Safari, Chrome And Edge More Popular Than Firefox Because They Are Unfair, Mozilla Said

Sad firefox

Firefox from Mozilla is formidable web browser, and is a force to reckon with.

But this power and its credibility is no match against its larger competitors, like Safari from Apple, Chrome from Google, and Edge from Microsoft, all of which are backed by for-profit multinational companies generating billions of dollars.

Firefox roars boldly against those rivals.

But being an underdog, the web browser backed by a Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit organization, knows that it's no match against the titans.

And according to the organization, the reason is a "platform tilt" that makes pretty much everything unfair.

Firefox is competing in an "uneven playing field," and this is giving it a disadvantage.

In a blog post, Mozilla said that:

"Browsers are the principal gateway connecting people to the open Internet, acting as their agent and shaping their experience. The central role of browsers has long motivated us to build and improve Firefox in order to offer people an independent choice. However, this centrality also creates a strong incentive for dominant players to control the browser that people use. The right way to win users is to build a better product, but shortcuts can be irresistible — and there’s a long history of companies leveraging their control of devices and operating systems to tilt the playing field in favor of their own browser."

Among the methods, according to Mozilla, include: making it harder for a user to download and use a different browser, ignoring or resetting a user’s default browser preference, restricting capabilities to the first-party browser, or requiring the use of the first-party browser engine for third-party browsers.

This is tilting, and putting Firefox at a disadvantage.

Because of this, Mozilla creates what it calls the 'Platform Tilt," to document how Firefox is put in a disadvantage when stacked up against Safari, Chrome and Edge.

Platform Tilt is meant to be an issue tracker database, made to document Firefox's disadvantages due to this unfairness.

At the same time, Mozilla is also encouraging other web browsers to publish their concerns in a similar fashion.

The main purpose is to call more attention to how platforms like iOS, Chrome and Windows favor their own web browser over the competition, and this information can be useful in various legal actions against Apple, Microsoft, and other big tech companies.

A screenshot of Mozilla's Platform Tilt page
A screenshot of Mozilla's Platform Tilt page.

Initially, Mozilla highlights ten issues listed with Apple, including the Apple App Store forbidding third-party browser engines, no option to import browser data on iPhone and iPad from other web browsers, and difficult beta testing.

On Android, Mozilla points out that the it doesn't support importing browser data, some features open Chrome instead of the default web browser, and Google search results on Android are worse.

Mozilla also highlighted three issues with Microsoft, which includes the process for setting the default browser on Windows to be difficult, and some Windows features forcibly open links in Edge instead of the default web browser. Also, Microsoft is said to be reverting the default browser to Edge during some Windows setup interactions.

"This tracker captures the issues we experience developing Firefox, but we believe in an even playing field for everyone, not just us," said Mozilla.

"People deserve choice, and choice requires the existence of viable alternatives. Alternatives and competition are good for everyone, but they can only flourish if the playing field is fair. It’s not today, but it’s also not hard to fix if the platform vendors wish to do so."

And lastly, Mozilla also asked Apple, Google, and Microsoft to engage with it in the forum to resolve these concerns.