Microsoft Watch’s Joe Wilcox must believe in conspiracy theories, that there was a mysterious shooter in Dallas on the grassy knoll, and that aliens landed in New Mexico.
How else to explain his contention that Google’s Chrome browser is going to kill Firefox based on the fact Google accounts for 80% of Mozilla’s revenue through a referral partnership that lasts until 2011.
Wilcox contends Google is going to shove aside Firefox because it’s still unhappy with how much market share Internet Explorer still holds. To effectively deal with the evil Microsoft/IE forces, Wilcox believes Google will aggressively push Chrome forward while shoving aside Firefox in a nice way.
It’s a nice argument even though it makes little sense. But then Wilcox blow it up at the end when he proclaims that:
“Firefox will fail, I predict for the future, unless Mozilla gets more donors or turns the browser back over to the open-source community.”
Right there, Wilcox skewers his theory and puts the focus on why Firefox has been so successful. It’s not Google’s cash, although getting $66-million in 2007 from Google certainly helps; it has more to do with the passion of the open-source community and users to improve Firefox and establish it as an alternative to IE.
Even if Google pulls the plug on Firefox, the community and users will step in to make sure Firefox doesn’t disappear. And while Google may be able to improve Chrome and lure developers with all kinds of incentives, it will never be able to match’s the community’s passion for Firefox.