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02.13.14

Mozilla Sells Out

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Marketing at 12:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Mozilla is imitating the business model of Formula One drivers, wearing corporate stickers as covert marketing

YEARS before abandoning Google I also abandoned Firefox, which I had used since before the 1.0 release (I was a very early and happy adopter). The reason for abandonment was mostly technical and I returned to Firefox partly for idealogical reasons. Mozilla started talking about privacy (also hiring privacy advocates), it publicly shunned advertisers (thanks to these new hires), it adopted (and hired) standards, and it even embraced Linux, which was no longer an afterthought for the company. Mozilla also said goodbye to people whom it had hired from Microsoft — people who would later use their Mozilla hat to promote NSA Windows for ‘security’.

I was truly shocked to learn, despite the deceiving language from Mozilla [1], that it decided to sell out [2] (even longtime supporters of Mozilla think so) after I switched to Firefox even on mobile devices. Mozilla claims to offer better privacy these days [3], it has a new focus on mobile [4], and it even has its own homegrown mobile OS that is based on Linux and coming soon to many phones [5] (not to mention the huge popularity of the desktops/laptops browser [6]). What is going on at Mozilla and how could this be? Mozilla spends $300,000 trying to buy the community’s support [7] and now it’s throwing it all away by saying it will soon be embedding “sponsored content from hand-picked partners” inside the browser? Is Mozilla so desperate for cash or has its management lost its mind? This whole strategy needs to be abandoned fast (if it’s not too late to revoke deals).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Publisher Transformation with Users at the Center

    Directory Tiles will instead suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users. Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla’s pursuit of our mission. The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy.

  2. Ads in Firefox, Debian init, and Rolling Releases

    Lots of folks are lamenting the latest news from Mozilla stating they’ll soon be showing users “sponsored content from hand-picked partners.” In other news, a recent Debian decision leaves Ubuntu on its own with upstart. Matt Hartley recently compared the ease of Ubuntu to the flexibility of rolling release distributions.

  3. HTTPS Everywhere for Firefox for Android Secures Your Mobile Browsing

    Like its desktop counterpart, HTTPS Everywhere makes sure that you’re using HTTPS whenever possible, and kicks your browsing session over to HTTPS on its list of sites that support it, even if you click a link or are routed to a page that’s not SSL encrypted. To install, visit the link below using Firefox for Android, and the add-on will be automatically installed for you. Firefox will prompt you to accept the installation, restart to complete the changes, and when it’s back up, you’ll see the HTTPS Everywhere logo in the address bar.

  4. Mozilla Previews New Firefox Launcher for Android

    At this week’s InContext Conference, Mozilla and EverythingMe showed a preview of the upcoming release of Firefox Launcher for Android. Firefox OS, Mozilla’s mobile platform has already used EverythingMe’s tools for presenting easy to get at collections of links to web apps. Firefox Launcher for Android is intended to make it easy to discover content you want and get it optimized for the way you use your phone.

  5. A Look At The New Firefox UI On Ubuntu Linux

    After yesterday’s article about the new Firefox UI landing in the Aurora channel, here’s some screenshots showing what the new Firefox marked at 29.0a2 looks like on Ubuntu Linux.

  6. Mageia 4, Firefox 27 & 29, and a Linux Language Barrier

    Mageia 4 was released on schedule last weekend and got the full treatment by friend Jamie Watson at ZDNet while Sean Kerner posted a screenshot tour and brief introduction. Firefox 27 and 29 are getting some attention. Red Hat’s Chris Mendler is planning to open a run distillery in his spare time. And Jack Wallen thinks geek speak is keeping Linux out of the mainsteam.

  7. $300,000 Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund launched

    “Gigabit networks have the potential to change how we live, work, learn and interact on the web, much like the switch from dial-up to broadband did,” says Mark Surman, executive director of Mozilla. “The educators, developers, students and other inventive thinkers in these leading gigabit economies have a unique opportunity to help shape the web of the future, in ways that can help us all know more, do more and do better.”

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