Hillary Clinton is asked for Firefox in the US Department of State

During the latest US Department of State Town Hall Meeting, secretary Hilary Clinton was asked to let the staff use Firefox.

You can see it in the video below at 26:30.

Full Transcript of the meeting.

According to Under Secretary Pat Kennedy, the concern cost, not of the software (which of course is free) but the cost of deploying, training, and supporting a new piece of software in a world wide operation. Jim Finkle, the employee who raised the question also mentioned that the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency has already done it.

It’s not news that Firefox has a long way to go before being more attractive for large IT deployments. Mozilla has been continuously asked for MSI packages in the past and while it has been targeted for some releases (Firefox 2 or 3, if I recall correctly), no one has stepped in to take care of this limitation.

Mozilla contributor, Michael Kaply was one of the few people who put some great effort on making Firefox better suited for corporate environments, organizing a Firefox in the enterprise group, and even producing and still maintaining CCK Wizard, a Firefox extension that helps produce another extension with a number of important customizations to ease corporate deployment.

After five major Firefox release, more than a fun fact, this should be a call to finally prioritize the business side of the web.

Via Rob O’Callahan’s blog.


  1. René L. July 14, 2009 1:09 pm 

    I am hoping for several years now that Mozilla takes corporate deployments more seriously.

    There are still many discussions going on but it seems that nobody takes a lead and prioritizes it:

    I can’t find any occurrences of “business”, “enterprise”, “corporate”, “deployment” or “MSI” in

    After all, what is so hard about that?
    Opera has MSI installers for a long time now.

    And what about school / LTSP deployments?

    There should be
    for Mozilla, too, I am sure that MSI would be a highly suggested feature.

    • Brian July 14, 2009 8:03 pm 

      It’s an open source project. If you’re so interested and it’s so easy, why haven’t _you_ stepped in to make it happen?

      • cj July 18, 2009 1:07 pm 

        Probably harmless but this is another (barely known) company which produces the msi. They are probably safe, but they could contain a virus or spyware.
        On the other hand the configuration isn’t easy either. IE can be fully managed using GPO in Active Directory, so the start page, cache settings, … can be tweaked. Firefox can be tweaked through their configuration files, but this is harder to do for an entire network

  2. Omega X July 14, 2009 1:49 pm 

    Actually, there was a contributor willing to do MSI packaging, but it was rejected. The message was along the lines of “we do not want enterprise deployment at this time”. The decision was to focus on the end user for now.

  3. Rob July 14, 2009 9:32 pm 

    DoD runs Firefox and were a world wide organization. We even run it in classified environments. Seems like our lock downs and patch management could easily be adopted by State

    • Glenn Xavier July 16, 2009 9:45 am 

      the DoD does NOT run FireFox. The Army or Navy MAY have organizations that run firefox, but the Air Force, does NOT. The Air Force standard desktop absolutely does not allow for mozilla software. Infact, mozilla.org, is BLOCKED for the Air Force on INOSC East.

  4. Omega X July 14, 2009 11:30 pm 

    I believe this was around 2005-06 when I read that, a basic bugzilla search can produce results if its still in the system. It was a while ago.

    Later Eric Kuo @ frontmotion.com in 2007 volunteered to do the work. But for a long time couldn’t get in touch with anyone from Mozilla until Robert S. the maintainer of the NSIS stuff gave him a couple of pointers of which a comment that he wasn’t doing MSI work “anytime soon”. A patch was contributed and rejected. I guess after a while Eric found it better to continue to maintain his own stuff instead. He still does matter of fact. I never really asked why he stopped all of a sudden.

    • Ferdinand July 15, 2009 12:08 am 

      Nothing is ever deleted from bugzilla. It is bug 231062

  5. Cristian Rodriguez July 16, 2009 5:13 am 

    US Department of State certainly have enough money to hire a developer to contribute the required MSI installer…

  6. Maus July 16, 2009 5:52 am 

    Can someone explain why .msi ist important for “corporate deployments” and the .exe installer is not enough?

    Thank you.

    • cj July 18, 2009 9:02 am 

      msi have the advantage that every program can be installed with the same parameters: /qn is the silent install, …

  7. alexandrojv August 12, 2009 7:48 pm 

    They should just use Google Chrome instead of Firefox, that way they will get things done way faster!

    • mj September 16, 2009 4:32 pm 

      Chrome, corporate? So we get PCs hijacked everytime that Chrome has a remote execution exploit?

  8. alexandrojv September 17, 2009 11:10 am 

    what are you talking about, Chrome is much safer that FF

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