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If at first you do not succeed ... You must be a programmer!

Firefox Still Growing


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Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 23:32:22 +1000

A couple of months ago, I upgraded my Ubuntu and Kubuntu workstations to the latest versions (Hardy Heron). This was a radical move for me. I have never been an early adopter.

However in the past few years, I have become so impressed with the quality of Ubuntu and Kubuntu distributions that I decided to boldly go where I had not boldly gone before.

So after my first bold steps in the new Ubuntu Universe, I discovered (gasp!) that Hardy Heron included Firefox version 3!.

For possibly the first time ever, I was running a beta version!

Still after having decided to boldly go where I had never gone before, I boldly decided to continue ever onwards.

Overall my experience of living on the bleeding edge has been a happy one. I did notice that Google Notebook appeared a a bit strange (the first character of each line was repeated). But this little (ahem!) undocumented feature soon disappeared after a software update. The latest version has just come down, and it seems ok. There is a new tool bar which looks quite fancy, and some plugins still need a bit of work. But overall it looks like a good product. And it is very quick!

Most significant for Firefox is the fact that they have steadily increased market share. Firefox is now sitting at just below 20% of the total browser market and it is still growing.

The key to the success of Firefox has been security, ease-of-use and simplicity. If they can keep the same theme going, they will continue to increase market share.

Overall the Firefox/Gutsy Gibbon/Hardy Heron experience has increased my confidence in Ubuntu. I have never encountered an organisation that produces stable beta software releases. Microsoft is still struggling to deliver a stable version of Vista, and has failed to do so despite spending a vast amount of blood and treasure over the last six years. And Ubuntu just gets up and delivers robust bleeding edge software in a matter of months, with a tiny fraction of the Microsoft budget!

I'm sold! I'm an official Ubuntu convert!

For the time being, I will keep my Mac. But for my money Ubuntu is the most remarkable operating system in the short history of software. The rate at which the software is improving has not slowed. And yet the complexity and size of some of the projects must be quite huge by now. (Be afraid! Apple, Be very afraid!).

When will the rest of the world discover Ubuntu?

We will see.


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Copyright     2008, Gerry Patterson. All Rights Reserved.