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Summary:

In response to today’s news that Google is releasing its own browser, code-named Chrome, I decide to call John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla Corp., the folks behind the fast-growing Firefox browser. My intention was to find out what Lilly thought about this development, especially since Mozilla […]

In response to today’s news that Google is releasing its own browser, code-named Chrome, I decide to call John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla Corp., the folks behind the fast-growing Firefox browser. My intention was to find out what Lilly thought about this development, especially since Mozilla has been viewed as close personal partner of Google’s.

The open-source browser maker depends heavily on a lucrative financial deal it has signed with the search company. The pair recently renewed the deal to last through 2011. Was Lilly worried about yet another browser in the market?

After all, the emergence of Linux has had an equally deflationary impact on the UNIX market. Can a Google browser, promoted on Google homepage and pushed through Google’s mobile OS, become a sticky wicket for Mozilla Firefox?

“We collaborate with them on a bunch of things and we have a financial relationship,” Lilly says. “So there is another browser and that makes for a more competitive world. Of course we would have to compete.”

Given that Microsoft still controls about 72 percent of the browser market, Google can’t afford to leave that business to chance. Web is its business, and the browser is a necessary weapon for the company. “It is not surprising that they are doing a browser. Google does many things (servers, energy) that touch their business,” he said. “They feel that they can make a better browser by starting from scratch…advances in browsers are good.”

Lilly pointed out that most of the other browser vendors — Microsoft, Apple and now Google — have other businesses and thus another agenda. For Mozilla, Firefox was the only agenda. “Our only agenda is to make web better — it is our single mission,” Lilly says. With over 200 million users worldwide and a development team made up mostly of volunteers, Lilly says he isn’t worried about Chrome just yet. “I really don’t know how it will impact us,” he says.

He is right to take a wait-and-see attitude. For one, browser market share doesn’t change overnight. Google, despite its awesome reach, has a history of launching products that tend to lose steam. It has yet to hit home runs that rival its search and contextual advertising businesses.

Not having seen Chrome, I will withhold any final judgement myself, but I would look at the privacy implications of Chrome very, very carefully. I have long since stopped buying into the “do no evil” drivel the company keeps espousing.

This tussle between Mozilla and Google is going to get more gripping in coming years. Mozilla has a services strategy — Project Weave – that could eventually compete with Google’s suite of services. Whatever it is, it seems like Mozilla is ready for the challenge. And just when we thought the world of browsers was getting boring.

You can download Google Chrome from here when it becomes available.

Related Posts:

* GigaOM Interview with John Lilly, CEO, Mozilla Corp.
* Browser wars again.
* John Lilly on The GigaOM Show.

Photo of John Lilly by Joi via Flickr.

  1. Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Google still has a sense of humor « Monday, September 1, 2008

    [...] Lilly, CEO of Mozilla, left a comment in this post saying that this won’t affect Mozilla. He also was interviewed by Om Malik where he said Mozilla isn’t worried. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Google [...]

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  2. Om da man! FYI – I can barely hear John in the video – even with my speakers on the top volume.

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  3. I assume that Firefox’s core constituency consists of tech geeks and early adopters. That said, Google’s browser should strike a chord with that very same demographic and will pose a serious issue to Mozilla. This is in slight contrast to IE which is still supported by mainstream, less technical web users. Maybe Mozilla isn’t scared, but they should be. Remember Netscape?….barely.

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  4. Allen

    that was wrong video. older video that wasn’t supposed to be embedded in a live version. sorry about that.

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  5. @ Chris,

    I second your sentiments, but I have to say that give Google’s history of mediocrity, I am not so sure. And John is right to not be worried just yet

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  6. @Om,

    Agreed. However, I will say this. IMO, Google’s recent woes are results of their “brand betrayal”… ie. their entrance into questionable markets (Froogle, Lively, and possibly Knol), and not their failure to execute and develop quality software. This latest venture is in no way questionable as it’s an interface into core business. Your point is very well taken though. It’ll be interesting to watch it all unfold.

