A tweet from Microsoft developer Kenneth Auchenberg received a lot of criticism. His tweet was a response to a blog on the Mozilla website that was posted in December last year, where Mozilla commented on the decision from Microsoft to switch from Edge’s own EdgeHTML engine to Chromium.
In the tweet, Auchenberg wrote, “Thought: It’s time for @mozilla to get down from their philosophical ivory tower. The web is dominated by Chromium, if they really *cared* about the web they would be contributing instead of building a parallel universe that’s used by less than 5%?”
Auchenberg probably guessed that his tweet would be met with severe criticism, as a few seconds later he tweeted, “This is my personal opinion.”
And indeed, the tweet caused a heavy discussion in which also several well-known developers voiced their opinion. Some pointed out that it’s not good for important web technologies to be under control of a single entity.
“Remember IE6?”, Senior PlayStation Engineer Kris Siegel writes, “Having a single, majority gatekeeper for the implementation of a body of standards just isn’t workable. We’ve done it too many times in the past to know that.”
Some developers also point out that Google is not a stranger to unfair competition, such as artificially slowing down performance of competing browser on YouTube. Others see Mozilla and Apple as the only survivors of the open internet. With their Gecko and Webkit engines they are considered by some as the only real competition to Google.