Mozilla should give up on its own browsing engine and switch Firefox to Chromium, a Microsoft engineer said in a series of tweets, as what the company does right now is “building a parallel universe that’s used by less than 5 percent.”
The message posted by Microsoft Product Manager Kenneth Auchenberg has triggered an almost instant reaction from the user community, with most of the replies pointing out that building alternative products that can compete against Chromium is vital for the health of the browsing ecosystem.
"It's time for @mozilla to get down from their philosophical ivory tower. The web is dominated by Chromium, if they really *cared* about the web they would be contributing instead of building a parallel universe that's used by less than 5%?" he tweeted.
“I couldn’t disagree with you more. It precisely *because* Chromium has such a large marketshare that is vital for Mozilla (or anyone else) to battle for diversity. I’m shocked that you think they’re not contributing. “Building a parallel universe"? That *is* the contribution,” web developer Jeremy Keith responded.
Auchenberg insisted that Mozilla can contribute to building a better web by joining the Chromium push, and not by insisting with its own engine.
“Contribution can happen on many levels, and why is it given that each browser vendor has to land their contributions in *their own* engine? What isn't the question what drives most impact for the web as a holistic platform?” he said.
“My problem with Mozilla's current approach is that they are *preaching* their own technology instead of asking themselves how they can contribute most and deliver most impact for the web? Deliver value to 65% of the market or less than 5%?”
Microsoft switching to Chromium
Microsoft has recently announced that it’s giving up on its own browsing engine in order to build Microsoft Edge, the default browser in Windows 10, based on Chromium.
In a December 6 blog post, Mozilla emphasized that by embracing Chromium for the Windows 10 browser, “Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google.”
Reiterating that Firefox would remain an alternative to Google Chrome, Mozilla warned that putting Google in control of the browsing world isn’t the right way to go.
“We compete with Google not because it’s a good business opportunity. We compete with Google because the health of the internet and online life depend on competition and choice,” Mozilla said.
Auchenberg’s message has obviously received more acid replies, including this one criticizing Microsoft’s recent browser changes.
“Just because your employer gave up on its own people and technology doesn't mean that others should follow,” Asa Dotzler tweeted.
The full thread can be found here, and it is really worth a read, as it includes the opinions of several respected web developers.