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Mozilla Signs New Firefox Search Deal With Google

 10:43 am on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Mozilla Signs New Firefox Search Deal With Google [blog.mozilla.com]
We’re pleased to announce that we have negotiated a significant and mutually beneficial revenue agreement with Google. This new agreement extends our long term search relationship with Google for at least three additional years.

“Under this multi-year agreement, Google Search will continue to be the default search provider for hundreds of millions of Firefox users around the world,” said Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla.

“Mozilla has been a valuable partner to Google over the years and we look forward to continuing this great partnership in the years to come,” said Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President of Search, Google.



 3:12 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I guess moz will finally kill the deal when chrome has put them under 20% market share.

sheesh the junkie can't break away from the dealer.... even though they know the dealer is trying to kill them.



 3:14 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is a pretty huge deal given that even Eric Schmidt acknowledges that Google is in monopoly territory. What do WebmasterWorld readers think about this? For my part, I think Mozilla has an obligation to promote a more vibrant search industry, which IMHO must involve there being *less* of a monopoly over time. Yet, they've just renewed with Google for 3 more years. I don't get it; couldn't Mozilla be proactive in introducing consumers to alternative SE's like Blekko, Bing, Yahoo, Wolfram, Twitter Search, etc?


 3:23 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't understand this partnership. I guess it comes down to keeping your enemies close? I wonder how many Chrome promotions are seen by Firefox users? Heck, in 3 more years, FF will probably be at less than 10% of the browser market share at the rate things are moving.


 3:27 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wish they partnered with anyone but Google.



 3:46 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's a matter of a few simple clicks to switch default search in FF.

At the same time "the deal" is the major funding for FF development, (search royalties account for roughly 85% of all Mozilla revenue).

If anything, it was shortsighted of MSFT to not have outbid GOOG to put Bing in the default slot in the browser's search function.

Does anyone know if Mozilla gets any revenue for search referrals from Bing if you switch the default?


 3:53 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

in 3 more years, FF will probably be at less than 10% of the browser market share

Firefox only made as much of an inroad in the desktop market because MS-IE was so bad and there were few other cross-platform options.

They need to put more time/money into mobile browser development -- and need to come up with something groundbreaking to get users to install something other than the default browser.


 4:09 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

@lexipixel - if users overwhelmingly go with what the default is despite how easy it is to change, does that lessen Mozilla's moral obligation to *promote* choice in search experience? I don't think it does, and am of the opinion that Mozilla is acting less like the non-profit it's supposed to be, and more like a for-profit that's all too happy to continue its Google-funded gravy train.


 4:23 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Since their main competitors, (GOOG and MSFT), are multi-billion dollar corporations, and "the browser" is the gateway to the internet -- they are lucky to be alive at all. Hopefully they will use this 3 years of funding to do something meaningful -- if not, they will die and GOOG and MSFT will slog it out for browser dominance, (as well as OS and search).

Here's some financial info in a Computerworld article:


[edited by: lexipixel at 4:52 pm (utc) on Dec 21, 2011]


 4:39 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

even if bing was the default a lot of users would just end up switching to google anyway, because most people use google. it's not like it's difficult to change, because it would already be in the dropdown box. any idiot can do it in two seconds. (unless it's not in the dropdown box? it's been a long time since i installed it from scratch)

so they've probably reasoned that they may as well take the money


 5:09 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't know how Mozilla would survive in its current form without the funding. As observed, it can only be the antitrust aspect. In other words, it might make it easier for google to argue its case at a later date.


 3:53 am on Dec 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

even if bing was the default a lot of users would just end up switching to google anyway, because most people use google. it's not like it's difficult to change, because it would already be in the dropdown box. any idiot can do it in two seconds.

Questions aside about your broken "Shift" key... Do you have any data to back up your claim about users/idiots "switching to Google"?


 9:13 am on Dec 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Good news, I don't want any of the browsers die


 10:47 am on Dec 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sad thing is that the pot needs something to boiled... On occasion I have made deals I'd rather not make in hopes of better days... but the few times I have done that, I made dang sure there was a possibility of future success. Not so sure about this agreement between Moz and G...


 8:57 pm on Dec 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't use Chrome, so Firefox will always have at least one user. I think IE in all version is always crap and doesn't work with any of my sites properly. People say IE9 respects HTML5 standards better than anyone - that's false. My stuff always looks crappy with IE no matter what version I use.

