Firefox out to prove that open source can innovate

Mozilla wants to tear down the wall between developers and non-developers with its newest call for innovation.

When you think of browser innovation, admit it: You don't think of Internet Explorer. Netscape originally took the wheel of browser innovation, and its descendant, Mozilla's Firefox, is at the innovation wheel again, this time with two very different (and exciting) products:

Snowl, a unified messaging/browsing experience, and the second is Aurora, the next-generation Firefox browser that we, the people, will define and build at Mozilla's request.

Indeed, it's this latter innovation - true community feedback on what can and should be in the browser, and then the development process to deliver it - that I find most striking. Mozilla is asking everyone - not merely developers - to get involved. When was the last time you saw a company do that or, more importantly, provide the means to actually be able to do it?

If you answered "Never" you wouldn't be far off.

I've long complained that I, as a non-developer, can't do much to influence open-source projects. Mozilla, however, is tearing down that wall. That's true innovation, in my book.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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