Mozilla blames Google’s lock-in practices for Firefox’s demise
Google’s Chrome browser used to face stiff competition from Mozilla’s Firefox and, to a lesser extent, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. These two, however, have lost steam over time as Chrome has emerged as the clear leader in the web sector. Mozilla is now criticizing Google and other businesses for their anticompetitive actions that not only contributed to Firefox’s demise but also limited customer choice.
In an effort to show how Google, Apple, and Microsoft have influenced their users to benefit their own ecosystem of apps and, ultimately, their browser, Mozilla has today released a report (via TechCrunch). After all, Microsoft produces Windows and Edge, Apple produces Safari and macOS/iOS, while Google creates the Chrome browser and Android. To differing degrees, all of them have persuaded people to use their particular browsers, and they have purposely made it impossible for users to transfer to another browser through extensive integration and a barrage of prompts.
When using a browser other than Chrome to access Google, a popup to download Chrome will appear. If you use Windows, you may already be accustomed to Microsoft’s persistent pleadings for you to use Edge. These tactics are somewhat effective and provide them an unfair advantage over competitors like Mozilla, who don’t have the same kind of influence over people.
Mozilla has a point: anticompetitive activities are pervasive in the browser sector and they’ve grown to be a concern. Whether that is the entire story as to why Firefox lost its position as one of the top browsers is another issue, but Mozilla does have a point. Even if Chrome looks to be widely accepted, future competitors may find the market to be quite unfriendly.
Regulators in Europe are already keeping an eye on Big Tech for more action on this front, so it’s possible that Google’s hold on web browsers hasn’t yet loosened.
Last week, Mozilla released another another report condemning Google-owned YouTube and the inefficiency of its practices for handling unfavorable user comments regarding video suggestions.