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Friday, May 13, 2005

IBM, Apple & Firefox

IBM is encouraging its employees to use Firefox, aiding the open-source Web browser's quest to chip away at Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Firefox is already used by about 10 percent of IBM's staff, or about 30,000 people.IBM workers can download the browser from internal servers and get support from the company's help desk staff.
Firefox has been downloaded by more than 50 million people since it debuted in November. Internet Explorer still dominates the overall market by far, though, with Firefox's share in the single digits. IBM says that by supporting Firefox internally, it I furthering its commitment to open-source products based on industry standards. As Firefox is based on industry standards--as opposed to proprietary technology-IBM has some "comfort" that it will interoperate well with third-party products, Truskowski said. By contrast, Microsoft's Internet Explorer uses some proprietary technology, such as ActiveX for running programs within a browser. Truskowski, CIO of IBM expects that Firefox will ultimately end up costing IBM less than IE because the company can use open-source additions to Firefox. "I hope in making a small investment up front, I can leverage that innovation going forward," he said. Also to note would be the news that oracle is working with mozilla.
What surprised me was IBM talking about open standards( though of late they are indeed trying) and announcing big support for Firefox after such a long time. We have to see – how things shape with new of firefox usage going down and development like apple’s safari divorcing opensource, conflict some call emblematic of what can go wrong when corporations embrace open-source projects, developers are airing longstanding gripes against Apple, accusing the computer maker of taking more than it gives back to the open-source group. There is a strong feeling that the big players are there in the standard bodie only to eventually hijack the standard for themeselves!!

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"