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  7. not worried by should become a new meme. Seriously, what else would you expect them to say? We’re screwed?

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  8. Oops I forgot tags are supported. That previous comment should read:
    “XYZ Company” not worried by “ABC Competitor” should become a new meme.

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  9. [...] has a post with a response from Mozilla CEO John Lilly to the potential competitive threat from Google, which has been working [...]

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  10. [...] is not worried about this latest bit of news coming from Google. Furthermore, in an interview with Om Malik, he reiterates that [...]

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  11. This will be another application .. in Beta …for another 3 years.
    1. Firefox is used by many techies. now they will ebrace ..Chrome probably ditching FireFox. Firefox will go down in market stare. and IE will have probably not so noticeable … slow down. and for share of safari ..no one really cares .
    2. IE wise . though IE8 is still slower than FF . one advantage for IE is many websites are still IE dependent.
    3. Chrome – the name not so appealing to the masses . specs look good though , making it fastest to start , browse and close.
    4 . dont do evil to FireFox.

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  12. [...] informações do blog GigaOM, a Mozilla Corp., que recebeu recentemente um novo aporte de recursos financeiros para manter o [...]

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  13. [...] front in browser wars with Chrome – PC Mag: Don’t Get Hooked on Google Chrome Hype – GigaOM: Mozilla Not Worried About Google Browser – TechCrunch: First Images of Google [...]

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  14. javascript is an important component of google’s vision, and it will play a prominent role in loosening the grip of windows. chrome is a performance play to elevate the language and its potential.

    this makes a lot of sense for google.

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  15. [...] but I’m sure tomorrow it will be everywhere. Surprisingly enough Mozilla says that they are not concerned, but when Google funds 90% of your company I guess you have to say that. What is left to be [...]

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  16. What is so puzzling is that they chose to debut it the day after the Summer holiday.

    Also, just a three days ago, it was announced that Mozilla had renewed an agreement with Google Inc. that pays them for assigning Google’s search engine as Firefox’s default through November 2011.

    So did Mozilla have any idea this would happen mere days after the agreement.

    Also, was this a strategic launching by Google to prevent negotiations from breaking down.

    Interesting strategy – and they managed to keep it all secret.

    But unlike previous leaks, they leaked this to Blogoscoped instead of WSJ or Techcruch

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  17. [...] Read the rest of this post Print all_things_di220:http://voices.allthingsd.com/20080902/mozilla-not-worried-about-google-browser/ SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Mozilla Not Worried About Google Browser”, url: “http://voices.allthingsd.com/20080902/mozilla-not-worried-about-google-browser/” }); Sphere Comment Tagged: Chrome, GigaOm, Google, John Lilly, Mozilla Corp., Om Malik, Voices, open source | permalink [...]

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  18. This seems like a crazy move by Google. I can only hope the browser has Gecko or Webkit as its base engine. We don’t need or want another browser to support as developers. Users need to see more consistency in design.

    The move is also odd as it wont take users away from IE but will more than likely reduce Mozilla and Operas share of the market. People who use IE are either forced to or have no idea that they have other options. this wont change.

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  19. And the other webkit based browser is having a lot of success on the desktop … NOT !(inspite of getting IE like default status)

    Chrome needs to innovate to get some marketshare because It does not have the distribution power ms or apple has. Honestly even though the browser wars are on again, It is questionable on what kind of innovation Google can bring to the game.

    Safari is backed by a very very innovative company and yet on the desktop its reach is negligible. Unless google does something amazing (technical or business) with chrome like it did with gmail, Chrome will rightfully be a wait and see.

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  20. [...] Via: [Googleblog] [gigaom] [...]

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  21. [...] Firefox avec qui il on un partenariat, l’installation de la Google bar inclus dans le package de firefox. Voir la réaction à chaud de mozilla. [...]

