Microsoft finds itself in this predicament, according to many observers, because IE doesn't offer browsing of multiple web sites in one window, remains a target for hackers, and is slower rendering web pages compared to Firefox. "While Microsoft has dawdled on browser innovation, Firefox has surged ahead to fill functionality gaps," says research firm Gartner in a March 2 research note. Werbach suggests that the main reason people are looking at Firefox is that Microsoft "essentially reached a dominant market share and shut down development. Meanwhile, it became an inviting target for hackers. That left a nice opening for an alternative product."
Yet Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader, for one, is skeptical of Firefox's success. To him, the big question is whether Firefox can maintain its market share when Microsoft updates Internet Explorer this summer. "Mozilla has passed some threshold, but it's not clear whether Firefox users are early adopters who are just delighted to have an alternative," he says, adding that "IE will get better. It's the usual dance. Microsoft will steal Mozilla's ideas and become competitive."
Much of the article is the same old stuff we've been hearing since the release of Firefox. But I'm glad to see that academia is finding this battle interesting. The future of business is changing, and open-source vs. protected code is a difficult business decision that depends on many factors. For instance, a start-up can gain a huge following by being open source, but it's easier to get funding if you have I.P.
Personally, I like Firefox and use it when I am doing research because I like the tabbed browsing. For everything else though, I use Avant. The best thing about it is that if I am surfing the web and have several pages open and I need to stop to do something else, I can close it down and it will open up those same pages when I re-start it. As for IE, well I haven't used it in forever so I'm not even qualified to give an opinion.