which was not the case this time); and I’m pretty sure either Pale Moon or one or more of the extensions I use has a modest memory leak (that can be circumvented by not leaving the browser running for a week at a time); but I think this was first time Pale Moon has ever actually frozen. Interesting object lesson in the “necessity” of keeping Internet Explorer 11 enabled, right?
Started a petition for extended support for “old” extensions:
That’s a waste of time. Switch to another browser instead.
There are no other browsers!
I will choose PaleMoon if things are really desparate (cannot use those I really need)
Or stay on FF ESR 52 for 1-2 years
But I really think the cut off of XUL extension is a rush
yes … actually … i uses chrome usually … and have 2 version of FF, v.10 and continues updated version (now FF50).
more higher firefox version is mean more older firefox age …
more older human more ability decreased … same like firefox …
many firefox ability GONE … version increased … some future added but many ability GONE / disappear
example : customizing firefox, many checkmark (options) were missing,
“they blabbing about ‘security'”, they always made unreasonable reason more often … security is bla bla bla … covering disappearing ability.
its soooooo slow …. slowresopn > browser is not responding, slow loading, consume BIG MEMORY , LAGS
now ive heard firefox 57 doesnt have ability to load usually worked addon, its okay for me since ‘its already old’.
and … BIG THANKS for FIREFOX 10esr … i cant move from there …
something stinks worse than a public toilet in the middle of the summer about firefox too many ”free’ and ”not GOOGLE” AND ”FRIENDLY AND SECURE” sweet talk …I rather roll with chrome is faster better and I don’t care if they like to know that I like to watch blonde lesbians on pornhub
The same, it’s a trade off crap browser that doesn’t track you or super fast browser that always works and tracks you .. hum what one am I going to use. …
The problem is that Firefox has become junk. I started using it right after i came out. I was a faithful FF user for years. But I can’t stand it anymore. When I need to check something quickly on the Internet, I can either use FF, and wait 10 seconds for it to load, and then go through some buttons asking if I want to download a new version, watch it download, close and re-open for another 30 seconds….or click Chrome, get to the site I want in a second or two and then begin getting on with my life.
And that is aside from how Firefox locks up or crashes on so many sites now. The group of developers with Mozilla seem to lack direction, coordination, or good QA work. It’s a mess. Firefox had its place, breaking up the IE monopoly, but the same open-source mentality that kicked it off has proven to be its demise. Open-source sucks, in the long run. Too many cooks spoil the soup.
As of late 2016 and all of 2017 (so far) Firefox has become piggish with memory/ram, super slow, lags something awful. I did several resets, uninstalled several times, went into the registry and deleted anything of mozilla/Firefox, and ran cleaner. I tweaked the settings in the about: config, disabled add-ons, tried ones like adblocker, Fasterfox, anything to get rid of that lag. It was so bad that web pages would take 10-15 seconds to load and then i’d have to wait for the cursor to appear and blink.
I tried installing google chrome. BOOM. None of these problems super fast. What the hell did Firefox do with its browser? It sucks now. The whole reason for me back in the day (10+ years ago) it was because it was fast, the add-ons have been just a perk. They kept changing it, ok fine i’ll adapt. They changed it again, okay fine, I’ll learn how to use about:config, they changed it again, okay fine, I’ll put in this add-on to make it work like before, they changed it again.. Damn this thing is slow and won’t work.
It was nice while it lasted, but I’m burnt out. The mozilla is a bunch of idiots as of late and don’t seem to realize that something is seriously wrong and/or are too pigheaded to reset the code back a bit to look for what went wrong. Also, a big reason that I left is that it’s impossible to log into my 7+ year add-on account (I like to make themes) the send password page keeps saying that there’s an error with something to do with a ufi code? (Forgive me this was a few weeks ago and I can’t remember.) Trying to log into to the mozilla support website game the same error. I know my member name and pass are correct as I had logged in just fine before the new year.
As Mozilla has it set up that you have to log in to tell them about a problem (nope, you can’t find an email nor a support forum to fill out even!) then that’s it I’m done Broken browser and a broken website. I never have this problem with Google or Microsoft.
Rant. Rant. Rant. Also now that I think about it, it’s hella’ easy to change passwords/member names with google and microsoft compared to firetwit. xD
Firefox lost its market share and went crazy. It turned to Kim Jong Eun.
Vivaldi does not optimize. It is slow, sluggish and frustrating.
The opera was fine, but it was acquired by a Chinese company. The Chinese government’s browser!
IE is like a grandfather. Users are also grandfathers.
Edge and Safari are jerks in their own jungle.
Chrome has been Chrome for 9 years.
MozillaÂ´s greatest sponsor is google. In other words, google pays their wages. It pretty much owns it.
Firefox is getting worse beacuse itÂ´s getting pay to be worse.
Actually, it is Yahoo now that accounts for most of Mozilla’s revenue.