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  22. Ref to: Lilly pointed out that most of the other browser vendors — Microsoft, Apple and now Google — have other businesses and thus another agenda. For Mozilla, Firefox was the only agenda. “Our only agenda is to make web better — it is our single mission,” Lilly says. With over 200 million users worldwide and a development team made up mostly of volunteers, Lilly says he isn’t worried about Chrome just yet. “I really don’t know how it will impact us,” he says….

    Well, this is my take:
    I also do not know. Neither do I care. As long as my life online gets better. That is all there is in it for me. FOR NOW…..
    See http://peternjenga.blogspot.com/2008/09/googles-new-chrome-web-browser.html

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  23. Even though I’m a Firefox enthusiast, I’m waiting for this new browser since Firefox is DEAD SLOW in Ubuntu.

    No kidding man. Its really slow in scrolling and freezes occasionally. I tried it in different systems. Mozilla has a lot of work to do with Gecko which sucks in Linux.

    I always wanted a Webkit browser since its faster. Good go, Google! :)

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  24. [...] werent bad enought for Firefox as it is, Google are about to release their own browser.  Or course Mozilla are not worried, but let’s face it, this is not going to help Firefox at all. Developers will happily jump to [...]

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  25. A dawn of a new era? — There’s definitely not a soul who doesn’t know about the decade long microsoft and google rivalry. Both of these huge goliaths having been constanly pushing themselves to their limits to totally conquer the computer and internet industry. I think I’ll stick with firefox till Chrome moves in and out of beta.

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  26. [...] a GigaOM interview with Mozilla CEO John Lilly in the wake of yesterdays Chrome discovery about the implications [...]

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  27. a new browser from google.
    i await the day google offers a free laptop dedicated to gplatform and free domain names..these 2 are the unique places in gworld

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  28. Holy crap, if he’s not scared he shouldn’t be CEO.

    Your primary revenue source has moved into your space. It’s one of the biggest, fastest growing companies in the world, and they didn’t choose your technology to build on. Their comic shows an arrogance and superiority and foresight that you were never able to bring, despite being “focused” on the browser. Not only that, they have written a faster javascript vm than anyone else, have the smartest engineers, and can advertise their own browser to your customers.

    Nah, no need to be worried.

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  29. [...] I’ll more than likely update this post with my impressions/findings… but Mozilla have already said that they “aren’t worried” by Google’s step into the browser warzone, which Mozilla’s Firefox has been dominating [...]

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  30. [...] excited about this, there are others throwing up a red flag. For example, Om Malik of GigaOM is wondering what Google’s growing empire could/will do will all this personal navigating information and inherent privacy implications regarldess of any [...]

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  31. [...] is some more literature on the subject Gigaom | [...]

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  32. Adoption of JavaScript on the server side will do more damage to Microsoft. Just wait it’s coming.

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  33. [...] Firefox, pues Google era uno de los principales financiadores del zorro (que no panda). En Mozilla no están preocupados. [...]

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  34. He should be worried, He should know that one day Google is going to rule the world. he better watch them closely. LOL

    Jiff
    http://www.useurl.us/17n

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  35. [...] Not Worried About Google new browserread more | digg story This post has been read 1 [...]

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  36. [...] Mozilla Foundation -los creadores de Firefox- ha renovado su contrato con Google hasta el 2011 y dicen no estar preocupados por el nuevo navegador, creo que el lanzamiento de Chrome fue uno de [...]

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  37. Didn’t their deal include a non-compete clause? And why is Google using Firefox elements? I have a feeling Google eventually plans to buy out Firefox. There is something else here that they’re not revealing.

    Tycoon Dreamer
    http://tycoondreams.com

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  38. [...] Mozilla Not Worried About Google Browser ← Anterior | Inicio Comparte esta anotación [...]

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  39. [...] El director ejecutivo de la corporación Mozilla afirma que no están preocupados por este nuevo producto de Google. No esperan que sea un problema para los proyectos conjuntos ni [...]

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  40. [...] follow through on this and build a genuinely good and different browser. It’s foolish for John Lilly (of Mozilla) to say he isn’t worried about Chrome. His whole comment about how Mozilla is the only one who just cares about the web smacks of that [...]

