Did you catch the analysis of plans for Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) by Read/Write Web? It’s a must read for those tracking the future of the web:
While Firefox is still aiming for a broad mainstream audience, Mozilla recognizes that its strengths for normal users are its extensions and customization. It notes on the wiki that “Microsoft will continue to establish deeper ties from IE7/Vista to live.com and MSN” and even that other “web service providers” may introduce their own browsers (Yahoo? Amazon?). So Firefox is aiming to be the best general Web browser – e.g. it wants to be faster for AJAX apps.
…IE8 will apparently “compete even more directly with Firefox”. Looking ahead, it’s obvious that IE will continue to hook into the advanced functionality that Vista offers.
So if anything, I’d hazard a guess and say that IE8 will head back into ProprietaryLand – leaving Firefox to become more of a vehicle for independent web services, particularly those from Google. While IE7 and Firefox 2 were more alike than different (feature-wise they’re practically identical!), with IE8 and FF3 we will likely see the two biggest browsers head off into different directions.
Parallel Divergence takes a look at Maxthon, another web browser that is giving both Firefox and IE a run for their money in China and elsewhere in Asia.
We’re in for some new browser wars again.
How Will Future Browsers Impact Future Bloggers?
The browser wars will have a very important player in the game: bloggers. While WordPress, Movable Type, Blogger, and others struggle for blogging platform supremacy, the number one tool for any blogger is their browser.
When Fuji took on Kodak in the film war, Fuji didn’t care about beating Kodak. They went right to the consumers and asked them what they wanted in film and gave it to them. The film wars shook up the photography marketplace, which heated up even more when it joined the race for image technology. The photographer benefited with increasingly improved film choices and now film has been replaced with digital technology and there is a camera in everyone’s hands, including on their telephones. Who won? The consumers.
Who will win in the browser wars? Let’s hope it’s the bloggers.
Going down the roadmap for Firefox 3, I see a lot of things that will probably make web designers happy, but what about bloggers?
As a blogger, I adore Firefox. The power and control it gives me to research, write, and design is unprecedented. Easy opening tabs allow me to go down search engine results and quickly open numerous pages without dancing back and forth between them. They load in the background and when I’m ready, I go through each and gather my information and click them close and move to the next. My research time for blog articles has sped up considerably.
The wide range of Firefox Extensions (now known as Add-ons) makes my blogging experience efficient and powerful. One little gem is Copy Link Text (CoLT) Firefox Extension, featured in “Power Blogging: Web Browser Blogging Tips“, which allows me to right click on any link and copy the entire link and text, then paste it quickly into my blog article. Fast and easy, and less keystrokes.
The increased usage of AJAX will play a critical role in speeding up the administrative process of maintaining a blog. I recently wrote about ways WordPress could improve comments suggesting AJAX be used to reply to a post directly from the WordPress Administration Comments panel instead of loading the post and scrolling down to the comments section to reply. Comments on posts could be sped up by posting comments without a full page reload. Little improvements in speed and management might be in our future.
Web page design was revolutionized with powerful web testing, editing, and design features in the popular Firefox Web Developer Extension which allows live editing of your design from within the browser.
One research improvement Firefox is exploring is the ability to annotate bookmarks and history links. This would be excellent for leaving notes and information to help you research articles and remember why you saved these links in the first place. They are also exploring better indexing of bookmarks and history links.
Like many “wanna do it all” projects, Mozilla is building office suite packages to integrate word processing, spreadsheets, and more into Firefox. Word 2007 now supports blogging directly to your WordPress blog, which I see all future writing packages offering, but I’d be happy if Thunderbird integrated better and accepted Gmail and Hotmail instead of having so many separate web pages open to monitor email from different services in addition to an email program – what a lot of pain to get email. As a blogger, email is critically important, and right now, I want a one-stop email service.
What are some browser add-ons, extensions, or script that you can’t live without through your browser for your blogging needs?
And in the upcoming browser wars, what would you like to see in a web browser that would help you blog?
Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on Lorelle on WordPress.