Technically, Firefox on the desktop has never been stronger, with new features barreling along. The powers-that-be backed down on the version numbering controversy. Add-ons, which have always been one of Firefox's big selling points, are slowly catching up with the rapid changes in versions.
Firefox on Android's a different story, but once again Google looms large.
On the bright side, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Mozilla's looking to hitch up with mobile phone manufacturers: Mozilla's trying to become the default browser on certain phones "and hopes to announce a deal by February."
I find it interesting that we've heard almost nothing about Firefox and Baidu. Back in 2007 Baidu signed a search agreement with Firefox in China, roughly analogous to the deal cut with Google, but it doesn't seem to have gone anywhere. Firefox has minuscule penetration in China, while Baidu is chomping at the bit to roll out in the west. Baidu released its own browser in July. Perhaps there's some synergy.
Firefox has many redeeming social values, not the least of which is its non-alignment with online advertising. As I noted last March, Microsoft and Google have huge vested interests in online advertising, and that controls decisions made about their browsers. Only Firefox is in a position to rise above the fray and put users' privacy at the forefront.
Whether that unique position will translate into a browser that's more widely accepted by business and consumers remains to be seen. But I wouldn't bet against Mozilla, or its customers.
This story, "Firefox may be down, but it's not out," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.