Google Chrome is successful because it strips down all of the elements in a modern web browser to only its most necessary components. The next version of Firefox looks like it'll be
stealing borrowing a few similar elements from Google's browser, which is actually a good thing.
In Chrome, Tabs are located above the URL bar and the search box is combined into the URL bar as well. A look at Mozilla designer Stephen Horlander's latest Firefox mock-ups show the removal of the search bar and the moving of Tabs from below the URL bar to above — just like on Chrome.
Clearly, Mozilla's practicing some form of imitation flattery here. I'm not here to bash Firefox for copying Chrome's design (I use both on daily basis), but I think it proves one thing:
Google got it right when it decided to redesign how a modern day web browser should look like back 2008.
In the beginning, I too, was skeptic of Chrome's overly simplified design, but eventually grew to love it — not only because the browser rendered sites fast, but because it allowed me to work more efficiently. Less clicking, less distractions, less junk in my face. Having more vertical window space is also neat.
Mozilla hasn't finalized its Chrome-y Firefox design, but compared to a few of the other mock-ups, it's the best looking one of the bunch. Google should be extremely flattered it started a trend here.