Mozilla to let enterprises build custom Firefox browsers

The upcoming Build Your Own Browser program will let companies customize Firefox 3.5 and install it across multiple desktops

Mozilla is readying a program that will allow companies to build their own customized browsers based on the next version of Firefox, which will be out in a few weeks.

The Build Your Own Browser program is a good fit for enterprises that want to create a customized browser that can be easily installed across multiple corporate desktops, said Mike Beltzner, director of Firefox at Mozilla Corp.

Through the program, which will start sometime soon after Firefox 3.5 is released at the end of June, companies can use a Web application provided by Mozilla to specify certain customizations for the browser -- such as bookmarks to certain sites or corporate intranets or portals, he said.

Companies also can brand the browser through technology called Personas that allows them to code a skin across the top of the browser with a company's logo on it, Beltzner said.

Once the custom browser is developed, the application then will send it to the company and give it an installation program that makes it possible to install the browser across all desktops in the company, Beltzner added.

The bulk of enterprises still use Internet Explorer if they mandate a browser for company use, because Microsoft provides provisioning and installation software for IE that makes it easy for enterprises to control browser settings and install across all corporate desktops, said Forrester analyst Sheri McLeish.

Mozilla has not historically done this, but something like the Build Your Own Browser program is a good start to encourage enterprises to use Firefox over IE, she said.

"If Mozilla can enable some customization to developers and IT professionals to not only brand but give greater control to manage and administer the Firefox browser, that will certainly have companies take another look at it to make it the default browser of choice," McLeish said.

Up until now Mozilla has offered "deep customization tools" for Firefox, but they weren't always obvious to the average user and there has never been a good way for someone to build a customized version of the browser, Beltzner said.

Mozilla also has not provided software akin to Microsoft's installation pack for IE, but does make it possible for people to build their own multiple-machine installers for Firefox, given that the browser is open source and applications for it can easily be developed, he said.

Firefox has about 300 million users worldwide, and Firefox 3.5 will be available in more than 70 languages on the day it is available, according to Mozilla. A beta of the browser is available online now.

Tags web browsersmozilla firefoxmozilla

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Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service

5 Comments

Anonymous

1

How about real customisation? Getting rid of the bloat in FF

Customised? I was hoping for real customisation, not just the ability to give FF a lick of paint! Though I guess that's enough to impress the kind of idiots that usually sign off visible things on the desktop.... the number of places I have worked where they have had a corporate screen saver that does nothing but burn the corporate logo into a monitor is unbelievable. This is due to PHB's only being able to cope with the very simply and very visible.

For customisation I want the ability to fully remove crud from the browser, and that awful bar is contender number one, along with the bloat in the background that drives it.

Anonymous

2

Really?

You're kidding right?

Anonymous

3

Idiots

Excuse me, but you are both idiots. Why don't you actually read about the improvements that 3.5 will have before you run your mouth off.

Anonymous

4

lame

I just want to go on record as saying i hate companies customizing browsers. just give me the real thing and you can have a website that i'll go to if i want. if you really must "customize" a browser, offer a tool bar.

so, there, i'm on record.

Anonymous

5

Source

Can I get a source please?

Comments are now closed.

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