.. now competitors start to nibble?
The news is out: Dell UK is shipping Firefox on it's systems. Confirmed by Blake Ross (one of the creators of Firefox) in his blog. However, at this moment Dell only ships Firefox in the UK. Dell Australia has no plans in that direction.
Similar plans come from Hewlett-Packard. HP plans to ship Netscape's Web browser on new PCs and notebooks starting early 2006.
With the move of Opera of disbanding the ads in their browser this might bring even more momentum to the alternative browsers. The competition is on the move. Microsoft may just be too late with IE7. In many reviews so far the IE7 upgrade has been called too little too late.
Now, the largest PC manufacturer of the world, Dell, is pre-installing Firefox on new systems and removing the IE icon from the desktop. This will give users direct access to Firefox and indirect access (somewhere in the Start menu) to Internet Explorer. This will mean that more users will start to use Firefox. If HP does the same with their Netscape installation then a lot of convenience users will probably just use the first browser available.
All, this should give a boost to these browsers and it will bring about the slow demise of the sleeping giant's browser.
On top of that the news earlier this month that Microsoft is dropping the Internet Explorer for Apple completely after having ignored development for it for years. They even promote the use of the Safari browser.
These are signs that things are drastically changing in the browser market. I think the era of world wide web domination for Microsoft and Internet Explorer (the 90% and more market share days) are over. Microsoft had fallen asleep and ignored the little people outside, who were hacking together real compliant browsers. They have ignored the users who had to suffer under numerous attacks and security issues. They may have sit back just a little too long and enjoyed the view from their palace window to look at a Teletubbie landscape.
The times they are a-changing.