Google, Apple, and Firefox

Matt Asay argues that Apple and Google should abandon WebKit, Safari, and Chrome, and instead get behind Firefox:

For this same reason, however, both would do better to invest in Firefox, the “Linux of browsers.” In some ways, the browser efforts of Apple and Google are much like the Unix efforts of IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems: they threaten to splinter the browser counterattack on Microsoft rather than solidify it.

This would be reasonable advice if Apple and Google were in the browser racket primarily to “attack IE”. But they aren’t. They’re simply in it to make as good a browser as they can, to suit their own needs. For Apple, that means top-notch native browsers for the Mac and iPhone (and who knows what other future devices). For Google, that means a top-notch runtime environment for their own web applications.

Thursday, 14 May 2009