Open source lizard stands guard

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MOZILLA chief Mitchell Baker prefers to call herself the company's "chief lizard wrangler", a reference to the organisation's original dinosaur logo and to the difficulties of managing a company that has 90 official staff but a volunteer workforce of 200,000.

Much about her and her role is a contradiction. The company she heads up, Mozilla Corp, achieved revenue of about $US70 million ($85 million) last year, yet is actually the commercial arm of a not-for-profit entity, Mozilla Foundation, producer of the open-source Firefox browser and Thunderbird email tools.

Her self-declared mission is to provide a popular alternative to commercial browsers to ensure the future quality and usability of the internet.
Mozilla has 15 per cent of the global browser market, but Baker admits the company would not be comfortable if it ever came close to the type of market success that Microsoft enjoys.

Mozilla co-operates at times with other open source operations, such as Red Hat Linux, but Baker says it is easier at times to deal with corporations such as IBM and Sun.

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