Mozilla outlines three-step plan to win back Firefox users

By Shawn Knight
Jul 8, 2015
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  1. Mozilla’s Firefox was at one time a very popular browser among technology enthusiasts but over the years, it has seceded much of its market share to Google’s Chrome. Now, Mozilla is setting in motion a plan it hopes will win back some of its defectors.

    Firefox Director of Engineering Dave Camp said in a recent e-mail to developers that Mozilla is using a “Three Pillars” approach to improving its browser.

    The first pillar is uncompromised quality. Mozilla believes that every feature in the browser should be polished, function and a joy to use. Simply put, if a feature can’t reach that state, it shouldn’t exist.

    Camp said that in some cases, that will involve making a feature great. In other cases, it’ll mean either removing the code for said feature or finding a third-party service or add-on that can do a better job than they can.

    He added that there’s no shortcut available meaning it’ll take significant, sustained work to achieve. As such, we can expect to see some of the effort typically reserved for developing new features to be diverted to bringing existing features up to snuff. It’s not all that different than what Apple and Google are doing with their next major mobile OS releases.

    The second pillar, best of the web, involves the add-on community and partners although its purpose isn’t quite as clear-cut. Camp mentioned partnering with Telefonica to build Firefox Hello and adding integration with Pocket, the latter of which drew some criticism in how it was handled.

    Moving forward, Camp said Mozilla will devote a lot of effort to make add-ons even better by improving security and performance as well as building a better API to increase cross-platform compatibility for add-on authors and partners.

    Last but not least is uniquely Firefox. This pillar focuses on giving users the “control to shape their web.” To start with, Mozilla will tackle an area that’s on a lot of people’s minds lately: online privacy. Early efforts, namely an improved Private Browsing mode, will land in Firefox soon, we’re told.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,132   +479

    Meh, I'll stick with chrome.
    Auth3ntic0 and Rorshirk like this.
  3. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,882   +638

    Firefox, I was devoted to your browser, until Chrome 64-bit came out... Then everything changed...

    It crashed far less, it was quicker loading webpages and doesn't break it's add-ons after every single (now very frequent) updates.

    If you can fix the above then MAYBE I'll give you another chance... Maybe... I'll feel slightly dirty though... Like hooking up with an Ex-Girlfriend...
    Auth3ntic0, Blakey, Rorshirk and 2 others like this.
  4. deemon

    deemon TS Booster Posts: 199   +46

    Still using firefox and hating it at the same time.
    The things I love and would like to be improved:
    1. memory usage is far superior vs chrome... but please make it take even less. (I like to keep a lot of tabs open)
    2. addons variety

    Things I find utterly annoying:
    1. Youtube - either flash crashing all the time or when using HTML5 player, it just does not work properly (either video feed stops while sound plays on, or sound just mutes, while video plays on ... or they are just out of sync).
    2. some addons not working after every next update
    3. too many bullshit "big" updates which add absolutely NOTHING USEFUL.
    4. all the new included bloatware, like - Pocket; Firefox Hello etc.. and no way to normally (with one checkbox) disable them from options so they don't waste memory or UI space with their icons and stuff.
    5. too many hidden, but very necessary, features you have to dig out yourself from about:config.
    Auth3ntic0 and DaveBG like this.
  5. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Addict Posts: 183   +81

    I only keep a portable version of Firefox these days to download the occasional YouTube video with the awesome "Youtube Video and Audio Downloader" addon.

    Other than that, it lags a lot behind Chrome, from HTML5 adoption to the way it loads pages and handles memory. A reboot of the project is desperately needed and they've finally acknowledged that it seems.
  6. I still use Firefox. Chrome's extensions aren't as full fledged as Firefox's, they just don't cut it. Firefox is still the best browser available (for me). There is definitely room for improvement, however I am using desktops less and less. I imagine it will be a non-issue eventually (for me). Being away from home most of the time, I have to use my phone for internet. Now mobile browsers and operating systems could use A LOT of improvement.

    I wish I could have Windows 7 desktop on my phone. I have used Windows 7 with a touch screen (with a few third party softwares), it is so much more productive than Android, iOS, Windows Phone, or Windows 8. Give me a desktop OS on my phone with large icons and a nice on screen keyboard.
  7. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 812   +382

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned anything about them selling your browsing history. Wanna win back users? stop selling them down the road...

    IMO, get as many browsers as you can so that you can separate your browsing history.
    Rorshirk likes this.
  8. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 159   +41

    I prefer Firefox's mobile browser due to having tabbed browsing. Inexplicably Google removed tabbed browsing from Chrome's mobile version. I find it a bit frustrating to use Chrome on my phone because the webpages I open get mixed in with all my other most recently used apps in the app history/open apps.
  9. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    I left Firefox long ago for Google Chrome to fix one bug alone, Firefox's SSL Cert handling issues.

