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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

August 2, 2006 at 4:30 PM

Real deal hurts Mozilla’s geek cred, sticks it to Microsoft

At least that’s the reaction on Slashdot, where the techies are acting as if Rob Glaser just sneezed in their beer.

RealNetworks announced that it will offer Mozilla’s Firefox browser and Google’s desktop toolbar with downloads of RealPlayer. Strangely, the rants ignore Google, which has been making similar deals with other companies to extend the reach of its toolbar.

Maybe the nasty comments at Slashdot were posted by folks in Microsoft Building 34, who must be furious. Under its antitrust settlement with Real, Microsoft is giving Real a higher profile at MSN and even inside Windows Vista, which will provide links to download RealPlayer. Now, if Vista users follows those links, they’ll get Firefox and the Google toolbar as well.

Here’s a sample of the Slashdot reaction:

“Mozilla, why?! That’s like partnering with cocaine dealers because they distribute to 2 million people a day. Ughhh! I feel DIRTY!”

“They may get more people downloading their browsers, but Firefox’s core market has always been geeks. Associating themselves with a company that is almost universally reviled by geeks is a huge slap in the face to Firefox’s core group of supporters. …. This move indicates a lack of sensitivity to the Open Source philosophy, and seems to complete Mozilla’s move from a community-driven project to a market share obsessed company.”

“Bundled downloads suck, especially for people with slow internet connections. Just give me what I requested, don’t add a bunch of crap to the download that I don’t need or want. Does Mozilla want Firefox to become “That crappy browser that came with the music player”?

“I keep tryi…. *buffering*…. ng to read…. *buffering*…. the story…”

Comments | Topics: Microsoft, Web

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