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  41. [...] for Firefox, the folks at Mozilla are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward the obvious competitive threat while proceeding with their normally aggressive development [...]

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  42. [...] Ahora me pareció bueno traducir las respuestas que John Lilly, el CEO de Mozilla, le dió a GigaOM sobre el nuevo navegador de Google. Como todos ustedes saben mejor que yo, Mozilla y Google son [...]

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  43. [...] què diu la Mozilla Foundation? Doncs que ella no té por a Google i que seguiran sent tan amics com sempre. I què ha de dir? Si el 85% dels fons de la fundació [...]

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  44. [...] dépend économiquement de sa relation avec Google) a déclaré à Om Malik qu’il ne faisait pas trop de souci . Il fait peut-être contre mauvaise fortune bon coeur mais mieux vaut prendre les choses calmement [...]

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  45. [...] acceleration. In an extra bit of irony the beta is only available on Windows. So who’s in trouble? Firefox, even if they don’t acknowledge [...]

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  46. [...] gigaom says: Not having seen Chrome, I will withhold any final judgement myself, but I would look at the privacy implications of Chrome very, very carefully. I have long since stopped buying into the “do no evil” drivel the company keeps espousing. [...]

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  47. [...] En Mozilla no estan preocupados por Chrome [EN]gigaom.com/2008/09/01/mozilla-not-worried-about-google-browser/ enviado por Alex [...]

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  48. Google seems too intrested in everyones surfing habits. I don’t trust them, especially after the Viacom stink. I think I will stick with Firefox.

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  49. [...] el momento la supervivencia de Firefox está garantizada hasta 2001 porque Google seguirá aportando a la Fundación Mozilla. De hecho, el navegador incorpora tecnologías propias y [...]

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  50. [...] Mozilla Not Worried About Google Browser – GigaOM Phewww…. (tags: ITGS browser chrome Firefox) [...]

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  51. [...] Aroche habla de Chrome, en el mismo post cvander nos deja un análisis de zdnet, y otro sobre Firefox, que dicen no estar preocupados, y Freddie de cristalab dice que Chrome es irrelevante para la web, al menos por el momento. [...]

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  52. [...] what the browser means for Microsoft and the Mozilla foundation. Within hours of the announcement, Om Malik was on the line with Mozilla, who told him they welcome the competition, emphasizing that they [...]

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  53. [...] we talked to Mozilla CEO John Lilly yesterday his spoke of Chrome like that of a competitor, saying he would wait and see if he should be worried [...]

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  54. Google won’t buy Firefox. There’s no need, and Mozilla won’t take it. Everything that is Chrome is open source, that means that Firefox could basically be rewritten to be a clone of Chrome, or just take the elements it could use the most (multi-proc, java vm), and add them to Firefox, making it a metric shitton better. What I see happening more than anything is that this will put MS in a snip. Here you have Google, the behemoth. Then you have Firefox, crazy like a…well, you know. Then you have Microsoft. Google and Firefox begin to build on each other. They become the greatest Gecko and Webkit browsers ever created. Where’s that leave Microsoft? What kind of innovation can they have? Ultra-fast Java VM? That would be tits for MS! Oh wait! They’d have to open-source that element or find something of their own. And with the number of people who want Firefox or Google to be on top, there’s no one but the hired monkeys at Redmond. That gives Google and Firefox the edge. Moreover it gives open source the edge. I would go so far as to say it even gives _freedom_ the edge. Firefox worried about Chrome? No. Firefox and Chrome will live in peace together and fuel each other’s flames. Microsoft will be pushed out of the way.

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  55. [...] In an extra bit of irony the beta is only available on Windows. So who’s in trouble? Firefox, even if they don’t acknowledge [...]

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  56. [...] Mozilla Not Worried About Google Browser – GigaOM Phewww…. (tags: ITGS browser chrome Firefox) [...]

