March 10, 2005

Wharton on Firefox Challenge to IE

Firefox, the open-source alternative to Internet Explorer, has gained market share and publicity. Browser Wars: Will Firefox Burn Explorer? - Knowledge@Wharton looks at two issues.

First, Microsoft's market-dominant product makes an inviting target for crackers seeking to penetrate its security. According to Wharton legal studies professor Dan Hunter. "Firefox is just a better browser, but I would argue that its market share gains have come because spyware and other hacks plague Explorer."

Second, another Wharton legal studies professor, Kevin Werbach says, "the lesson here is that open source can create a slick consumer-friendly product. Firefox is definitely more than just a blip. It has some staying power." The Firefox browser is giving non-geeks their first taste of open source technology. Previous exposure to open source products was limited to those comfortable "under the hood" with Linux, Apache and MySQL. Professor Hunter: "Previous open source products had a high geek factor: You had to be a geek to run them. Firefox is the first time consumers really chose an open source product."

Posted by dougsimpson at March 10, 2005 05:10 AM