Mozilla Starts Asking For Donations from Users

Subject: General Tech | December 30, 2011 - 08:42 AM |
Tagged: mozilla, firefox, donations, browser

Mozilla, the company behind the popular open source Firefox web browser recently struck a quite lucrative deal with Google for providing the big G with a default search box and google search start page.  Apparently, 900 million (over three years) is not enough for the company; however, as they have started asking for user donations of at least $10.

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According to their new story page, "We believe the Web is a place where anyone can come to build their dreams."  The non profit states in the accompanying video that they are more than just a web browser, they are a global community fighting to keep the web a good, innovative place.  And that, they argue is why they need your support; to make the web a "force for good by making a donation today."

Personally, this feels like a cross between late night PBS broadcasts as a kid and Wikipedia's pleas for donations.  Sure, if you are a big fan of Firefox it couldn't hurt to support them; however, I don't think they are going anywhere any time soon.  What are your thoughts on this as a user?

 

Source: Mozilla
December 30, 2011 | 10:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I've always been a Mozilla users. As Firefox. Before it was Firefox. Back when it was Netscape. In fact, I was an engineer at Netscape in the late 90s.

This has just driven me away. Chrome has a significant lack of the extensions I want (and their tabs/bookmarks/panorama-eye-candy-tabs stuff is all very lacking), but between this and the ridiculous rush to have the highest browser version number while focusing on making their browser Facebook-ified and Twitter-ified has just driven me away. If they were hurting for cash, I'd be fine. Value for value. But $300,000,00/yr deal with google as well as other forms of support and they're asking me for $10+? Nope.

December 30, 2011 | 12:34 PM - Posted by mark (not verified)

The only thing I don't like about FF is the "ooops" page that thinks your browser closed because of an error when all u did was press the X to close the browser window but I'm sure thats some bug....

December 30, 2011 | 08:13 PM - Posted by Martin (not verified)

I hate how you can close all browser windows without the process dying so that when you try to launch it again it just gives you an error message that it's already running, maybe if they had that fixed I'd be happy enough with the browser's usability to donate

December 31, 2011 | 06:02 AM - Posted by jtennison

Giving $10 as a show of support? I don't think so. Firefox seems to have lost its way. A new version every 6 weeks is ridiculous. Developers of plug-ins can't keep up with a cycle like that. Nor can adequate testing be done. For example, version 8.01 came within 48 hours of 8.0 release and the same happened when 9.01 came out within 24 hours of 9.0.

And Firefox's change from disabling plug-ins to allowing them whether they work or not is an invitation to disaster. Non-technical users (a huge majority, I would guess) may not have the skills to determine whether plug-ins are working properly.

Filling Firefox with developer tools is another mistake. Why should all users pay the overhead and possible security vulnerabilities for tools so that a very small minority of users (developers) are happy?

December 31, 2011 | 04:58 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Chrome and IE actually do the latter more than Firefox does. Press F12 in either of those two.

December 31, 2011 | 10:57 AM - Posted by collie man (not verified)

Never been a fan of Firefox. Not for any particular reason though, just never got into it. I like chrome 'cuz of it's small footprint, but that's not the point.

What I find interesting is it's been so long since I've seen the donation based freeware formula being used.

Back in the day ALOT of software was distributed this way. If you wanted pc-zip lets say, you'd log on to a bbs and clog up your phone line for a couple of hours downloading it, or you could pick up a copy at radio shack on a unlabeled 3.5" floppy for less than $5, and it was fine %100 complete operating copy, but every time you opened the program it would ask you for a donation. Giving money never changed the software at all, there was no registration code to remove the money plea, no extra features or anything, just the warm feeling inside that you were helping some poor developer pay for his grocery bill.

It was a model that, let's be honest, never worked. Back then if you were savvy enough to know what a bbs was you felt privileged enough to never pay for ANYTHING. "Why would I pay for dos 6.2.2 when I can just go to a WAREZ bbs and get it for free," was the mentality of the day, so the thought of paying cash to some dude out there not even trying to protect his intellectual property was absurd.

For Mozilla to try this old failed income system seems foolish to say the least. A good number of current users will {wrongly} feel offended that they are being asked for money and switch, and most of the rest will probably completely ignore it and keep using the browser for free.

It's true what they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same

January 2, 2012 | 10:02 PM - Posted by collie man (not verified)

PKZIP, I meant to say PKZIP not PC-Zip, sorry

December 31, 2011 | 12:48 PM - Posted by mark (not verified)

I use FF solely for its plugins, lots of very useful ones, if they fix that crash bug that me and martin mentioned I'd be the first to donate.

December 31, 2011 | 03:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

FireFox is a browser built by the users for the users, not like others. It is community that needs funding, To not it dirt by the competitors. More they can make it easier for developers with tools etc The more they are going to give back.
I think they need it easier to report bugs and help out the developers so they can make a difference. The more then know what to fix the more they can.

Also I think rewards and incentives to help FireFox and teach kids to program for their platform would be good.

All non profit organizations need help.

We vote with are money who wins or deserves to be around

January 2, 2012 | 09:56 PM - Posted by collie man (not verified)

So, I'm curious. Does this mean that you will actually donate money to this cause? Will you, truthfully, vote with your money, or is this just talk?

January 3, 2012 | 05:04 PM - Posted by rutra80 (not verified)

A "non-profit" organization. A fiction. 900 millions of $ is far from profit, indeed... And yet they call for 10$ donations, how typical socialistic efficiency.
This is communism at its best gentlemen, the only thing that communism is good at are revolutions, something that FF already did (it has overthrown stagnated IE6), after revolution every communism begins to die due to self-corruption and socialistic inefficiency. Just let it die and switch already to some proper capital-driven browser like Opera, Chrome, Safari, or even IE which reacted to competition in a good capitalistic way.

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