August 21, 2007

Dell To Preinstall Firefox As Default Browser?

Yes, it's true. Dell is currently considering the option of preinstalling Firefox as a default browser on new Dell computers. According to Dell's IdeaStorm site, the option is most definitely being considered.

What Is IdeaStorm?

IdeaStorm (a twist on the word "brainstorm") is Dell's customer feedback site. It's their way of building an online community that brings customers closer to the creative side of technology by allowing them to share ideas and interact with other Dell customers as well as Dell experts.

As for Firefox, and having it preinstalled as a default browser, here's what Dell had to say:

Does what it says on the tin! Most people only use IE because they aren't aware of other browsers - they think Internet Explorer is the Internet! What would really drive take up of alternative browsers is if Firefox was pre-installed as the default browser so that when people look for the "Internet" in Windows, they are using FF.

Firefox On Dell Computers

Firefox has been working to achieve such an integration with Dell since sometime last year. It's part of their strategy to get Firefox "closer to the average user". Obviously, the ideal way to accomplish this is to eliminate the main step in the process of getting Firefox - the download!

And that, of course, means getting the Firefox browser preinstalled on new OEM (original equipment manufacturer) computers...especially Dell computers.

But why Dell? Simple. Dell is the biggest worldwide manufacturer and retailer of personal computers, as well as business and corporate PCs. So as Firefox sees it:

Getting Firefox installed by default on Dells will be watershed and should be one of the top priorities for the Firefox marketing campaign.

Why Firefox Is Good For Dell

Why would Dell want to preinstall Firefox? For starters: a predictable, financial return. And in addition to that, the possibility of further branding (e.g. Firefox by Dell or Dell Firefox). Both of these - branding and financial return - could easily be integrated into a start page similar to the default Firefox page.

But the bottom line is still fairly simple: Google equals money. Everyone knows that, including Dell. And preinstalling Firefox as a default browser on Dell computers would definitely yield some awesome monetary returns for Dell. What type of returns, exactly? Well, according to Firefox:

After installing Firefox on new PCs, Dell receive a cut of the revenue stream from Google searches performed with Dell Firefox, while Firefox continues to receive a cut as well. This is a major selling point and there is major room for negotiation with Dell on this one. This business model could ensure the OEM, Dell, a revenue stream right down the line after the consumer buys the PC.

Your Intellections

So what do you think? Would preinstalling Firefox as a default browser be good for Dell? Would it be good for consumers? Why or why not?

Personally, I say yes and yes. Internet Explorer stinks compared to Firefox. So why not give consumers a better choice when it comes to browsers?


  1. Sounds like a great idea to me! I'd love to have Firefox on my computer so I didn't have to download it.

    IE blows royally. Let's get to Firefox all the way!


  2. Tom: I agree. Internet Explorer sucks; it's nothing compared to Firefox. So my vote is for FF as well. I'd much rather have a superior browser preinstalled than an inferior one.

    Shine on,

  3. Sounds like a good plan for both sides.

  4. Brown Baron: Yeah, I think so too.

  5. The only issue I have with this, is that people are used to what they are used to. Not everybody should be using FF just because it is our favorite browser. They should be using what works best for them, and in most cases such as my own family members too it is IE. I think they should go ahead and include it as an option, but overall everybody needs to chill out with pressing it on people who use their computers for less than a few hours each week.

    Also if there is always a war on browsers, than hopefully the browser we choose will continue to strive to be the best creating the best browser possible. IE got sloppy for many years being the top browser out ranking the rest by such a landslide.

  6. Hi GnomeyNewt. You bring up a very important point to which I fully agree. It should be available, but only as an option. As we know, not everyone likes the same things. That's what makes the world go 'round.

    I'd like to see it as an option since so many people don't yet know Firefox some of my family members. They weren't aware that there were choices other than IE. Though I will say that every person to whom I've introduced Firefox says they like it much better than IE.

    But the important thing is that it gets added as an option so people can have a choice. And as more people know about it, more people will use it...and that, in effect, will force Microsoft to improve upon IE continually.

    You're exactly correct in that they got sloppy, and that's precisely why we're having this very conversation today. IE was under par and FF came along to offer something better. But we need to have options and competition so that these browsers continually improve and don't become stagnant. This is especially important to deter hackers as much as possible. IE's dominance and eventual sloppiness made them a prime target, a hacker's dream.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. They are very much appreciated.

    Shine on,


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