Today marks the official release of Firefox 1.0, the first full release of the web browser that has already started to “take back the web”. If you are a regular reader of this blog (of which there are, like, 3 of you), you know I am a staucnh supporter of Firefox and have written about it extensively.
As we have seen in recent weeks, Firefox has started encroaching upon the dominant web browser of today, Internet Explorer, taking away a small (but important) part of it’s marketshare. So far, the general consensus is that mostly the tech-savvy geeks such as myself are the ones that have been behind this push. The hope is that the trend will carry over to the ‘average’ internet user with the official release of Firefox 1.0.
However, I still see one big obstacle. The fact remains that no matter how much you try to inform users of the advantages of using Firefox over Internet Explorer (the security, the usability, the tools, the features), the average user is too used to clicking the Big Blue ‘e’.
To most people, “getting on the Internet” means clicking the Internet Explorer icon. It has become intrinsic over the last few years, and until the Big Blue ‘e’ disappears from desktops and quicklaunch toolbars, Firefox will face a hurdle.
So what can we do? Ideally, when one installed Firefox, all occurences of the Big Blue ‘e’ would be removed from a user’s desktop. Or, the shortcuts would be remapped to launch Firefox.
Unfortunately, there are probably legal implications to doing this that would keep it from ever happening. Maybe the Mozilla team could still look into it.
Yes, the biggest obstacle will defenitly be the ‘normal’ Internet users who think that IE is good enough and there’s no need to switch. Hopefully the media will give Firefox its deserved publicity and maybe more some will take the risk and try Firefox. And if they like it, they might even spread the fire! It’ll take some time, but I really think that with enough effort Firefox can keep up and really start with the browser war!
I hope you are right. I do all I can to inform people of the benefits of Firefox. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Thanks for stopping by!