Analyst strikes down Firefox 'hype'

The early release this week of the Mozilla Firefox 2.0 Web browser (;197622189;fp;4;fpid;1968336438) is another shot in the arm for the open source Internet Explorer competitor but one industry analyst is less optimistic about Firefox's ability to compete with Microsoft.

Research director at Australian IT research firm Longhaus, Sam Higgins, said there is "a bit of a skewed view of things" when discussing the role of the browser.

Higgins said even with the 2.0 release he doesn't think the browser will be top of mind for IT managers because while it is embedded in Windows Microsoft is "still strong".

"We have to be realistic," he said. "Firefox has been successful but will the open source community pick up the baton when Vista comes out or is that asking too much?"

Higgins said Web browsers are very much driven by user preference and there is still "that fundamental motivation issue" standing in Firefox's way.

"Am I really worried about which browser I have or the latest video on YouTube" he said, adding browser choice is "not an issue" that impacts on business in any way.