Safari on the PC is a crappy experience and quite buggy. I don't want to feed Google anymore of my data than I need to, so I'm left with Firefox as the perfect and most neutral middle ground. It's not perfect, but it's the most open.


 11:55 pm on Dec 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

opera is also a neutral middle ground.


 4:25 am on Dec 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Kara Swisher at AllThings.com is reporting the deal is worth $300M guaranteed minimum revenue per year, ($900M total for the three years). That's nearly triple what Mozilla got from Google in the last deal...



 3:44 pm on Dec 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

guess goog is serious about squashing firefox. They print money and they are already sniffing at making them number 2, why not just wipe them out already....with some going away money.


 5:05 pm on Dec 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. - 1 Corinthians 13, verse 11

When Netscape, who first brought the Internet to the masses, found itself battling Microsoft, we rallied around a godzilla-looking mascot called Mozilla, and around the fact that an open Internet would be much better than the one Microsoft would have thrust upon users if they won the Internet platform battle. We had a great exit (who could complain about $4.2B), but despite Microsoft being convicted by the DOJ, there was no fixing the irreparable harm their illegal leveraging of the Windows monopoly did to the growth of Netscape and of choice in accessing the Internet.

After AOL killed what it had acquired, the fuzzy mascot became Mozilla.org, which took the open source Netscape Navigator code and built upon it. The massive amount of work from hundreds of Mozilla.org members resulted in Firefox, a browser that finally rivaled IE in sustained market share, and more importantly, introduced tons of valuable features that forced first Microsoft, and then Apple & Google to innovate in their own browsers.

Fast forward to today, though, and a different Internet monopoly now exists - Google Search - a toll booth advertisers must go through each and every day to get to over 80% of the world's Internet users. Mozilla, a non-profit whose core principles include consumer choice, transparent community-based processes and a balance between commercial interests and public benefit, has greatly facilitated Google acquiring monopoly status, first by making Google the default search in Firefox as Firefox grew share, and now by renewing that relationship for three more years even as Microsoft's monopolistic threat has been replaced by Google itself.

Were I to have faith in Mozilla's leadership, I would now launch into why Google, and not Microsoft, is the new bogey whose monopoly control we & they must work to limit. Dozens of my blog posts have already detailed how Google is very effectively turning the screws on the online advertising ecosystem now that it's a monopoly. But just as the boy stopped playing with his dragon when he grew up, so we Internet builders must stop believing Mozilla's leaders adhere to their stated principles.

The Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation (an ex-Netscape lawyer) was quoted once saying "The average consumer does not know the difference between browser, Internet and search box." You're right, Mitchell Baker, yet Mozilla's own justification for renewing the deal despite Google's dominance ultimately rests on continued consumer choice, which effectively does not exist. Consumers are as non-technical as you say, and we in the industry know that 'default setting', practically speaking, means 'forever'.

The Mozilla Corporation is headed by a board comprised of a lawyer who's paid $500,000/year (~85% of which comes from Google) and three industry veterans who are primarily investors in Internet companies. It becomes clear to me now that Mozilla's board is very likely corrupted (knowingly or unknowingly) by the money Google gives them, and by the power being on the board of Mozilla gives them. Time, then, for Mozilla.org members and Firefox users who do really care about the principles to make their voices heard and demand a change at the top. Unless, that is, you want a future in which one company sits between all humans, and all knowledge.

To my fellow ex-Netscaper Mitchell Baker, to former Efficient Frontier CEO Ellen Siminoff, to Greylock VCs John Lilly and Reid Hoffman, I say this: the browser wars continue, but the Nestcape/Microsoft war is over. Google is the new Microsoft if you care to look closely enough, and by your actions you are the new Vichy government helping them and yourselves consolidate power. You are riding the magic dragon into the ground, but I'm confident that ultimately a startup will come along that will disrupt, and probably one not foreseen or funded by you.


 7:05 am on Dec 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Microsoft should ditch trying to buy Yahoo and instead think of more clever ideas like paying to have Bing the default SE in all Firefox browsers. Looks like MS is sleeping at the wheel again.


 7:10 pm on Dec 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

mozilla starts asking users for handouts?



 8:57 pm on Dec 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

...then they give it away?


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