I recently read an article I found on HackerNews titled Choose Firefox Now, Or Later You Won’t Get A Choice. While the author does make some good points about why competition is good, the whole premise of the article is terrible.
Choose us because we are different is not a marketing strategy, nor should it be any kind of reason for me to choose your product over another company’s product. I go out of my way to support alternative providers of online services. Even though I LOVE the Gmail interface, I use FastMail because I always want there to be independent operators of email. The differences between Gmail and FastMail are small enough, that I can work with making FastMail my email provider.
There are other services that I find so valuable, I can’t find a good replacement. Dropbox is the top example of this. I know they don’t encrypt their data with a “trust no one” strategy, but the service has always worked so well for me, and for so long, that I’m willing to give up those niceties.
I am part of the crowd that jumped over to Chrome several years ago when FireFox started to look a little dated, and Chrome was setting speed records faster than Chuck Yeager. I will concede that these differences have been removed with the latest versions of FireFox. The new UI and improved performance are welcoming additions to FireFox. Now I’m just stuck on Chrome because I’m set in my ways, and I don’t like changing a tool I use 12 hours a day.
Starting today I’m going to make an honest effort to make FireFox my primary browser. Not because I feel I have to just because it’s not owned by Google or Apple, because I want to try alternatives, support good technical work, and support the open source community.