Man, what a day. I'm working on a big upgrade for testers of the World Outline software. I didn't expect to split the day with Firefox, but I opened the can of worms with the earlier piece comparing Mozilla Corp to Osborne Corp.
Anyway, here's a summary of where I'm at with Firefox.
1. I have tried Firefox 4 on a few of my servers.
2. My desktop machine, laptop, and other servers are all still running Firefox 3. I have no plans to upgrade them, esp since I now know the aggressive plan Mozilla has. My iPad and iPhone run Safari. And I assume my Droid is running some variant of Chrome.
3. Before I knew they were considering cutting off support for 3.6, I expected that after waiting a few months for the glitches to be out in Firefox 4, and for a good support system to have developed, I would gradually start switching to 4, but tentatively, expecting things to break. If too many things were broken, I'd quickly revert to Firefox 3, and probably wouldn't attempt it again. (By support system I mean that if there were common problems, the answers would be findable in Google. It takes a certain amount of time for that to develop. I try to do my part by asking questions publicly and making sure the question is asked clearly up front so searchers can find it.) I am not just this conservative with browsers. I'm running Windows Server 2003 on my cloud machines. That's eight year old OS. Runs great! Does absolutely everything I need. And Microsoft is, thankfully, keeping it updated.
4. I have not tried Firefox 5, and I don't plan to. Version 4 was as far as I had gotten in my thinking.
5. My experience dealing with all the companies in this space is negative. Different reasons for each. I think Google is a troubled company and very large and very rich, and likely to use their browser in power plays against their competitors, with little regard for users. Microsoft lost my trust when they failed to protect their users against malware. Mozilla seems to be deliberately chasing away all but the most adventurous users. Does that matter in determining whether I continue to use Firefox? Probably not, at least for the short-term. Inertia is what keeps me with it. Except for today, I've spent zero days in the last year worrying about which browser I use. I expect tomorrow will be the same as most other days. But August looms large. If they announce the end of updates to Firefox 3.6, I'm going to seriously consider switching to another browser.
6. If Mozilla was marketing Firefox as the easiest upgrade for users, that would make a big difference to me. But I'm guessing there's been a lot of breakage in the various upgrades. I don't have time to study it. I'm busy with my own work. And I like to do other things from time to time. That's why I go slow on upgrading all kinds of software, not just browsers.
That's about it. I know they want us to be passionate about Firefox, but sorry -- I am not. The browser should just seen and not heard. I don't ever want to think about it. Or as little as I possibly can. If they force the issue, I guess I have to pay attention. But I will be inclined to go with a browser that doesn't care whether I care, and is just happy to let me use it without being an upaid software tester.
PS: Anticipating more marketing from Mozilla people in the comments, I disabled them for this post. If you have something to say, write a post in your own space. I will see it in the referrer log, and will read it, unless it's a flame. Thanks to the Back button that all browsers still have that's easy.