    Have an older device with a self-assigned certificate? Firefox has known about this bug since 2008, but they refuse to fix it. Instead they expect you to upgrade the firmware, when all they need to do is write an exception for such an issue. My peers in IT refer to this bug as being "Firefox'ed" and recommend switching to another browser to fix the issue. When the browser prevents me from doing my job, I can't use it!
  10. RebelFlag

    RebelFlag TS Addict Posts: 134   +66

    All you have to do is change in settings where it says "Merge Tabs and Apps" from on to off, and it will go back to the old style tabbed browsing.
  11. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 212   +72

    You nailed it man!
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,143   +595

    Been a life-long FF user and it is my default browser. Being a developer, Opera, IE, Chrome, Safari are all just compatibility platforms and I can't stand the startup delay with Chrome.
  13. Rorshirk

    Rorshirk TS Rookie

    I stopped using FF when the UI changed with version 29. That was the last straw. (And yes I know about Classic Theme Restorer). The fact is, Chrome is not only faster it has never crashed on me once, unlike FF. Chrome also handles Flash properly, which FF never did for me. It tended to slow down and hang when playing Flash games. I'll stick with Chrome.
  14. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Booster Posts: 185   +43

    I use Palemoon(a less bloated version of FF). When Firefox decided to add shiat you don't need was the last straw. When Edge get some good extensions, it will be my main browser, because it uses less RAM than all of them.
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,143   +595

    @Rorshink "Chrome also handles Flash properly, which FF never did for me."
    On Win/7 pro sp1 64bit, never once had Flash issues, but then I require all add-ons to ASK for activation.
  16. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,525   +828

    Idk why im still using firefox. It uses far too many resources for what im using it for and its screwed me over a fair few times (glitched the hell out trying to buy tickets off ticketmaster and lost the tickets before going to chrome and getting inferior ones)..I guess im not really happy with the current state of any browser.
  17. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,143   +595

    Yeah, some sites just don't operate uniformly. Just yesterday, the wife had problems on her Mac with a site and the site just could not reset the password. Moved to FF on my Laptop and everything was fine - - and she could then resume on the Mac. Sometimes webmasters try to get too cute or browser specific (like looking for IE/9 v 10 v 11) and they shoot themselves in the foot doing so.
  18. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 159   +41

  19. goodbyeworld

    goodbyeworld TS Rookie

    Firefox is slow, sluggish on youtube and number of other areas of the web, and takes like 3-5 seconds to load if it's not already running BUT I will not use non other because...

    Adblock Edge
    HTTS Everywhere

    And more but last I checked Chrome does not have all of these and therefore can rot in hell.
  20. I have been using Firefox for more than Nine years now and have really seen it grow from strength to strength over the years. It is one of the most robust browsers out there. Whereas Chrome suffers from the strange malady of becoming slower and slower and eating up more memory. It seems that the only thing going for Chrome is some strong advertising campaign and the through the search results of a popular search engine.
    I have used firefox in both in windows & linux and have found it to be comparatively the best browser that gets the job done.
  21. Used to be a Firefox fan but it became too buggy, too slow and too many updates that were nothing but a PAIN. Have since moved to Opera and it is like a breath of fresh air. It does what I want when I want! It will now take an incredible change to make me move again.
  22. S_Brideau

    S_Brideau TS Rookie Posts: 65

    I've been a user since early versions of Firefox 2. That was up until they decided to look like Chrome, and no, the classic theme restorer just didn't cut it. That was the last straw after all the stability issues and slowness of Firefox compared to the competition. I don't like Chrome for multiple reasons which is why I don't want to use a look-alike. Chrome also crashed a lot more than Firefox on my old computer, haven't installed it on my current computer.

    Switched to Opera and am having the best experience I've had with a browser in years. Opera is far better than the competition, they just don't have much advertising (I have yet to try Edge). It uses less memory than Chrome and Firefox, is very stable, I haven't had a single crash with it, and is very fast. They have their own look as well. Firefox could win me over again if the make their own look instead of looking like Chrome, and as this article states, make their browser stable again. Pretty sure I'd still stick with Opera though, to me it is far superior, it just doesn't have the same add-on base.
  23. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,599   +411

    I'll stick with Chrome. It works, it's fast, it doesn't crash, it has the extensions I care about, it goes hand and hand with my Android devices, and the memory footprint is a non-issue with 16GB being as common as 512MB on an XP machine back in 2001.

    Mozilla, you let your competition pass you by. Farewell my friend - farewell.
    Auth3ntic0 and Rorshirk like this.
  24. GregPullman

    GregPullman TS Rookie

    This can be some what fix... But need to dig in the settings. This will give you back that box with number of open tabs. Hope that helps.
  25. Sounds like a bunch of meaningless marketing blurbs. They had it right back in Firefox 1.0-3.0, make it lightweight and fast, stable and let me customize the UI any way I want. Then I'll use Firefox again.

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