Firefox and Thunderbird in the Enterprise

Michael Kaply is starting a new series on the use of Mozilla's Firefox as enterprise software.  In Part 1 he discusses the obstacles for Firefox to to be adopted in the enterprise.

As Firefox gains marketshare, there comes a point where increasing that marketshare depends on the adoption of Firefox in large enterprises. This article investigates what type of issues arise when supporting Firefox in a large enterprise, and what can be done to solve those issues.

The primary areas I will address are:

  • Release Lifecycle
  • Service and Support
  • Business Value
  • Third Party Applications
  • Intranet Applications
  • Deployment issues

In my own organization we have used Netscape/Mozilla products for years especially on the e-mail client side (with Thunderbird currently on every desktop in the office).  However, in today's enterprise environment you need something more than just a good browser or e-mail client on your people's desktop.  IT needs to be able to control, secure, and deploy software much more easily then what Seamonkey, Thunderbird, and Firefox currently provide.  Originally, I had hoped that Mozilla would make better use of the Microsoft Installer (.MSI) and deliver better integration with the Windows Active Directory/Group Policy scheme but such features and abilities never really seemed to surface.