Joseph Schumepter (1883 – 1950) is famous for his use of creative destruction. He showed how capitalism innovates to create new and better systems which destroy their older competition. But after time and the departure of the innovators who created these systems, newer innovators arise who create even better systems that destroy what a short while before was new and innovative. This rise and fall sequence seems inescapable. Let’s restrict our gaze to internet browsers.
The first graphical internet browser was Netscape. It was a huge success, but after a very short time it was replaced and driven out of business by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. After IE Firefox appeared. It was more innovative than IE and allowed greater customization and an army of plugins and add-ons which made many users switch to Firefox. But time is inexorable and Firefox is starting to show signs of age and rigidity.
It issues more updates than an auto company has recalls. And worse, it’s default is to automatically download and install these update. It seems to always want to install a new update when you’re in the middle of something important. This is bad enough, but it doesn’t seem to recognize that you’ve already got the latest update and repeatedly try to install the same version. The first thing you should do if you use Firefox is disable automatic updates. Go to tools, then click on options, under advanced go to update and click the Ask me what I want to do option for when updates to Firefox are found. This shown in the picture below.
You’ll now be able to decide yourself if you want the latest update. You can check to see if you already have it by looking under help on the tool bar. Click About Mozilla Firefox. The version you are running will be displayed. If the version offered for download is newer than what you’re running you might want to download it. But before you do create a restore point. Just put create into the Search programs and files box under Start and you’ll be able to create a restore point. You need to do this because Firefox sometimes screws up your settings when it installs an update. If this happens you can easily undo the damage by using the restore point you’ve just created. Also if you’re running Windows 64 bit and Firefox asks you to install or update Adobe Flash Player, be careful. Adobe still doesn’t have a 64 bit player available. While you can get the 32 bit player to run on a 64 bit system you can also make a mess of things trying to get it to work. Best to stay away from it if you can.
Finally, if you’ve decided to update Firefox don’t use the option it offers through you browser. This way of updating is buggier than locating the update through Google or similar search engine and downloading it directly from Mozilla’s website. All this is a lot of trouble to go through to do something that ought to be easy and seamless. It’s creative destruction at work. In 10 years, probably five, Firefox will have a much smaller market share than it now has. It may not even exist.