Linux PenguinLinux – the Penguin that marches – is a free operating system designed and developed by an army of volunteers. Available free of charge, and now nearly useable by your (slightly above) average home user. Microsoft logoThis operating system has long been a lurking threat to Microsoft’s (MS) dominance of this segment of the PC (and total computer) market. MS should not just be worried about the functionality of the software – actually, the bigger threat is the desire by most tech-savvy computer users to “rid themselves of Microsoft completely” (as one techie put it to me recently). This is the biggest threat. MS may have sold a zillion copies of Windows – but how many loyal customers has it created in the process? Not many, I’d guess. Most of us are grudge purchasers of their product. For their long-term survival, they need to urgently redress that.
Of course, this is all made more difficult for MS, since they have recently realised that they are a mature company, in a reasonably mature industry, with a tired product set that far exceeds the vast majority of their user’s needs and expectations. Read BusinessWeek’s comments about a 4,900 word email sent to the entire MS 57,000 staff by Steve Ballmer, the CEO, last year in June.
Now, a new entrant is making a name, and it threatens to steal the lucrative Internet browsing market from Internet Explorer (IE). Its Mozilla. In fact, Mozilla is the company name – the product is Firefox. Its my personal browser of choice, and it demonstrates the greatness of the collaborative world of open source. Thousands of developers around the world create millions of tiny little add ons for the programme. These are seamlessly loaded up on your command, and update themselves constantly. Wonderful stuff. Get it here.

For those who already use Firefox, here are my suggested add-ons (extensions):

  • Flashgot
  • Tabbrowser preferences
  • ForecastFox
  • Livelines
  • GooglePreview
  • StumbleUpon
  • Drag to Tab
  • Google PageRank status
  • ViewSourceWith
  • ColorZilla
  • AdBlock
  • PDF Download
  • Foxy Tunes
  • TomorrowToday Global