Microsoft held true to their marketing reputation this week by taking advantage of an opportunity to push Internet Explorer after an apparent bout of in-fighting erupted at Mozilla. Apparently some on the Mozilla development team are not concerned whether the Firefox browser is positioned well in the enterprise network, preferring rather that the focus be in supporting the needs of the average consumer.
The issue at the center of this latest browser conflict is the rapid release of Firefox 5, coming so soon after the release of Firefox 4--just three months earlier. Enterprise IT support team members are voicing their concerns with the Firefox migration path and the rate of releases, as it leaves too little time for proper application and user acceptance testing between releases. Microsoft was quick to jump on the bandwagon, asking concerned businesses to consider dumping Firefox and switching back to IE.
The humor in this latest spat between browsers is that Microsoft is standing squarely in the middle of a glass house and holding a large basket of stones. With the recent negative public feedback on the proposed Windows 8 desktop coming so soon after the successful adoption of windows 7--the one time in how many releases that Microsoft actually got the desktop OS right--Microsoft may need to worry about their own back yard before looking over the fence at Mozilla's. Of course, Microsoft has never been one to miss an opportunity to pounce on market share, so this latest media spotlight is nothing unexpected.
If I recall, the majority of enterprise customers choosing to deploy Firefox did so due to the security and stability issues of Internet Explorer. Isn't this the reason Microsoft lost market share to Firefox in the first place? I wonder why Microsoft neglected to mention that when asking corporations to move back to the Microsoft platform. An interesting question to pose to Microsoft...