Mozilla "worried" about becoming Microsoft

Firefox maker admits it's worried the browser could one day achieve an Internet Explorer-like monopoly

Barry Collins
9 Feb 2009

Mozilla is "kind of worried" about Firefox achieving the monopolistic status of Internet Explorer, according to Firefox architect, Mike Connor.

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Firefox has only just tipped past the 20% mark in worldwide browser market share, and is still a long way away from achieving the 90%+ market share that Internet Explorer enjoyed in its heyday.

Yet, Firefox has a market share of more than 50% in some countries and is hugely popular among PC enthusiasts: Firefox was used by around 40% of visitors to PCPro.co.uk last month, and Connor claims the browser is used by about 80% of visitors to Digg.com.

Connor admits the prospect of achieving monopoly status - defined as two thirds of the market in the US - has been a topic of discussion at Mozilla HQ.

"We are kind of worried about the monopoly thing," Connor admitted in an exclusive interview with PC Pro. "We don't want to kill everybody else."

However, Connor admits Mozilla is largely powerless to prevent Firefox's increasing popularity. "When we get to 66.6% we're going to have to figure something out," Connor half-joked. "We're going to have to tank our own market share or something."

Connor believes that market forces will ensure Firefox never achieves the level of dominance that Internet Explorer once had. "Eventually people will use different browsers based on their own specific preferences," Connor adds.

However, Connor says he definitely doesn't want Firefox to be bundled with Windows, a course of action currently being considered by the EU.

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