before ie7 came out i was highly skeptical that firefox would break 15% market share. why?
i figured microsoft would simply look at firefox and copy everything good about it. they'd fold all the good pieces into ie7 and add one or two gratuitous extras. then they'd ship it as the default browser with vista which would be a monopoly's juggernaut and ... firefox would slip.
what i didn't see coming was microsoft's complete and total incompetence. billg's anger used to drive that company to, without any shame, copy whatever the flavour of the day was and add something useless to it. billg's money would market the hell out of it. and billg's growing monopoly would seal the deal. this would get microsoft through the first two or three horrible versions of anything microsoft brought out until it was good enough (or, rather, ok enough) to see them through.
today there is no anger. today there is no marketing pinache. today there there is no technical ability that gets past redmond's management.
and so firefox has continued to flourish and hit 25% market share. that is awesome. i'm very happy about that. and i'm not too big to admit publicly that i was wrong about the future of that browser.
what excites me most is that i was wrong because the heretofore "unbeatable" competition is faltering in ways that completely baffle me. we'll be happy to take advantage of that.
and to billg: good job on making something that can't continue beyond your own vitriol. the true sign of success is making something that continues after you are gone.