November 14, 2005

Mercenary? Me?
entry, Monday, November 14th, 2005

A very few of you have questioned my motives regarding the "Switch to Firefox" campaign. This is understandable, since about twenty minutes after I learned what Google was paying for referrals, I had a button up, along with a nice plug outlining why you should switch to Firefox.

By way of reminder, here's the button:

(What! No button? You've obviously got Javascript turned off. Turn it back on, load JUST THIS PAGE, and then click the button. Then you can turn it back off, knowing you've done your good turn for the day. You can disable Javascript in Firefox once you've switched, and you can enable it, while still preventing scripts from doing things like resizing or moving windows, or hiding your status bars.)

Let's be clear on a couple of things: first, I use Firefox myself, and have for over a year. It's my primary browser, and it works far better for me than IE does. I only use Internet Explorer when I need to test something on multiple browsers. Second, I have the Google Toolbar installed, and I like it. I've checked into the uninstallation, and it comes off cleanly. If you decide you don't like it, you can remove it safely, and it's as if it was never there.

But that's not the end of it. See, while I'm not counted among the zealous who feel that Microsoft is the Evil Empire, I DO believe that consumers and businesses alike will be better served if Microsoft's marketshare is lower. I don't think the government should be put in charge of this, however. I think that consumers like you and I should do it. Microsoft will create better software if they are faced with strong competition, and Firefox is VERY strong competition.

As if this isn't reason enough for at least some of you to switch, there's this final point to consider... If you switch from IE to Firefox using that button up there, Google pays me up to a dollar. Google waves that dollar out there in front of me knowing full well that another Firefox-plus-Google-Toolbar user is worth more to them than that dollar is, and that the dollar is worth more to me than the OTHER things I could be plugging from this space.

This promotion is an example of capitalism at its finest. Google gains marketshare, the consumer community gets better software and lower prices (due to the healthy competition between providers), and I get to spend another day making with the funny. Switch, already!

(Note: I'm sure there are some of you who will disagree with one or more of my above points. That's fine. Don't switch, and PLEASE don't trouble yourselves to email me about your decision. You and I both have more important things to be doing.)

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