FireFox- The Giant Killer

If you think Microsoft earns money from the paltry 7500 INR you pay for Microsoft XP then you are in for a surprise. If you know where Microsoft actually gets its money from you will be happy that at least ten more people today will know where Microsoft actually gets its money from.

This is not an article that is bashing Microsoft. Bill Gates and Microsoft have been instrumental in making the computer a personal entertainment and information system. How? Exactly how many you know who use computers on an every day basis have the bandwidth to actually remember the simple COPY command from DOS? So, all of us, collectively, should be thankful to Microsoft.

So what is this all about? This is about a mistake, a terrible mistake the Bill Gates the businessman did. A mistake that was a watershed to almost everything that Bill Gates the programmer did.

Microsoft always thought that they ruled the computer world. And they did that, actually, for quite a few years. Of course, an elephant seldom gets a look see at the small animals that get trampled underneath it during its majestic walk in the forest, and that is what happened with Microsoft. Either they did not care about these people, or they simply forgot about them in their quest for world domination.

But the ants that were trampled under Microsoft had families. And they got busy with a Microsoft killer. And they eventually got support from other companies, to launch the very first open source software available on a mass basis and something that would not actually screw up your 40,000 INR worth computer - the Internet Browser - aptly named Firefox.

Legend has it that Microsoft publicly claimed that 'Internet Explorer was not a software, it was a bundled software with their Operating System, Windows.' So, that basically meant that whether an actual full time research and development team existed for IE in the initial stages is embarrassingly ambiguous.

This nifty piece of programming, the Firefox, did what it was made for, and it did it well. For one, it gave laymen internet users an actual example of exactly how free is a Open Source free software. It also gave normal internet users the message that, 'Dudes, this is Open Source. It does not crash your computers, it is completely compatible with Windows and it will be equally easy to grasp - if not more - that any Windows product.

So, here are some quick features that kept Firefox leaps and bound away from the Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Free: Firefox was free. You did not have to depend on Microsoft to provide you with an Internet browser. You had a computer, you had a Non Microsoft OS and even then, you could get Firefox for free.

Personalization: Few will know, and fewer will remember, that the themes and addons that we can so freely download and use with Firefox, were once upon a time charged something like $15 by Internet for their browser. Simply put, if you liked a theme for IE, you had to shell out $15 to install it on your Internet Browser.

Updates: When Firefox first came out, may were worried whether it would just be a piece of software that was good to use, had some bugs, but it'd take them years to actually sit down and answer those bugs with updates and patches. And they were relieved. In the initial months and years, there were Firefox updates almost every two weeks. For the optimist, this meant that there was a team of people who were actually working to make Firefox the best browser in the world, and for the pessimist, it meant that these were college kids who had just released a browser and only now they knew what was wrong with it, and were giving out patches. Either which way, it worked.

There is, of course, a lot of technical jargon as to why Firefox is better than Internet Explorer. But I will be content to say that once you do download Firefox and use it, yourself will understand the difference between Internet Explorer and Firefox.

And this isn't to say that Microsoft did not learn from its mistakes. When Firefox came out, even Microsoft understood just how redundant and old Internet Explorer had become, and changes were seen soon. They released some toolbar which gave Internet Explorer the ability to have tabs, which was quickly integrated into Internet Explorer 7.

If imitation is the best way of compliments, Mozilla Firefox of course got compliments from some very strange quarters.

To end this article, I will tell you exactly how Microsoft earns money. It is not from the Operating System cost. Microsoft creates drivers for almost every hardware you are using right now, from your monitor screen to your 1 GIG RAM bursting inside. And this is where they get money from - support - not their actual operating system.





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