Meeting with Mozilla Europe

As mentioned previously I had the opportunity to meet and discuss with Tristan Nitot, Mozilla Europe President, while in Paris. We exchanged views and tactics about web standards promotion and Firefox adoption in different markets.

Tristan like some of us at the Beijing LUG is a man who does what he believes in, no matter what it takes, and started Mozilla Europe as a volunteer. He invested his time (and therefore money) where his heart was when AOL got rid of Netscape and fired everybody. Since we don’t hear much about what’s happening in China with Mozilla Online, I asked him what he thought helped Mozilla in Europe and if there was a “magic recipe” for success…

When starting the Mozilla Europe Association, Tristan and other members of the Firefox community tested the most visited 1000 sites in each European country, analyzed what was not working well under Firefox and emailed the fixes to each webmaster. Definitely a long and tedious process, but worth doing if you care about the web. The second step, Tristan said, and probably a very important one too, was market share. With currently 28% market share in Europe any webmaster with a bit of brain will care for standards.

Another significant detail I liked about Mozilla Europe, is that they share their office with Mandriva (a Linux distribution) and are definitely close to all things community and Linux – a bit too much sometimes admitted Tristan.

Now where does this put us, poor “Chinese mortals”? Mozilla China is in the same building as the Microsoft MSN team, Netease, Google and Sun, has very low market share and often manages to cancel (at the last minute) when invited (and confirmed) at open source conferences or community driven events. Mozilla is after market shares even in China and therefore I really wonder what is their current strategy.

To conclude it was really refreshing to be able to discuss about real problems and find out what worked in Europe. I sincerely wish Mozilla China can learn from this openness and apply some of it in our middle kingdom.

2 thoughts on “Meeting with Mozilla Europe

  1. I know that many people in EU are using Firefox. But in China Firefox is not that popular and I asked my friend who works on the computer whether Firefox is easy to use. His answer was deniable.

  2. Firefox is exactly the same to use, is a lot more secure than IE and gives access to thousands of extensions to enhance its features. The only problem in China is that most websites are designed for IE only, uses non-standard technology such as ActiveX and rather bad javascript code to which IE is very tolerant to. This is really the only problem. Hopefully IE8 is going to force Chinese webmasters to learn what is a web standard and this will ease the Firefox Browsing experience.
    I guess your friend doesn’t know much was he is talking about and you can probably teach him a lot by giving a try to Firefox (free download) and using it for a week.

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