Firefox Gets No Respect From PC Makers, Despite Popularity

By some estimates, Firefox has surged to take anywhere from 12 percent to more than one-third of the overall Web browser market. But PC makers are acting like they couldn't care less. And that doesn't appear to be changing any time soon. Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Dell continue to pre-install Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser onto PCs, but -- save for the comparatively few Linux-based systems that Dell ships - - the OEMs continue to shun Firefox except in some custom-ordered configurations.

Firefox is developed under the open source model, where code writers and engineers collaborate on its advancement, new functionality and bug fixes. Under this model, Firefox has become a highly customizable user interface and has eaten into Microsoft's IE market share. Its advancement is overseen by Mozilla, a subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation. While Mozilla has taken part in some marketing efforts, largely in the consumer space, it has received virtually no support from OEMs and remains a non-player in the channel -- even as some observers see an opening for it in the enterpris

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31 Comments

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I just want to say one thing:

I don't understand why Firefox is the first to come to mind when people look for an alternative to IE. Shouldn't it be Opera? I use IE7 and am quite happy with it, but if it came to a point where I had to pick something else, my mind would only go to Opera.

It's just plain better than Firefox. If ever there was proof that Firefox is a community driven by fanboyism, it's Opera--all those MS haters clearly just don't know it exists. There's no other explanation for it.

Joshie said,
I just want to say one thing:

I don't understand why Firefox is the first to come to mind when people look for an alternative to IE. Shouldn't it be Opera? I use IE7 and am quite happy with it, but if it came to a point where I had to pick something else, my mind would only go to Opera.

It's just plain better than Firefox. If ever there was proof that Firefox is a community driven by fanboyism, it's Opera--all those MS haters clearly just don't know it exists. There's no other explanation for it.

because of all the extensions and mass community help. plus they did that whole "spread the word" campaign which helped people get to know about it

opera hasn't done anything to get it's name out there

as for "it's just plain better" it's plain better for YOU. it's not plain better for me. everyone has different needs from their browsers, hence why different browsers exist. CHOICE is what would help the consumer

but firefox offers no benefits. they wouldn't get any money for including it so there's no point in the PC makers eyes

Now they are making our PC more crap!!...

Already tons of preloaded softwares peeped into our new system with the above credits (alike best at antivirus, best at stopping spam etc etc)..and now..best at browser!?

Leave our PC with just Windows installed..we will install our own softwares (and for sake firefox is free too...if people need it, they will download it!)

If IE had a free ad blocker (a la Adblock Plus for FF), then I'd consider it a wash. But as it stands right now, they don't (as far as I know), thus its FF all the way!

Firefox handles some aspects of web browsing well, and some deplorably. Its ability to handle scripts just isn't good enough to be on par with IE, Safari, or Opera.

Dell and others install a bunch of crap anyway, they already take the initiative and install junk I don't want, why not a decent browser?

Money ... every single piece of tat you find on your new desktop was paid for, I doubt Firefox or Opera have the money to nudge them into installing their browsers.

And adding to my previous post: If you think that there are no need for this kind of thing. Why? I'm quite sure that the need is there but normal people just don't know it because there isn't any easy and simple way to even know that there are alternatives to the programs that they use. Or why is it that most basic PC users do not know what is Internet Explorer? What they do know is that the icon on their desktop that says Internet means that it is internet... So they don't actually know what product they are using. They don't have the need to know, but if they got the option to choose they would at least consider, wouldn't they?

Again I find myself wondering where they find these people to write these articles.

OEM's don't "pre-install" Microsoft Internet Explorer. Get it through your frerakin' head: IE is an integral part of Microsoft Windows. You install Windows, you get IE, no "pre-install" required.

To install FireFox, the OEMs would have to pre-install additional software that they don't even know their customers want or not.

Let the customers choose for themselves. It's really not that hard to download an alternative browser for the minority that actually want to.

C_Guy said,
Again I find myself wondering where they find these people to write these articles.

OEM's don't "pre-install" Microsoft Internet Explorer. Get it through your frerakin' head: IE is an integral part of Microsoft Windows. You install Windows, you get IE, no "pre-install" required.

To install FireFox, the OEMs would have to pre-install additional software that they don't even know their customers want or not.