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  57. [...] de Mozilla no es mostren preocupats, i es comenta que Google Chrome li farà la competència a l’Explorer, que de fet és qui [...]

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  58. [...] Google has launched its new Chrome web browser, but Mozilla isn’t worried. [...]

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  59. [...] only side note amid the flood of coverage from every angle: Om had a nice write up on why Firefox isn’t worried. I’d add to that that open source and Firefox die hards [...]

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  60. [...] l’annuncio di Chrome da parte di Google lo staff di Gigaom ha contattato il CEO di Mozilla John Lilly per avere alcuni commenti a caldo sul nuovo [...]

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  61. [...] Browser could have implications for the “new” kid on the block, FireFox. Apparently, Mozilla isn’t too concerned at this point despite the fact they get a large portion of their funding from Google (the pair [...]

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  62. Sorry to see so many MS bashers. All hoping that Gates is somehow dethroned, by the next giant Google, without any thought that the next monster will only be stronger, smarter and more sly in how they slowly borg your way of life. I think (I was always against this) that we need or will see coming a regulated web. When players like Google start to slowly conquer everything web, and it seems almost everything is done via the web, heck Google is trying to take the Ad Agency/Marketing industry to task as well, we will see a slow awakening, that this morning Google owns all the access and flows of monies to the web.

    I for one think that Google stuck it up the arse of FireFox, and is flipping them a big bird. The press conference yesterday showed a lot of arrogance.

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  63. [...] um weitere drei Jahre, hatten beide Unternehmen vor wenigen Tagen bekannt gegeben. Im Gespräch mit dem Tech-Blogger Om Malik zeigte sich John Lilly, der Chef der Mozilla Corporation von der [...]

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  64. Unless I’m mistaken the Mozilla Corp (wholly-owned by the Foundation) doesn’t actually need to make money, so market share and blah blah blah that we talk about for all other tech firms doesn’t apply to them. I think that’s why Lilly is not worried.

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  65. [...] Firefox podría ser el navegador más afectado en mi opinión, el contrato que tienen con Google termina en Noviembre y es el que hasta ahora les financia el 85% de sus ingresos[Ref]. John Lilly, el CEO de Mozilla dijo que ellos (Mozilla) “colaboran con Google en un montón de cosas y que tienen una relacion financiera” y que ahora existía un nuevo navegador que hace al mercado más competitivo. “Claro que tendremos que competir”, dijo.[Ref]. [...]

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  66. [...] an odd position now that they are Google’s partner and competitor. They don’t seem too worried about though. That’s understandable considering Mozilla’s steady presence in the [...]

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  67. [...] haber hecho tanto buzz y posicionarlo como un fuertísimo competidor para Firefox? Para mi no —y tampoco para Mozilla. Al menos no por [...]

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  68. [...] to gigaom.com Mozilla is not a bit worried about the latest talks about the Google [...]

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  69. [...] sepenuhnya benar. Karena Google dan Mozilla sendiri memperpanjang kontrak mereka hingga 2011. Dan Mozilla juga tidak cemas dengan keberadaan Chrome sebagai pesaing Firefox. Lagipula, Chrome adalah browser yang open source, dalam artian kita bisa [...]

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  70. I would think they still need to make money to be able to fund projects and pay their own salaries.

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  71. [...] with Chrome and that would ultimately boost the browsers as a whole. Mozilla CEO John Lilly had shared similar sentiments in an interview earlier this [...]

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  72. [...] a la herramienta que usemos para navegar. Eso sí, desde Mozilla aseguran estar tranquilos (Giga Om), conociendo muchas de las primeras versiones de productos de Google, lo cierto es que, [...]

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  73. [...] de Mozilla (un peu partout) : on est content, ça favorise [...]

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  74. [...] actively with Chrome and that it would ultimately boost browsers as a whole. Mozilla CEO John Lilly had shared similar sentiments in an interview earlier this [...]

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  75. [...] Google launched it’s new browser last week: Chrome. • Mozilla’s not worried about the new browser, but it sure screwed up their relationship with Google. • But despite that, Chrome wins in speed [...]

