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Google also shows up all over the balance sheet of Mozilla, creator of the Firefox browser and other software. Under an agreement between the two, Google's search engine enjoys a default position on the toolbar of Firefox, the second-most-used Web browser after Microsoft's (MSFT) Internet Explorer. (...) How much longer this pairing can last has been called into question since September, when Google introduced its own Web browser, Chrome. The prospect that Google may not re-up the three-year contract set to expire in 2011 has Mozilla considering other search partnerships and ways to generate revenue."
[edited by: Strapworks at 9:13 pm (utc) on Mar. 12, 2009]
Is the valve of traffic, on average, going up or down? Sounds like Mozilla thinks it's going down. Interesting. (What isn't going down in value these days?)
If they build a better browser, however, they can make it up in volume. That's what is working for them thus far. And it should in the future. Easy? No.
...we really do need competition and I for one will stick with Firefox over Chrome.
A duopoly isn't that much better than a monopoly.
I'm glad to see Safari take a bit of share, and Opera isn't going anywhere anytime soon. But they were, and still are, bit players.
I haven't seen Chrome get much traction. People "mess around" with it at our office, compatibility test it against our java apps and such, but pretty much everyone runs home to FF when work needs to get done.
But that's going to change. Google is going to get market share for Chrome simply by virtue of being Google.
I'll stick with FF until Chrome is a better product. Or some other browser. Sure, Chrome has a better rendering engine, but the extensibility and user interface of FF win (for me, at least).
I hope they can sort out a better revenue model. Having all your eggs in one basket is a bad idea, even in the best circumstances. When all your revenue comes from a company with a competing product, then there's clouds on the horizon.
Mozilla needs to find a way to continue providing value for as long as it can while at the same time advancing in areas it is not dominant in right now... which is everything else.
Talk about a monumental effort being required...
I'm more concerned about the business model behind the browsers. What will users tolerate? How much will search engines pay per search (if at all)? etc., Part of me worries that a browser, by itself, might not be a viable business in the future (limiting the prospects of startups joining) and more of a strategic play that only a few players can afford.
I'm surprised it took so long for somebody at Mozilla to peek their head out from underneath the bus and talk about the obvious.
Solicit donations via PayPal, perhaps?
How about teaming up with a major news organization?
The winds of change blow yet again...
Well, they are supposed to be nonprofit, so that will definitly minimize their ad ventures.
Actually Safari isn't a browser in itself, it's Apple's packaging of the open source webkit browser.
This is where it gets interesting:
Google uses Webkit in the Chrome browser
Apple uses Webkit in the Safari browser
Nokia uses Webkit in its S60 smartphone browser, and is soon going to use it in its non-smart phone browser too.
Samsung uses Webkit in its S60 smartphone browser.
Webkit is pretty soon going to be the heart of most mobile devices, and it is also making its way onto computers through Chrome and Safari.
Firefox on the other hand has garnered a massive and growing user base and it's been shown most peeps don't switch browsers unless they have a real good reason to.
Yahoo! already has a similar although tiny in comparison to Google with Mozilla. You have to download FF through a Yahoo! link though.
It would make total sense for Google to hold on to this agreement past 2011, if not Mozilla is sure not to worry about another taker.
If I were Mozilla I would just sell to the highest bidder. With Google promoting Chrome, Apple promotign Safari, and Windows promoting IE, Mozilla will fade to Opera status if they don't find a major player.
Years ago Google asked for greater share of the decision making process about Linux future. They were refused.
Years ago Google asked for greater share of the decision making process about FF future. They were refused.
So, they have started Chrome project and I've no doubt that OS is on the map as well.
F-Secure has secured partner deals with a great many ISPs, wherein the ISP distributes a "re-branded" version of their anti virus product. ISP X, let's call it "Megalomaniac Broadbadnd" offers free virus protection with their service, a sopftware package called "Megalomaniac Secure." All the logos and branding reflect Megalomaniac Broadband, but the software is actually F-Secure.
As an anti-virus and security product creator, F-Secure has leveraged this into an incredible level of market penetration and revenue.
Mozilla could easily do this with FireFox. Sign deals with various ISPs to distribute a branded browser that is, really, nothing more than a re-skinned FireFox.
There is money to be made in that sort of model, and the ISP/Browser tie-in seems like a natural fit to me.
It's win-win. Mozilla gets cash, and the ISPs get end users with a browser less vulnerable to malware, and thereby causing less load and grief on their network.
Chrome is also growing, but not as fast as firefox.
The real loser at the moment is IE.
Firefox has fought against the microsoft monopoly and made huge inroads, I don't think the threat of Google is as big as the threat was and still is from microsoft.
If google do pull their funding, well then Mozilla's Mitchell Baker answers this with, "We have been offered a blank check to replace Google." So there is potential there for Mozilla to make even more money without Google.
The ecosystem firefox has built up around its plugin system will be very hard for google to reproduce and compete against.
I personally think we are going to see far greater firefox usage in the future. In Germany for example firefox usage has already overtaken IE. (Source [gs.statcounter.com].) I can definitely see this happening in the USA, but if it doesn't I would say the road block will be caused by microsoft not Google.
Firefox is bringing tons of traffic to G, and that's for chump-change in the scale of things.
I think this statement is more Firefox trying to remind G that, Chrome or not, G needs Firefox. Otherwise, IE will rule again and all of a sudden G Docs and Gmail will be very very very slow to load, I wonder why.
[edited by: Hugene at 9:07 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2009]