Let the customers choose for themselves. It's really not that hard to download an alternative browser for the minority that actually want to.


IE is an integral part of Windows and it has to be installed but Firefox (for example) could be installed as well and automatically set as the default browser. If this would be the case how many people really would even consider changing their default browser?

I have made many systems for my friends and family, always included Firefox (it supports the finnish language very well) and IE and have given them the option to choose which one they wan't to use. Almost everyone don't care about it and I have always ended up setting Firefox as the default. And no-one has ever complained.

And for many users it actually is very difficult to download Firefox from the internet. For many people that have used web for years it is too difficult toeven write a simple http-address. Many people don't even know what is the address bar of the browser. They use Google the get to the site they want.

C_Guy said,
Again I find myself wondering where they find these people to write these articles.

To install FireFox, the OEMs would have to pre-install additional software that they don't even know their customers want or not.

Let the customers choose for themselves. It's really not that hard to download an alternative browser for the minority that actually want to.

Intersting you should say that. Customer choice and wants rarely stops an OEM installing software into a OEM version of windows. Dell installs an incredible amount of extra software into their systems in the factory.

Im sure if they wanted added firefox it would be a 10 minute job for any skilled IT technician that knows how to work with windows redistribution tools.

ZSL

Zerosignull said,

Intersting you should say that. Customer choice and wants rarely stops an OEM installing software into a OEM version of windows. Dell installs an incredible amount of extra software into their systems in the factory.

Im sure if they wanted added firefox it would be a 10 minute job for any skilled IT technician that knows how to work with windows redistribution tools.

ZSL


Exactly my point also. Thank you for that!

Zerosignull said,

Intersting you should say that. Customer choice and wants rarely stops an OEM installing software into a OEM version of windows. Dell installs an incredible amount of extra software into their systems in the factory.

Im sure if they wanted added firefox it would be a 10 minute job for any skilled IT technician that knows how to work with windows redistribution tools.

ZSL

Right, the difference is that all the other companies that have their software preloaded PAY or sign deals to have it preloaded. Firefox offers no real benefit to an OEM other than perhaps lower instances of virus infections and spyware.

funnyperson1 said,
Right, the difference is that all the other companies that have their software preloaded PAY or sign deals to have it preloaded. Firefox offers no real benefit to an OEM other than perhaps lower instances of virus infections and spyware.

That is most likely the main problem why this hasn't been done yet. Even if it says Mozilla Firefox included or something similar in the description of a PC who actually cares about it if it is just some regular PC buyer. So most likely we won't see this progressing any further although it would be very nice to have the options to select what software you have at your PC. But as before I assemble my systems myself and install what I want.

Lets hope that Mozilla or some other browser gets a good deal and it starts a new era! :-)

I have been a supporter of all IE alternative browsers for years. Not because it came from Microsoft or because it's a bad browser. It does work as a basic browser well enough for most people, it has a clean interface, it comes pre-installed in Windows PCs and this IS the main reason for it's popularity. Say what ever you want but that is it.

Anyone who has developed websites should know one of the biggest problems of IE: It's support for basic web standards really can't compete with alternative browsers such as Firefox (and Flock, K-Meleon, and other browsers based on Firefox) and Opera for example. If you think that you're a web developer and don't agree with me then you've got a problem (no offense). This is a problem that most people using internet just simply do not understand but when you try to design a website, you do it by following the basic standards, then you open it in Opera and then in Firefox -> it looks just like it should but when you open it in IE it in many cases do not work as intended.

And the second biggest problem that is linked to the previous fact is that IE is updated very rarely (excluding security updates now and then). But where are new features, improvements in standards support etc? IE is a product of one the worlds largest software makers for god sakes. And they can come up with a decent update with at least some new ACTUAL features and improvements like support for feeds, integrated search and so on.

Then there is Firefox which is a product of a very small group (when compared to MS) and they can come up with new features quite often. Of course with the help of the open source community.

And Opera, a free product of Opera Software comes from Norway. And what is the size of that company? I doubt that it can even compete with Mozilla because it doesn't have the support of the OS-community. And they get updates out all the time. New stuff almost weekly. And they have the best mobile browser on the market.