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  76. [...] Mozilla is not worried. Google funds the majority of Mozillas expenses in return for a default Google homepage and search [...]

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  77. [...] Mozilla creen que la competencia es buena, aunque también advierten sobre los problemas de privacidad que podrían surgir gracias a esta [...]

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  78. Mozilla should be very afraid. Like mentioned above, the amateurs use IE who have no technical knowledge how to change browsers or are so accustomed to IE that they prefer to stay and consequently probably have lots of trojans and spyware on their machines. Those tech savvy folks have traditionally upgraded to Firefox but now have the option of Chrome.

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  79. [...] now that it has its own browser to promote. Even so, Mozilla CEO John Lilly tells Om Malik that he isn’t worried about the new Google browser. Tags: Business, Google, Microsoft, Technology Digg   [...]

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  80. Ok, so google chrome has become one of the favorite browsers. But I still feel that mozilla and internet explorer is far more better than chrome.
    Especially for the SEO’s google chrome doesn’t provide any help. Does it ?

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  81. [...] by making Chrome open source. There is an interesting interview with Mozilla head honcho John Lilly here where Lilly says that Mozilla does not feel too threatened by Google (who, of course, support [...]

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  82. [...] John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla, left a comment in this post saying that this wont affect Mozilla. He also was interviewed by Om Malik where he said Mozilla isnt [...]

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  83. [...] beat Firefox. With Google renewing the relationship with Mozilla Foundation till 2011 and a strong response from John Lily, my fingers crossed for the next version of Firefox. Now let me go and have a look [...]

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  84. [...] has published an article including comments from Mozilla CEO John Lily that while Microsoft, Apple and Google have other businesses and agenda, Mozilla’s singular [...]

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  85. [...] on Chrome’s share on GigaOM, and it seems to have actually slipped to about 5 percent. I guess Mozilla’s John Lilly was right in not worrying too much about [...]

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  86. Mozilla does not feel too threatened by Google

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  87. [...] fixes that decently, but I’m looking forward to a full out integration. After reading a response from Mozilla I’m not sure that I will stick with chrome all that long. It wouldn’t [...]

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  88. [...] has published an article including comments from Mozilla CEO John Lily that while Microsoft, Apple and Google have other businesses and agenda, Mozilla’s singular [...]

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  89. [...] I’ll more than likely update this post with my impressions/findings… but Mozilla have already said that they “aren’t worried” by Google’s step into the browser warzone, which Mozilla’s Firefox has been dominating [...]

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  90. [...] Mozilla not worried about Google browser [...]

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  91. [...] the tabs feature in Firefox 4.0.We’ve written about how Google and Mozilla have had a close financial partnership over the years. The most obvious symbols of this relationship are the Google homepage on the [...]

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  92. [...] that happens, it would be an enormous financial blow to Mozilla, and one that the company tends to play down. That’s especially true because with Yahoo and Microsoft in a far-reaching search partnership [...]

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  93. javascript is an important component of google’s vision, and it will play a prominent role in loosening the grip of windows. chrome is a performance play to elevate the language and its potential.

    this makes a lot of sense for google.

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  94. The move is also odd as it wont take users away from IE but will more than likely reduce Mozilla and Operas share of the market.

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  95. I believe Chrome browser will be the best browser in the next 5 years.

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  96. Hello. The move is also odd as it wont take users away from IE but will more than likely reduce Mozilla and Operas share of the market. People who use IE are either forced to or have no idea that they have other options.

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  97. Thanks for the post.
    That said, Google’s browser should strike a chord with that very same demographic and will pose a serious issue to Mozilla. This is in slight contrast to IE which is still supported by mainstream, less technical web users. Maybe Mozilla isn’t scared, but they should be.

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  98. javascript is an important component of google’s vision, and it will play a prominent role in loosening the grip of windows. chrome is a performance play to elevate the language and its potential.

    this makes a lot of sense for google.

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