The Mozilla Foundation

I've been writing about Mozilla quite a lot lately (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), now that Firebird has -- quite unexpectedly -- become my browser of choice on Windows, Mac OS X (Safari notwithstanding), and Linux. In a recent column I implored AOL to do the right thing by Mozilla, and it seems that is happening. Today AOL announced financial and logistical support for the newly-hatched Mozilla Foundation. Excellent!

Of course, the $2 million that AOL is tucking into Mozilla's pocket, as it sends the project out to make its own way in the world, is only a drop in the bucket. Mitch Kapor writes:

Now, Mozilla's fate is under its own control. AOL has given it a good send-off so there is enough in the way of resources to get going, but it's going to need to gather more financial support from corporations and others for its long-term future. [Mitch Kapor's weblog]

My hunch is that that Mozilla will now find the air supply it needs to keep going. I'm curious to see how Microsoft will respond. As has been often noted, the stated or implied plan to make IE 6 hold the fort until Longhorn's arrival in 2005 (or whenever) suddenly looks pretty shaky. I'd love to see Microsoft turn the competitive crank a notch, for example by pushing some of the InfoPath and Word 2003 XML technologies into the IE browser where everybody (well, everybody on Windows) can get at them. Six months ago there wouldn't have been a business case for doing that. I'd love to see Mozilla's success make that case, and in so doing create its own next great challenge.

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