[Marketing-Public]Wall Street Journal Article

Ed Mullen marketing-public at mozilla.org
Tue, 14 Oct 2003 15:01:08 -0400

Duane Fahey wrote:

> This is really too bad. 
> 1)  It shows that AOL (I mean, Time Warner) realizes that the Netscape 
> brand still lives.
> 2)  It does make Mozilla's job harder.  When I have a customer who has 
> not heard of Mozilla, I typically refer to it as "a re-written version 
> of the Netscape browser".  But, the word Netscape could now mean a 
> browser, a web site, or a dial-up service.  The Netscape brand is 
> basically being re-introduced as a new thing, something other than a 
> browser.

Well, it's been a web site (portal) for years.  Re-introducing it seems
ok to me. In fact, I think that maybe this is a good reason to consider
distancing Mozilla from Netscape.
>  From a marketing point of view, there are some possible benefits to 
> this announcement, though.
> 1)  The Mozilla Foundation could re-sell the Netscape dial-up service, 
> as a way to make money.  I know it's weird, but it might make some 
> sense.  Maybe more sense than trying to sell other software products.

I'm not sure that's a good idea.  The NS brand still has some potential.
 But it has also suffered quite a bit over the last few years.  Whereas
Mozilla seems to have recently gotten new life breathed into it.
(continued ...)

> 2)  If AOL/TW said no to this, then perhaps the Mozilla Foundation could 
> re-sell Earthlink's dial-up/DSL services.  This is probably a bad thing 
> to even suggest, to go against the former parent, but, maybe it makes sense.

Well, if after consideration it turns out to be a good idea to distance
Mozilla from NS, and if it is deemed a promising endeavor to re-sell
Internet access, then it makes sense to partner with another provider.

However, given the competition in the access biz these days I'm not sure
this is a business Mozilla wants to be in.  The Internet is well past
the early-adopter stage and access (and many many other components of
the market) are fast becoming commodities.  That's a cut-throat
environment.  Just my 3.5 cents.

> Will there still be a Netscape browser?  Does anyone know?  If AOL/Time 
> Warner will not put out a Netscape browser, maybe the Mozilla Foundation 
> could make one as part of a deal to re-sell the dial-up service.  
> Everything is done, it would just need to be updated with the Mozilla 
> revs, right?

I can see a large headache for the Mozilla organization attached with
such updating.  Keeping the actual Mozilla software product up-to-date
(and working well!) is enough of an effort.  Again, just my thoughts in
reaction to the musings here.  I really don't know enough about the
status of the organization, funding, manpower, strategies, etc. to have
more answers than questions.


Ed Mullen