Firefox: The official web browser of IBM

IBM is telling its 400,000 employees to use the open-source browser as their default at work - and why not at home, too.

Mozilla's Firefox just became the official browser of IBM.Bob Sutor's blog this morning and means that tens of thousands of new users will be downloading Firefox at work - and, quite possibly, many will do it at home as well. Sutor is VP of Open Source and Linux in IBM's Software Group, so it comes as no surprise that he supported this move. But this isn't merely for his division. Or even for the Software Group. This is for all 400,000 IBM employees all over the world.

The announcement came on

All computers - whether on Windows, Mac or Linux OS - will be loaded with the software from now on. Employees will be urged to - expected to - make it their default browser.

And IBM will encourage all its vendors of browser-based software to fully support Firefox as well.

Why Firefox? "Firefox is now the gold standard for what an open, secure, and standards-compliant browser should be," Sutor wrote. IBM has contributed to Firefox over the years, too, and will continue to.

Sutor cited the shift to cloud computing as another reason for the change. Cloud computing, to be successful, requires open standards to be used. After all, if everyone enters the cloud using different infrastructure, it's going to be difficult to share data and truly access it from anywhere.

The reasons Sutor gave for why he loves Firefox:

  • Firefox is stunningly standards compliant, and interoperability via open standards is key to IBM’s strategy.
  • Firefox is open source and its development schedule is managed by a development community not beholden to one commercial entity.
  • Firefox is secure and an international community of experts continues to develop and maintain it.
  • Firefox is extensible and can be customized for particular applications and organizations, like IBM.
  • Firefox is innovative and has forced the hand of browsers that came before and after it to add and improve speed and function.

For a company the size of IBM to make this change and publicly encourage anyone and everyone to use Firefox as the default browser at home, too, is a huge boost for Mozilla.

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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