Camino Marketing

Zach Lipton has commented that the new mozilla.org website redesign has knocked Camino off the front page (along with Bugzilla, incidentally).

I think this is symptomatic of a larger problem – as Firefox on Mac OS X matures, and as Firefox as a whole goes to 1.0 and we try and ride the wave of free publicity and gain market share, how does the Mozilla Foundation present the available options to OS X users?

We seem to have what I believe marketers call a “channel conflict” – two products in the same space. This is much worse than the Suite-vs.-Firefox problem; you can differentiate those with “The suite is for users who want a Netscape 4.x replacement; Firefox is for those who want an IE replacement.”

But, in this case, Firefox is a modern, slim, fast, stand-alone browser that does one thing well on all platforms. Camino is a modern, slim, fast, stand-alone browser that does one thing well on the Mac. I’m not at all sure we can start explaining to users what native widgets are and why they might or might not want them – so how can this dilemma be resolved?

14 thoughts on “Camino Marketing

  1. I am afraid the simple response is to drop Camino. For a small organization like MozFo, it looks like a duplicated effort that is probably not worth the time spent on it.

    The other response is, label Camino as internal testbed for Mac-only features, and leave it there, while promoting Firefox as the “real” browser for Mac. This might frustrate Camino advocates, but it’s the only real option to keep alive a project that hasn’t a real “rason d’´tre” anymore.

  2. Marketing at last

    At last someone from the mozilla foundation notices, that the new website has broken Camino. Thanks Gerv for noticing, be aware that we have a website almost ready to hit mozilla.org. As on the marketing issues, first I think Mozilla…

  3. am afraid the simple response is to drop Camino. For a small organization like MozFo, it looks like a duplicated effort that is probably not worth the time spent on it.
    It’s not a duplicated effort because no one at the Foundation works on Camino, Camino is purely a community effort.
    The other response is, label Camino as internal testbed for Mac-only features, and leave it there, while promoting Firefox as the “real” browser for Mac
    How Can you promote something “real”, that does not integrate itself with the os has does the tesbed one ?

    In my opinion MF should market FF to Windows users and let mac users do their choice.

  4. > “The suite is for users who want a Netscape 4.x replacement; Firefox is for those who want an IE replacement.”

    Actually, it is more “The suite is for advanced users; Firefox is for beguiners…”

  5. I see two options…

    1) Do nothing
    Have them both co-exist as Mozilla.org projects. Sure there is an element of duplicity but really most Mac users are educated enough to know the differences and make their choice accordingly.

    2) Spin Camino off
    Detach it from Mozilla.org – the Mozilla foundation could still provide support with bandwidth and hosting, but really make it have its own identity as an individual project. I can’t help but think this is the best way to go – at the moment I can’t help but feel Camino is the red-haired stepchild on OS X, in spite of its brilliance. There would probably be some issues with infrastructure (with mailing lists, CVS etc.) to get over, but in the long run I believe it would serve both Camino and Firefox the best, providing room for Camino to grow outside of Firefox’s shadow.

  6. “2) Spin Camino off”

    I agree with that – I could imagine the target market for Camino being Mac heads who like mozilla/gecko rendering tech.
    If that’s the case, Camino would be best promoted through Mac channels and it’s own website.

  7. Rather than the current Firefox model of a cross-platform browser that is nearly identical in each platform, why not make Firefox optimized for Windows, Camino for Mac, xWhatever for those other folks?

    Firefox still kind of sucks because of it’s half Luna skinning(hover over menus provides light outline vs blue highlight, context menus have shadow outline rather than gray outline)

  8. My ideas are as follows:

    1. Spin off Camino as a development effort away from the Mozilla Foundation, as has already been suggested

    2. Publicise the two and have a page which compares the two. For example Firefox allows for extensions and themes whereas Camino does not, but Camino is (I think) faster on OS X and looks better on the platform.

  9. It’s not a duplicated effort because no one at the Foundation works on Camino, Camino is purely a community effort.

    Indeed. This is not a resource issue (well, maybe a bit – Camino releases require a bit of MoFo resource) but a marketing one.

    Why not make Firefox optimized for Windows, Camino for Mac, xWhatever for those other folks?

    Because it triples the QA resource required?

    2. Publicise the two and have a page which compares the two. For example Firefox allows for extensions and themes whereas Camino does not, but Camino is (I think) faster on OS X and looks better on the platform.

    Camino may be faster at the moment, but will it always be? Are there any features of Camino which will continue to differentiate it going forward?

  10. Doesn’t the Mozilla home page sniff for OS so it presents an appropriate Firefox download? If so, why not advertise both Firefox and Camino to MacOS visitors?

  11. Camino Stuff. Again.

    It seems this Mac-only browser is making at least some of the news this week. Possibly a few would complain of the treatment Camino receives from The Mozilla Organization in their obsession with Firefox browser, but taking Camino off the front page…

  12. Greg: technically that’s perfectly possible, but it doesn’t answer the question of how we present the differences between them…

  13. Camino may be faster at the moment, but will it always be?

    Yes, probably. Having OS-rendered UI is a big win for a single-platform application.

    The same answer to a question you didn’t ask here: “Camino may have better look and feel at the moment, but will it always?”

    I think the best move might be to spin Camino off.

    Nick B — not a Mac user for many years, but I share an office with some.