Technology giant IBM wants its workers around the world to use free, open-source Mozilla Firefox as their window into the Internet.
"Any employee who is not now using Firefox will be strongly encouraged to use it as their default browser," IBM executive Bob Sutor said Thursday in a blog post at his sutor.com website.
"While other browsers have come and gone, Firefox is now the gold standard for what an open, secure, and standards-compliant browser should be."
Making Firefox the default browser means that workers' computers will automatically use that software to access the Internet unless commanded to do differently.
All new computers for IBM employees will have Firefox installed and the global company "will continue to strongly encourage our vendors who have browser-based software to fully support Firefox," according to Sutor.
New York State-based IBM, known by the nickname "Big Blue," has a corporate history dating back a century and now reportedly has nearly 400,000 workers.
"Today we already have thousands of employees using it on Linux, Mac, and Windows laptops and desktops, but we're going to be adding thousands more users to the rolls," Sutor said.
Sutor is the vice president of open source and Linux at IBM, which launched an Open Source Initiative in 1998. Open-source software is essentially treated as public property, with improvements made by any shared with all.
Firefox is the second most popular Web browser in an increasingly competitive market dominated by Internet Explorer software by Microsoft.
Google Chrome has been steadily gaining market share, last week replacing Apple Safari as the third most popular Web browser in the United States.
"We'll continue to see this or that browser be faster or introduce new features, but then another will come along and be better still, including Firefox," Sutor said.
"I think it was Firefox and its growth that reinvigorated the browser market as well as the web. That is, Firefox forced competitors to respond."
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