Personally I don't care what browsers other people use but what I do care is that they at least give alternative products a test drive as they really deserve more attention because of these facts.

So my opinion the the news is that OEMs should give people the chance to choose what they install. And the best way to do this would be to not pre-install Windows but to create a simple modified installation wizard that will offer you the options and clearly tell what are the differences of the products and so on... And this could be done with other products as well - not just Firefox vs. Internet Explorer.

I would like to hate Microsoft... and I would love to love Firefox... I really would.

But the fact of the matter is, a browser is probably the single most used program during the course of my day, and not just for browsing, but also to open files already on my hard drive when I click on them. I also use a localhost server on my computer to do many things I do, and again, I want instant opening. The thing I demand most from a browser is to open FAST. I also don't want to have to chase down mysterious problems involving memory and CPU usage. Unfortunately, as good as Firefox is once it's running, it's as slow as molasses to open, and I always seem to end up with runaway memory usage after using it a few hours. Yes, I know some extension is probably to blame, but I also know that extensions are the main reason for using Firefox in the first place, and secondly, I only use a very small number of very basic and highly-recommended extensions.

The standard advice for slow opening is to just leave the browser on all day. Well, I would do that, but Firefox memory and CPU usage is too buggy for that.

Right now, in mid-October 2007, IE7 fills the open fast requirement for me admirably. I've given all the browsers except Safari a chance to prove themselves to me, and they all fall down in some significant way. The only one I would be prepared to use other than IE is K-Meleon. It's very fast opening.

As for not pre-installing Firefox at the manufacturer's level, I suspect that manufacturers are more interested in known reliability and support than in setting up their computers for those who are already savvy enough to install whatever software they want.

Pre-install? Are you kidding me? Can you really be that phenominally dumb? IE is not pre-installed by the manufacturers - duh! It's pre-installed by Microsoft. That I have to point this out and that you missed this, which forms the basis of this silly article astounds me.

agreed why woudl a manufacturer spend an extra 10 minutes installing firefox adn then lots more time testing it on each of their images, when they don't have to do anything to put IE on

Why is this even news?

Now if any OEMs were to start preloading Firefox onto PCs, well then that would be news.

Besides, TFA is incorrect: "...Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Dell continue to pre-install Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser onto PCs.."

IE comes by default integrated into the OS. They're not manually pre-installing it. If you have to pre-install IE, you'd first need a version of Windows that doesn't come integrated with IE, right?

Is anyone really shocked at this news? Just because some users have support that seems to far outweigh the sum of the product, it doesn't follow that business has to act so irrationally.

umm.. yes... ie fools

why WOULD oems install firefox? Theres no point. Like just because VLC is the best doesn't mean they're going to install that.

you firefox people need to calm the fck down. Firefox is pretty good, i have it as well as IE, but you need to stop pushing things on other people, or making it seem like its unjust that your software isn't installed by default. stop already. OMG SO MAN PPL USE THIS SOFTWARE WHY DOESN'T DELL INSTALL IT BY DEFAULT??!!1111 grow up.

Darn, think they know it all fanboys, huh?

Firefox and Google are both in the same boat. Only popular because of loud mouthed fanboys, when in fact, neither are the best of anything!

I use IE quite regularily and I can go to ANY site, and I do too, and not worry about popups, spyware, or anything else. Can do the same thing with K-Meleon, Seamonkey, Opera, etc. also, and with all those stupid extensions/addons you need with Firefox, why bother? Firefox is my LAST browser of choice, mainly because of all you freaked out fanboys, but also because I KNOW it's not the best!!

cork1958 said,
Darn, think they know it all fanboys, huh?

Firefox and Google are both in the same boat. Only popular because of loud mouthed fanboys, when in fact, neither are the best of anything!

I use IE quite regularily and I can go to ANY site, and I do too, and not worry about popups, spyware, or anything else. Can do the same thing with K-Meleon, Seamonkey, Opera, etc. also, and with all those stupid extensions/addons you need with Firefox, why bother? Firefox is my LAST browser of choice, mainly because of all you freaked out fanboys, but also because I KNOW it's not the best!!

sorry but not ALL websites work with i.e i know my one doesn't and that's because it doesn't like png's and the extentions and addons are there for peoples choice just like i.e has extensions and add-ons

cork1958 said,
Darn, think they know it all fanboys, huh?