I am now abandoning Firefox on Windows after having preferred it for may years for obvious reasons:
* Can’t stop bookmarks from being saved after 3 lousy seconds, and the moron in charge of that support does not care https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1290011
* HTML5 annoying: Both the biggest on-demand public TV and Youtube use HTML5 now and it is annoying how the bottom controls take too long to disappear, how they keep popping up on and on if the mouse is in this area (which it of course often is) and how in full screen you can’t stop it from showing the web address at the bottom. Chrome does not have these bugs.
* The weird version numbering usage, version xx.y.z, where xx is increased even for very minor updates causes plugins to stop working since they don’t support the “xx” version, like now IE tab 2 hasn’t worked for 8 days because it does not yet “support” Firefox 52.
And how come Mozilla love announcing that Firefox is being developed by a non-profit organization Mozilla Foundation when Mozilla Foundation own Mozilla Corporation with over 1000 paid employees?
I know only of Chrome that also supports plugins. Chrome has annoyed me by the invasive installation of a number of processes and update policy but on Windows Chrome works better (and on my android phone Opera). But now I also read the news that Firefox is to become a multi-process browser. My only reason not to choose Chrome is then gone.
Things like that bookmark saving thing can be easily changed with addons, and I would be surprised if there isn’t one to do what you want. I hated the forced popup of the dialog on the first click of the star icon when they put that in, but it was not long before Classic Theme Restorer came to the rescue once again. That one addon fixes more Mozilla mistakes than anything else in the world.
Mozilla has made tons of design errors in the last few years (Australis being the most visible), and they all seem to center on how Mozilla is trying to copy Chrome and stamp out any superior features they have in comparison. These things would not be what I consider to be design errors IF the changes were optional; it’s the fact that they are mandatory that puts them into that category. In the past, all of these things would have had user_prefs associated, so that people could customize the new features to their liking, but Google has more of a “my way or the highway” attitude regarding customization, so naturally, Firefox has to copy that.
The URL at the bottom of HTML 5 videos is not part of Firefox. Do you use Status-4-Evar? There is supposed to be a setting to remove the URL from fullscreen HTML5 videos, but it doesn’t appear to work. Try it with no addons– it isn’t there when you do. It’s not Mozilla’s fault the addon has a bug. Arguably, it IS Mozilla’s fault the addon is necessary, as they never should have removed the option to keep the status bar in the first place, but… well, it is what it is.
Chrome also shares the weird numbering system… where do you think Mozilla got the idea? If an addon doesn’t work when a new FF comes out, though, it’s the addon maker’s fault, not Firefox… I use about 30 addons, and I haven’t had one of them fail to work because of a FF version change in years. They don’t have to code addons to work with specific Firefox versions only, and if they do, it’s probably for a reason that goes beyond the arbitrary numbering scheme.
Finally, “non-profit” doesn’t mean there are no paid employees. It means that the company as a whole is not about making a profit, not that no one involved ever gets paid. People need to earn a living, and depending on volunteer software developers coding in their spare time as a hobby (if they can even stand to look at another line of code after having done it all day at work) only ensures that development will be very slow and that the important but boring drudge work (fixing bugs, especially) that is part of software development will proceed even more slowly, if at all.
The decline of Firefox has to do, primarily, with it’s own failures. I was a staunch user and supporter until it became unstable and started crashing all the time, and sadly, that problem is still present even now. At some point, Firefox got away from its roots of simplicity and stability and started over-complicating the platform, leading to frequent crashes and horrific lagging. It went downhill fast, so I switched to Chrome because I need a stable and fast browser, even though I hate how Google manages privacy. I go back to Firefox periodically to see if it has improved and it still hasn’t, as of this writing, so I will stick with Chrome for now. Please get your s–t together, Mozilla!
FF has let too many advertisers influence what the browsing experience will be like.
FF used to be the go to browser because it was open source and free of commercial interests.
Not any more.
Get back to the roots of FF and you will survive…Do it not and you will die a slow painful death….
Extensions. Specifically breaking the extensions.
I am still using the older unsupported version which supports extensions. I have it all set to help me work rather than becoming a part of Firefox’s rat race in copying chrome in every way possible. If I wanted to use Chrome, I would use it rather than using Firefox; its low quality copy.
There is something fishy in the development process @Mozilla.
Its obvious there are decisionmakers that are actively sabotageing Firefox. To do so the most basic rules for user interaction are trampled upon.
These morons/criminals are enforcing updates on users and the user is not warned if extensions will no longer work after the update.
Imagine you use an amazing extension like “group speed dial” to open 100+ financial research tabs for your job with one click – and suddenly, after an update of the browser that you didn’t want, the extension is disabled…
And you have no chance to go back to an older version, because these morons/criminals prevent a reinstalled older version to use your personal data in your profile – “for your protection”. Ofcourse!
This is not just happening by accident. 20 years ago NO PROGRAMMER would have kept his job, if he would have dared to destroy the tool users need with a stupid update without warning.
There are moles placed in Mozilla management with the goal to destroy this alternative and once user friendly browser.
Sadly people are dumb as cattle, do not cherish freedom and therefore use Google spyware.
We get what we deserve…