Paul Gregg

Jack of all Tech.

Comment: Why Firefox is failing in the corporate environment.

Written By: pgregg - Mar• 26•2009

I’ve sat on this article for a number of years, hoping against hope that the Firefox development team would get off their elite self-indulgent asses and realise that, guess what? – the world doesn’t work the way they think it should.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Firefox. I use it daily for nearly all of my web browsing needs, but there is just one little problem – a massive little problem – and that is why I am writing this article.

Most articles on this subject tend to focus on the lack of IT department deployment and management tools for rolling out Firefox, but that isn’t the issue. Really?
So what is it then?

The answer is very, very simple: Firefox does not work on a real-world company Intranet.  There, I said it. 

Really, it doesn’t – the Firefox development team have decided that in their infinite security wisdom that links from one method (e.g. http://intranet) to a local method (e.g. file://server/expense_claim.xls) are so bad that they won’t even put out a warning.

I feel it is bad enough that it doesn’t work, but silently failing without any alert boxes, or an option saying “Yes, I know I’m risking my life, but really, do let me click this link” or putting file://intranet into the trusted domain is the root cause why Firefox will never be accepted as a corporate browser.

IT departments just do not want to deal with the questions “Why doesn’t the link to the document work?”.  The simplest answer for the IT department is “We only support Internet Explorer”.

Any amount of Firefox protestations saying “Oh! but you shouldn’t be running your Intranet like that.” is not going to change the real-world Intranets, and ultimately it keeps pushing Firefox back from acceptance into the Corporate world.

Until the Firefox is able to be used the way that real users want to use it, IT departments will continue to push that reliable old line that we only support IE.

Welcome to the real world.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=84128
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=122022

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