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IBM backs Firefox in-house

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Firefox is already used by about 10 percent of IBM's staff, or about 30,000 people. Starting Friday, IBM workers can download the browser from internal servers and get support from the company's help desk staff.

IBM's commitment to Firefox is among its most prominent votes of confidence from a large corporation. Based on development work by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, Firefox has been downloaded by more than 50 million people since it debuted in November. Internet Explorer still dominates the overall market by far, though, with Firefox's share in the single digits.

For IBM, the move is a significant step in lessening dependence on a product from rival Microsoft.

By supporting Firefox internally, IBM is also furthering its commitment to open-source products based on industry standards, said Brian Truskowski, chief information officer at IBM.

"This is a real good example of walking the talk when it comes it comes to open standards and open source," Truskowski said.

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