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What browser is best for corporate use?

What's the difference between Foxfire, Mozilla Application Suite and Thunderbird? Which is best for corporate usage?

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Firefox (not Foxfire) is a Web browser only, like Internet Explorer. Thunderbird is an e-mail and newsreader only, like Microsoft Outlook -- or like tin or elm. The Mozilla Application Suite is an interlinked set of applications: Browser, Emailer, News Reader, Chat, Web Page Editor and so on. The Suite is a bundle of products; the others are single products.

The application suite is a better solution when you are trying to solve a range of communication problems with one tool. Examples of product bundles that solve a range of problems are:

  • Microsoft Office (or Open Office) for business document creation.
  • Adobe Creative Suite for design tasks.
  • Mozilla Application Suite for textual (and hypertextual) communication needs.
Those are probably the big three solution bundles that are available with few strings attached. There are many others, of course, like Lotus Notes and various point-of-presence suites like the Sun ONE architecture and Oracle's Collaboration Suite. But most of those others require a commitment to server infrastructure as well.

If you are trying to solve a point problem, such as Web access, then Firefox or Thunderbird (which are nearly finished) might suit you. Because Firefox runs on nearly all desktop environments, you can standardise your internal uses of the Web with a single tool, even for those with Macintoshes, OS/2 machines and power users on UNIX or Linux. Firefox makes sense for end users, for the technical people that support them and for Web site managers who want to benefit from the efficiencies inherent in standards-compliant Web content.

The Mozilla Application Suite also runs on many platforms, but it is a slightly more complex environment for users.

This was first published in April 2004

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