This is something that’s bothering me in the last 20 minutes I guess. Does really everyone think of it just as an alternative to Chrome? To be honest, Chrome is winning the browser market, Apple and Microsoft are trying to stop that, but only with one goal: replacing Chrome with their own solutions. Is there anyone who thinks that a small non-profit organization like Mozilla can do to mess that up?
Let’s step up a little. Let’s talk about operating systems. Microsoft has Windows and controls pretty much all of the desktops out there. Apple has his own Mac products. Google has most of the mobile users and Chrome OS. While Mozilla does not have anything besides Firefox OS.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Mozilla and would buy a phone with Firefox OS as soon as it becomes available in my country. But, loving Mozilla as an organization is actually pretty much any reason why someone would buy Firefox OS phone in the first place.
Now, if you use the Internet (which of course you do, otherwise you won’t be reading this blog post) there’s like a 99,9% chance that you’re using one or more of the Google products. Google Search, YouTube, GMail, Blogger or something else. Now the problem is, if you don’t use Chrome, you have to live with some limitations while using Google’s services on the web.
Let me give you an example. My roommate played some songs a couple of months ago using YouTube as a platform. Suddenly, he started speeding up and slowing down the playback of those songs. I was curious, how does he do that? But I didn’t say a word, I thought he downloaded those songs and messed around with their speed using his audio player. It went on for days and I realized that he’s changing songs far more quickly than he could downloaded them and played. So I took a glimpse at his laptop and saw that he’s not using anything besides his browser to do so. And, his browser, of course, was Google Chrome. Then I thought he’s using some extension that allows him to do so. So I finally got enough courage to ask him how does he do that? He said he’s not using anything besides Google Chrome. I could not believe it so I installed Chrome and I realized that he’s telling the truth. Playback speed options were there once I opened a YouTube video with Chrome. I could not believe it.
So Google messed around with YouTube and I could probably remake this option just by switching my user agent in Firefox, but that was not the end. Soon I found out Google has some limitations on using Google’s Docs and other services. So Google is kind of forcing you to use Chrome to use those specific features.
What if Google steps up a little and starts implementing some other features specifically for Chrome? He’s going to force people to use Chrome to access those specific features.
How can Mozilla compete with that when Google practically controls the Internet and we’re all using their products? It can’t.
There is no way for someone to stop using Google’s services. I did try to do that. So I switched to Firefox from Chrome, I used mail.ru as my email provider, I started using DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine, but that’s as far as I could go. I can’t stop using YouTube and DuckDuckGo because even though DuckDuckGo is great, it can’t provide the perfect results to my searches so I occasionally have to enter !g bang in my search bar.
So, we’re stuck in a wormhole. We have to use Google’s services and by doing that, we have to be ready to accept the fact that there are certain features we’re missing. And we can’t stop using Google’s services completely and enjoy browsing the Internet. It’s just not possible.
So, what I’m asking everyone to do, on the Internet and in real life, start using Firefox while you still have a choice! It looks to me like sooner or later we’re not going to have an alternative. And that really bums me out as a huge Firefox and Thunderbird fan.