Netscape, Mozilla: A new beginning

Zeldman reports that parent company AOL has dismantled most of Netscape in a mass-firing exercise. However, the Mozilla spirit will live on over at
According to a press release, AOL has pledged US$2 million over the next two years to support this new independent movement. Red Hat and Sun Microsystems have also promised software support.
Update 17 July 2003: Wired reports that Mozilla wants to rumble with IE. Well, good luck to them. I use Mozilla much more often than Internet Explorer now, but I’m a geek. Geeks use Mozilla. Because we’re more interested in standards compliance than the average man on the street running a pre-installed Windows operating system. Because we’re fascinated with the open source movement, and have probably considered using Linux, if we haven’t already.
Which is why Mozilla controls less than 2% of the browser market.
Mozilla also has lower name recognition than Netscape. I don’t have hard statistics to back this up, but just ask the colleague next to you (anyone who’s not a geek) if they’ve heard of Netscape or Mozilla. I can assure you, the former would ring a bell with more people.
But I’m still sticking to Mozzy. Because it is more standards-compliant than IE. Because I love how it tabs my browser windows. The only grouse I have is how it runs Java applets more slowly than IE. Not good for online transactions. But that could partly be the web developers’ problem – many sites are probably still designed for and checked only in IE. Unless the Windows-IE monopoly is broken (there is hope via the Open Source movement).
So the new Mozilla foundation have a rocky, uphill task to climb. The geeks have to go a-marketing. Let’s see how they do it.