Mozilla takes offense to Safari

Written by Brett Thomas

June 19, 2007 // 6:54 a.m.

Tags: #apple #firefox #internet-explorer #mozilla #safari #steve-jobs #windows

Some days, it really doesn't take much to get someone in this industry insulted. If you say the wrong thing or take a product for granted, it's easy to end up with a vitriolic email in your box. Of course, you could also just leave out an entire browser from your slides when you port your browser to Windows, as Steve Jobs did. Mozilla Foundation's COO John Lilly was not amused. At all.

Lilly took aim at Apple Corporation, Safari and Steve Jobs in particular in his blog after the conclusion of Apple's World Wide Developer Conference last week. The issue in question was a whopping one slide from the entirety of the Safari for Windows launch, where Jobs apparently showed Safari's only competition as Internet Explorer in the future, which dominates roughly 80 percent of the browser market.

In his post, Lilly opened fire - according to his theory, Jobs did not just omit Firefox accidentally in its future view. Instead, he believes that Apple's top guy sees Firefox users as "in the bag" for Safari, creating a "duopoly" between Microsoft's browser and its own. Of course, such an assumption could easily be regarded as total hubris.

Lilly goes on to describe Apple's whole product offering and Steve's vision for the company at large as "out of date" and "corporate-controlled." As the post continues, he illustrates how Apple's move is not just foolish to think about, but would be a disaster if it were to come true. A direct quote from John's dystopian nightmare:

"Even if we could somehow put that movement back in the bottle — that a world of just Starbucks & Peets, just Wal-mart & Target, just Ford & GM — that a world of tight control from a few companies is good, it’s the wrong thing to do. It destroys participation, it destroys engagement, it destroys self-determination. And, ultimately, it wrecks the quality of the end-user experience, too."

Whether Apple and Steve-o intended this particular presentation to ruffle so many feathers will likely never be known, but one thing is for sure - it certainly got under the skin of some people. Of course, if the company can't get the bugs out of Safari for Windows, we somehow don't think it will be much of a problem anyhow.

Have you got a thought on the sleight? Tell us about whether you're offended or not in our forums.
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