announced this morning that he'll be leaving Mozilla once the 4.0 version of the popular browser launches and he's helped transition the team towards developing 5.0 without him. You'll never guess where he's going next. Apparently he's joining a company called Dug Software, a 70 employee provider of geological exploration software.Mike Beltzner, the man in charge of the development of open source browser Firefox,
Beltzner came from IBM Canada almost 6 years ago. At Mozilla, he helped build one of the most important pieces of software in the world. Firefox broke Internet Explorer's stranglehold over the browser market and forced Microsoft to support universal internet technical standards. Firefox has an estimated 30% world wide market share among browser users, a remarkable achievement.
Those standards facilitated development of countless other innovative services, once the web was a more level and accessible playing field. In recent years, however, Firefox has begun to struggle with speed issues, bloat and has faced a big challenge from Google's faster browser Chrome. Beltzner told LifeHacker in October that he really appreciated having Chrome on the market and that the two teams watched each other's work carefully. "But Chrome also benefits from the advantage of, when you're building something from scratch, it's easy to throw everything away and not worry about the consequences," he said.
None the less, Firefox did its job changing the world. Now it's time for Beltzner to go poke at rocks underground, apparently.
The Internet can't thank you enough, Mike, for all you've done for it and us.
Photo by Kieran Huggins.