Firefox and Google are both in the same boat. Only popular because of loud mouthed fanboys, when in fact, neither are the best of anything!

I use IE quite regularily and I can go to ANY site, and I do too, and not worry about popups, spyware, or anything else. Can do the same thing with K-Meleon, Seamonkey, Opera, etc. also, and with all those stupid extensions/addons you need with Firefox, why bother? Firefox is my LAST browser of choice, mainly because of all you freaked out fanboys, but also because I KNOW it's not the best!!

So why are browser extensions bad things? You don't NEED them, Firefox has the same level of functionality (if not a bit more) as IE7 out of the box, the extensions are there for you to make your browsing experience easier for YOU and not just for what some dev thinks it would be.

cork1958 said,
Darn, think they know it all fanboys, huh?

Firefox and Google are both in the same boat. Only popular because of loud mouthed fanboys, when in fact, neither are the best of anything!

I use IE quite regularily and I can go to ANY site, and I do too, and not worry about popups, spyware, or anything else. Can do the same thing with K-Meleon, Seamonkey, Opera, etc. also, and with all those stupid extensions/addons you need with Firefox, why bother? Firefox is my LAST browser of choice, mainly because of all you freaked out fanboys, but also because I KNOW it's not the best!!

I'm sorry, but even if you hate Mozilla, fanboys, and everything, it doesn't entitle you to make up such bogus statements. Truth is, to make a browser that people will actually USE, it takes a lot of work. Opera has pushed itself out there as well with functionality and optimization, while other browsers have become popular by simplicity and stability.

Firefox didn't just grow up to be what it is by "fanboys." If that's what you think, then you are probably just one as well since you seem to be disregarding the facts. Mozilla became what it is by being a responsible company with security in mind. If you don't like it, that's fine. There are many browsers that support whatever it is you do.

Personally, I think IE7 wouldn't be as popular as it is if it didn't come with Windows. Though, if you're just a regular internet user, I don't think it matters much for what kind of browser you use. Maybe that's why you love IE7, because it works for what you need. IE7 doesn't do everything I need/want it to do though, so I'll be using something else.

Oh, and Firefox doesn't need extensions either, they simply enhance the experience, just as IE7 does (only without a price). Honestly, I don't see why you go out of your way to bash features that IE7 has too. Especially ones that don't even interfere with how you browse.

But I guess bogus information is to be expected from people who blindly love a product. I'm not trying to tout that Firefox is the best or anything either, just that it works for me. Opera works for others, and Average Joe probably couldn't care less, so long as he can check his "easy profit pyramid" scam. :P

cork1958 said,
Darn, think they know it all fanboys, huh?

Firefox and Google are both in the same boat. Only popular because of loud mouthed fanboys, when in fact, neither are the best of anything!

I use IE quite regularily and I can go to ANY site, and I do too, and not worry about popups, spyware, or anything else. Can do the same thing with K-Meleon, Seamonkey, Opera, etc. also, and with all those stupid extensions/addons you need with Firefox, why bother? Firefox is my LAST browser of choice, mainly because of all you freaked out fanboys, but also because I KNOW it's not the best!!

"Google is popular because of loud mouthed fanboys" umm NO,

Google is popular becasue when it first came out it was soooooooo much better than the rest that noone bothered with the rest, maybe that is different now, but every IT guy i know used to recomend google to everyone. hence the reason google is now part of the english language. and when it comes down to it people go with what the know. simple as that as for firefox, i agree i don't really see the big deal, and yeah it aint as ggod as the fanboys make out

darkpuma said,
you firefox people need to calm the fck down. Firefox is pretty good, i have it as well as IE, but you need to stop pushing things on other people,

Interesting how you don't seem to notice that Microsoft is doing exactly this with IE.

I wouldn't use anything else! Been using Firefox since it's beta days. Never had a bit of Malware since starting using it. You don't get anywhere near as many pop-ups, or sudden missing tool bars. One of Microsoft's biggest blunders was integrating IE into the O/S (they've made plenty, including IE7! ). I think Firefox is best left to "word of mouth", it's not doing so bad! Leave IE to fools, and Winblows Updates :confused: