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Mozilla Raking in Millions?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i'm-a-twentyonaire dept.


truthsearch writes "Internetnews.com wonders about the money Firefox is making in revenue thanks to Google. From the article: 'Mozilla gets paid a publicly undisclosed amount for each Google search query made from Firefox by a user.' This revenue is used to pay the recently formed Mozilla Corporation's 40 full-time equivalent employees and fund project and infrastructure development."

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How do we know... (2, Insightful)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897129)

...if the dollar figure is in the hundred thousands, millions, or billions? Just a thought...people seem to be overrating how much they are actually making (costs aside).

Re:How do we know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14897233)

Some people can't tell the difference between Gross Profits and Net Profits.

TFA says "millions" (4, Informative)

john-da-luthrun (876866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897297)

If you RTFA, a Mozilla board member says that the quoted figure of $72 million is too high, but "not off by an order of magnitude".

Re:TFA says "millions" (2)

gronofer (838299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897315)

TFA says the $72 million figure is not correct, "though not off by an order of magnitude."

This implies at least 10 million but less than 100 million.

Re:TFA says "millions" (1, Informative)

gronofer (838299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897325)

Or possibly greater than 7.2 million but less than 720 million.

Re:How do we know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14897307)

Opera have the same deal, and they're a publicly traded company. Presumably we'll be able to check their earnings out in their quarterly reports, and figure out Mozilla's by comparing market shares.

Phase 2? (-1, Redundant)

JRGhaddar (448765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897130)

Phase 1:Create Browser

Phase 2:Ink Deal with Google?

Phase 3:Profit!

Re:Phase 2? (4, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897155)

They don't have much choice...Microsoft had essentially destryed "direct" market by driving browsers price to zero. And they need _some_ ways to fund their development.

Re:Phase 2? (5, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897322)

They don't have much choice...Microsoft had essentially destryed "direct" market by driving browsers price to zero. And they need _some_ ways to fund their development.

Yup and it isn't as if there is anything morally wrong about OOS projects making money as long as it doesn't violate GPL and the profits go toward funding the project? Personally I don't mind, there are plenty of examples of non-profit organizations that have revenue streams so why get upset over the Mozilla project joining that group as long as the money doesnt' corrupt them?

Re:Phase 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14897185)

Bill missed phase 2

Re:Phase 2? (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897383)

'Bill' has the revenue-stream from the ads on MSN-search. Trust me, not missing out on anything, only problem they have is people changing there homepage to google, installing googlebars, that sorta things.

If they are then (3, Insightful)

metricmusic (766303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897134)

good on them.

I salute them!

With? (4, Funny)

woolio (927141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897173)

I salute them!

With which finger?

Re:If they are then (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897277)


By the way if KDE does not they goofs.

After all they invented the gg: url and google search is considerably more prominent in Konqueror compared to Mozilla.

Spend some of that on disable-output-escaping? (1, Insightful)

jkeegan (35099) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897135)

Again, maybe they could spend some of that money refactoring their modular implementation to allow disable-output-escaping in XSLT when the output method isn't xhtml... (even if it causes a second pass when disable-output-escaping is set to true)..

http://digg.com/technology/Mozilla_refuses_to_full y_implement_XSLT_in_Firefox [digg.com]

Re:Spend some of that on disable-output-escaping? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14897151)

They can also spend it on fixing memory leaks. Spinning the issue is not fixing the issue. I'm about to switch to Opera if FF doesnt get their act together.

Re:Spend some of that on disable-output-escaping? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14897294)

They can also spend it on fixing memory leaks. Spinning the issue is not fixing the issue. I'm about to switch to Opera if FF doesnt get their act together.
I've already done that. I can live without a couple of extensions I used in Fx (it's hard, but I managed), but I can't live with the memory leaks. One day, I accidentaly left Fx running since morning, with just Slashdot open in one tab. When I got home that night, Fx was up to 870 megabytes of memory usage... That's far from nice, given that I have 512 MB RAM in my PC and can't upgrade it because of i815 chipset limitation.

So now I'm on Opera 9.0TP2 and enjoying it. 84 MB of memory used after 12 days of Opera running, God knows how many tabs opened and closed and how many sites (incl. Flash and videos) visited. And I currently have 18 tabs open. *AND* it's a technical preview (not even beta software).

The biggest insult added to injury was the "it's not a memory leak, it's a feature!" attitude from Mozilla.

I don't plan on switching back to Firefox, ever.

Worth It (2, Insightful)

komodo9 (577710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897140)

Hey, if they make a great browser like Firefox, they deserve it. I just tried the new IE7, and it's horrible imo. Too overdone. I like firefox's simplicity and power.

So what? (5, Insightful)

Indio_do_Xingu (675644) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897141)

I really don't understand the question here. Is he implying that Mozilla pockets the money? Or do they want to audit the profits? Just because an Open Source company is making money pundits start to ponder what will the money be used for?

They get the money from the search bar from gogle. Users benefit, google benefits, Mozilla benefits. Profits go to development of their current and future products. Want to know more? Why not contact them directly?

Re:So what? (1, Informative)

TabsAZ (697633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897176)

Yeah this is basically a perfect example of how capitalism is supposed to work really.

Google = "Rich Sugar Daddy"? (2, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897216)

In 2005, ZDNet UK interviewed Jon von Tetzchner [zdnet.co.uk] , the chief executive of Opera Softare. In response to a question about why the free version of Opera blinds the user with advertisements, he responded, " A lot of people don't like our ads, which is sad as we don't have a rich sugar daddy like the Mozilla Foundation. They [the Mozilla Firefox team] don't have to think about money as they're being funded. We're not being funded ". Tetzchner was close to the truth. Apparently, the real sugar daddy is Google.

Safari has Apple. Internet Explorer has Microsoft. Firefox has Google. All 3 companies have the resources to fund development of their free browsers.

Opera is the stand out -- in the rain. Opera has Opera Software, but Opera Software is a tiny 230-person company. Unless the anti-establishment mavericks in tech communities like SlashDot aggressively support Opera by buying commercial Opera-Software products, Opera just might disappear, being squeezed to death by the big 3 browers: Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox.

Having used Internet Explore, Firefox, and Opera, I can swear that Opera is the fastest, most compact browser for the Windows environment. I hope that the best-marketed product (i.e. either Internet Explorer or Firefox) will not extinguish the technically best product (i.e. Opera). Still, business history has not been kind to the technically best products: e.g., DEC's Alpha processor and Sony's Betamax.

Re:Google = "Rich Sugar Daddy"? (4, Informative)

neonstz (79215) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897236)

Tetzchner was close to the truth. Apparently, the real sugar daddy is Google.
Opera makes money on user searches too, and they did before they released the free version.

Re:Google = "Rich Sugar Daddy"? (4, Interesting)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897273)

Unless the anti-establishment mavericks in tech communities like SlashDot aggressively support Opera by buying commercial Opera-Software products, Opera just might disappear, being squeezed to death by the big 3 browers: Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox.

Do we care? Opera could have been Firefox if they had GPLed it. Mozilla saw their opportunity and now they're benefiting from their foresight.

Opera could become an open source (as in "freedom") company any time they want, and they'd instantly see a jump in the number of people using their browser, because suddenly it would be included in Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, and so on. Instead they've decided to sell (via a third party) closed-source browsers for mobiles. Good for them, and if they ever decide to put the big "GPL" stamp on their software, then they can count on a sudden jump in the number of people using their software. You can only get that jump with GPL, though.

Re:Google = "Rich Sugar Daddy"? (4, Informative)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897339)

Google has a similar relationship with Opera, just to let you know.

Re:Google = "Rich Sugar Daddy"? (2, Insightful)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897396)

A few problems with your argument:

1: Opera would be making just as much money if they had as many users as Firefox. Google just pays Adsense cash out. Also, there would be MONSTROUS vetching if they paid all those bloggers but not the Mozilla Foundation. Opera can only blame themselves for being less popular than Firefox.

2: Opera Software a tiny 230-person company? Uh................. Compared to Mozilla, which was / is freeware? Who measures the size of a freeware company? I mean, the Mozilla Foundation might have the biggest bottom line in bloody history for their type of company, at this point. They produce a software product, and give it away. That's it. All their sales are incidental. People can even pick google, yahoo, amazon, creative commons, and yahoo in the little search box (probably more, if extended).

This is a weird era of software. Make something useful enough and you will make money incidentally due to Google Adsense. Weeeeeird.

And, of course, there are downsides. My bet is that the Firefox team gets decadent and corrupt and doesn't do anything and fades into the background as IE X comes out or something. I hope not, but that is a real possibility - Microsoft often wins through complacency.

I'm druknet and going to bed now.

Re:Google = "Rich Sugar Daddy"? (1)

olau (314197) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897401)

Opera is the stand out -- in the rain. Opera has Opera Software, but Opera Software is a tiny 230-person company.

Only an American would call a 230-person company tiny. Here in Denmark, and I guess in Norway too, a 230-person IT company is at least mid-range. :-)

Maybe small compared to Google, but not small in any absolute sense.

Re:So what? (0, Flamebait)

plbland (922595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897217)

How do the users benefit? Choice is always best. This is exactly the same as Skype inking a deal with Intel to 'prioritise' their software for their chip.

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897269)

Choice? The FireFox search bar is configurable, so your post is either ignorant or a troll. It's not like the Skype case AT ALL: The Skype case was extra effort to create artificial limitations ... tell me, in what way have they gone to extra effort to create artificial limitations?

It seems obvious to me that users benefit when the Mozilla Foundation is able to fund development of alternate browsers. If they had no money, we wouldn't have FireFox ... "having FireFox" seems like a benefit to me.

Re:So what? (1)

plbland (922595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897291)

Google is the default search tool used for FireFox, thus it favours one search engine over another (and rightly so from the companies point of view!). While it doesn't create artificial limitations per se, it does in a sense place a favourable position for one company over another, this is the same technique except slightly less backhanded. Please don't call me a troll or ignorant for just expressing my opinion. However, I do agree with benefiting the users in a sense that the software is made available based on the simple fact that they are able to fund development, but this is the same with any piece of software/product/service. Why just because it's open source does it mean its business practices are treated any differently to that of any other organisation.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897327)

Google was the most popular search engine long before FireFox ever had that search box. Thus even if Google weren't funding Mozilla at all, it would still be the most obvious and logical "default choice", provided one does not limit people from choosing others or making it difficult to do so (which they haven't). I mean, it (a) just wouldn't have made sense anyway to deliberately choose a less popular search engine and (b) choosing some other search engine would still be unfairly favouring one over another. Asking the user every time they run FF for the first time would be silly. No, the only clear choice is to please the most users by choosing the most popular search engine.

I still don't agree that it's anything like the Skype situation. In the Skype situation, they had something they'd developed that worked on all platforms, and then they sat down and intentionally spent additional time and effort to deliberately break it on some platforms. In the case of the search box in FF, they started with nothing, i.e. no search box at all, and sat down and added a new feature that contains no limitations. It's like someone gives you a free ice-cream and you complain because it's not your favourite flavour. What Skype did takes something away from users, what FF have done has only added.

Re:So what? (-1, Troll)

plbland (922595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897370)

I'm sorry but it is exactly the same as the Skype deal in the sense that Company A (FF & Skype) is taking money to Work with Company B's product (Google, Intel) just a little bit better than Company C's products (MSN/Yahoo, AMD). Forget about limiting factors, it's irrelevant.

Re:So what? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897378)

The firefox search bar may default to google, but it has several other search engines added to it by default as well.
There has to be *Some* default, although it could ask you during installation i guess.

This is in contrast to microsoft's approach, which is to have msn as both the default and the only option that's available without actively seeking out and installing alternatives.

Re:So what? (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897380)

You do have choice. Plenty of it. [mozilla.org] All you have to do is click the symbol in the left-hand corner of the search bar and choose another search engine. In addition, although Google is the default, there are other search engines included with Firefox without ever needing to add others. Plus you can change your start page from the orignal Google search anytime you want; mine is currently set at DeviantArt. Thus, you can change your start page from Google and your default search engine without even needing to download other search engines - that's there if you favorite isn't among the originals.

Skype doesn't work as well with AMD CPUs as it does with Intel CPUs and it was deliberately engineered to not work as well with AMD CPUs. In no way do I see Firefox limiting you as to the choice of search engines for use with the search bar (notice the link on the page for a more complete selection?) or preventing you from setting your home page to another site - which could be another search engine if you so choose. Even Yahoo or MSN.

Re:So what? (2, Interesting)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897222)

It implies they have more motivation to market, to exaggerate their features, to astroturf even. And I wonder if they are - they appear to have an unreasonable amount of support on sites like this for how good their browser actually is.

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897295)

Oh for God's sake what do you expect, that the Mozilla developers should be "pure" and "untainted" by commercial interests that might "bias" them towards pushing their solutions over others for reasons other than technical? Get over yourself, there just aren't enough programmers willing to live like paupers giving up their lives in some mother theresa style gesture doing volunteer development work while starving and living in the gutter ... you can't *make* software for free, programmers not only need money, they tend to demand a lot of it ... further it's a free market, the Mozilla Foundation have found a business model that allows them to make money off a free browser and there is nothing wrong with that ... if it was so terrible, then the free market would reject it and come up with alternate solutions. If their browser was shit nobody would use it no matter how much they astroturfed, and if they were raking in unjustifiable amounts of money and spending it on yachts then the free market would eventually find another cheaper way to make browsers. Nobody is forced to use FireFox and people are broadly capable of knowing whether the browser they are using sucks or not. Having more "motivation to market" (and money to do so) is a good thing, you speak as though marketing itself is some form of evil.

Funny how it's always "other people" we expect to live to insanely idealised standards of devotion to ideologies of untainted technical purity, while for ourselves it's always OK to maximise the income we can earn from our own endeavours.

Thats not too small! (2, Interesting)

ikejam (821818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897142)

But is this really sustainable in the long run? That seems to be a lot of money.

I guess its a stupid question - seems to be a win-win situation at the outset - though google paying firefox seems more "dont be evil" driven than bottom-line minded. I mean even if they didn't pay, what were the chances that it wasn't going to be google up there?

Re:Thats not too small! (2, Insightful)

judabuddhist (909092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897194)

Don't forget, it's in Google's best interest that the internet in general becomes less Microsoft dependent, and that the alternatives be Google friendly. Any excuse to support Firefox is a good one for them, and doing it as a business venture adds legitimacy and opens the door to future collaboration. And personally, I probably make more google searches because of the ease of doing so with firefox.

Re:Thats not too small! (3, Interesting)

sirnuke (866453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897237)

Google has the same system for Opera, which leads me to conclude they want Opera and Firefox to be the top browsers (which wouldn't be a bad situation, if you ask me).

Judging by how little I use Google's front page any more, I am guessing that the future of search engines is through the browser's search bar. Should the day come where the world is dominated by Mozilla and Opera, it would be very hard for any other search engine to buy into the "put me first in your browser's search bar" setup when Google already has 4 years of paying Opera/Mozilla for just that.

Google is probably quite aware they will lose their power in the search field if they treat users as a commodity. The fact that Google makes sense as the default search engine now won't make a difference in 4+ years.

Re:Thats not too small! (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897279)

Yes, it sustainable. It's just as sustainable as Google Adsense.

Google aren't really the ones giving the money. Advertisers are giving Google money whenever someone uses the Google search bar on Firefox and ends up clicking on the ads on the resulting search page. Google themselves get the money and give Mozilla a cut.

Through the sheer number of searches being done in Firefox, Mozilla ends up getting a rather large cut.

Mozilla and the Prophets of Global Warming Doom (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897303)

Mod me up, mode me down but I still have to ask: Where did you pick up this extremely stupid piece of vocabulary: "Is it sustainable...?" This is exactly how the ecosocialist green Agenda 200X crowd of nature loving manhaters would put it as you will find them continually moaning over pretty much anything: "Yes, but tell me, is it sustainable? is it REALLY sustainable??"... Well putting it into the pseudoscientific Sierra Club way of doubletalk: Yes! Mozilla is highly sustainable and part of a new highly sustainable approach to an economy where everybody profits. Tell you all what: I hope they are raking in millions.

Re:Thats not too small! (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897387)

Is it sustainable? Depends if they're making a direct profit from Firefox users. I don't mean an increase in people using their search engine over others, I mean a per-use profit (as in, I do a search in Firefox using Google, Google earns $0.30 and gives Firefox $0.10), then yes, I'd say it is sustainable. Google is currently making a profit all up, so if Firefox users aren't eating into that profit, it should be able to continue indefinitely (unless other things begin to eat too much into Google's profits).

The point of the article? (4, Insightful)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897147)

Sounds like they are playing the guilt-trip card.

Of course it's publically undisclosed. Why do they need to disclose it? They have no obligation to, really, as a private entity (rather than being on the stock market or so).

If they are raking in the money, great! Software developers need to get paid! :)

Re:The point of the article? (1)

nettdata (88196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897201)

Yeah, but Google is public, and as such, have to report such things in their filings.

Re:The point of the article? (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897265)

.. not "how much we paid Mozilla Foundation under contract", surely. If they had to do that they would be reporting how much money they paid EVERY large advertiser (of which there have to be many thousands, of not tens of thousands) and we all know they pretty much don't?

Re:The point of the article? (0, Flamebait)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897360)

Ummm, correct me if I'm wrong, but if Google paid advertisers to put their ads on Google's servers, Google would probably go bankrupt. I think you have that ass-backwards. Last I heard, advertisers generally pay others to place their ads on others services. ;-)

You could be thinking of Adsense though, which is entirely different from what you described though.

Re:The point of the article? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897391)

Funny I often see Google advertise here.

Re:The point of the article? (0, Flamebait)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897411)

Yes, but Slashdot is a publisher, not an advertiser. An advertiser is a company who is paying Google to display ads about their products. Slashdot publishes content, and displays Google's ads.

Re:The point of the article? (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897393)

It is pretty much the same as AdSense For Search though.

Who else is contributing? (4, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897150)

Do they also get $ from searches on ebay, amazon, or yahoo (which are also listed on the toolbar)?

Re:Who else is contributing? (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897288)

Quite likely. And they ought to get some for that. It is earned money people. Nothing wrong here. Move along.

I feel cheated. (4, Funny)

HeavyMS (820705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897159)

So you are telling me that for every googeling I do in the quick search bar mozzila gets paid. I was under the impression that this was free software. Not some scam to make $$.

Re:I feel cheated. (1)

bertrandtan (960458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897328)

what do you care? you dont have to pay a cent! besides, its legit money earned.

Re:I feel cheated. (2, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897392)

That's why I use Opera.

Help them make more... (5, Informative)

The Hobo (783784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897162)

By using this link [google.com] to get to the story ;-)

Interesting to note the default "google" keyword for the address bar puts the sourceid=firefox in there

As an aside, for those who want to make their own custom keywords (and don't know how to), here's an example: Bookmarks->Manage Bookmarks, click on any of the bookmarks under "quick searches", click new bookmark (top left), I made one for acronyms using acronym finder.

Name: Acronym Finder
Location: right click here, copy link location, paste (/. chews up the link) [acronymfinder.com]
Keyword: af
Description: You can put whatever you want here, it's optional

Then you click ok. Now when in firefox you can just search for acronyms by typing af + the acronym, for example: af HTTP

For other websites that use a link similar to the acronymfinder one, just insert %s where your query would go. In my example it's in Acronym=%s. You can also note the other default quicksearches that already exist (ex. slang for urban dictionary, dict for dictionary.com)

Re:Help them make more... (2, Informative)

megrims (839585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897386)

Actually, you can just right-click an input box on a form and select "Add a keyword for this search..." which will work more easily, especially with post-method forms, unless they've taken the feature out in the newer versions of firefox...

How much ? (5, Interesting)

nocloo (82496) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897164)

Lets do some basic math and see how the numbers add up.

- Of the 100 million downloads lets say 20% are daily/active users -> 20 2illion users.
- Of the 20 million daily users, lets says 20% do make at least 1 search query. -> 4 million queries/day.
- If google pays around 0.02c a query. They get 80k/day x 30 days = 3.2Mil x 12 months =~ 38 Mil right there. A conservative number ... but still A LOT MONEY !!

Re:How much ? (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897225)

You have a couple mistakes in there.

The 'units' program doesn't understand 'queries' so I'll substitute 'lids'.

You have: (.02 cents/lid) (20 percent 100 million ) (20 percent lid/day)
You want: grand/year
                * 292.19376

Re:How much ? (3, Insightful)

houseofzeus (836938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897242)

It's a conservative estimate until you use $0.02 per click. I doubt that it is anywhere near that high. Either way there is currently no way of knowing how high/low the price is so any figures are wild speculation at best.

Re:How much ? (2, Informative)

Westley (99238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897278)

While I suspect the grandparent's estimate is high, you've misinterpreted it by two orders of magnitude - it wasn't $0.02 per click, it was 0.02 *cents* per click. Still a lot just for doing a search though.

Re:How much ? (1)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897344)

As someone who makes alot of money from adsense

trust me search pays very well! alot more than $0.02 cent a click

Re:How much ? (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897366)

I could be wrong, but I read somewhere that Google makes on average $0.11 revenue for every search on their site (some will have multiple ad clicks, some none, this is an average). $0.02 wouldn't seem high if you think about it this way.

Re:How much ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14897259)

Or google could be paying them 0.01c a query. Or 0.001c. Or 0.0001c. How do you know? (Adwords is not a useful source of information either, btw)

what a dumb article (4, Insightful)

sundru (709023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897177)

Some moron in an online editorial is curious what mozilla is doing with its money , why the heck should mozilla disclose how its using its money ? free software doesnt mean you have to account for every penny you earn , they built a heck of a browser let them reap the benefits of what they sowed. --- Must be a dull day for the editors @ /. Go home and have a beer fellas tis the weekend --

Re:what a dumb article (5, Insightful)

matthewsmalley (242855) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897213)

Why should Mozilla disclose how its using its money? Because it's a California non-profit corporation. Here in the UK charities/ngo's/etc have to disclose their financials in order to continue receiving all the perks (tax exemption for donatees etc). Otherwise you end up with one big money laudering machine (in the government's eyes).

Anyway I as a potential donater want to know what I'm donating to? (I don't think this is the case but...) If Mozilla's turned into a profit-hungry corporation, but is still trying to imply it needs my £10 a month to feed its hungry developers, then that's deception on a large scale, and I'm not interested.

There's a conscious difference in most people's minds between donating to a company that's explicity not out to make a profit and buying product from one that is.

Re:what a dumb article (4, Informative)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897247)

If you give money to mozilla, you will give to the Mozilla Foundation which is a non-profit. If Google gives money to Mozilla, they will give to the Mozilla Corporation (corporations have less regulations) whose sole shareholder is the Mozilla Foundation.

You can't really object to the Mozilla Corporation saying "Oh, they'll put all that money in the pockets of their shareholders" because the only shareholder they have is a non-profit entity.

The corporation does not disclose how much they make and they pay taxes.

Re:what a dumb article (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897320)

The IRS and California Franchise Board will take care of these things *quite well*.

While the details of what Mozilla.org will have to report to these entities isn't revealed, some metrics are disclosed if you look for them. To maintain the "non-profit" designation (it's not necessarily a 501C type organization), how the money is spent regarding employees, etc. has to fall into certain broad criteria specified by Mozilla.org's Board as well as certain percentages. Because Mozilla.org's "benefit to the community" is a product, and not charity $$$, the reporting requirements are different, too. The wages that people get for working for Mozilla.org, if they're paid, pay the same taxes that other employees pay.

Opera, too. google deal? (1)

chakmol (88099) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897184)

What are they making? In Opera I type "g my_search_terms", and I get an instant Google search on "my_search_terms." I like it.

to bad this doesn't work for .... (2, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897188)

.... other open source software.

Re:to bad this doesn't work for .... (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897305)

It could. Other free software just needs to find a way of partnering with companies that are relevant for their software. It's not impossible.

I think the hardest part would be finding companies that are as open-minded as Google is. Most companies don't like trying new things, whereas Google understands that its success is due to it trying new ways of doing things.

Excellent example (4, Funny)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897191)

This is a great example of an open source program making money off its success. It wouldn't be impossible for other open source programs to do similar sponsorship deals with other companies.

Maybe Linux could have a "You know, Windows has a lower TCO" message when it's booting up.

It's just enough money (1)

RedLaggedTeut (216304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897200)

I believe Google would tweak their financial contributions such that the developers of firefox can do their work, and nothing more.

Personally, I am also not using the search box at all, nor the google: keyword, I just use a link to google in the toolbar. I'll try to rig it a bit in firefox's favor now, but I won't rig every pc I work on this way.

Re:It's just enough money (1)

jofi (908156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897238)

Too bad the developers are still thinking like DOS programmers in that LFNs hadn't existed yet. They should take the 72 million and hire better programmers.

Re:It's just enough money (1)

ELProphet (909179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897285)

What about the Google toolbar for Firefox? It tells Google where the search comes from, and it's got a bucketload of features to boot! As an exchange/foreign language student, I find the Translator to be quite usefull (though it could be better written, now it is only en-fl), and the Form Spellchecker is awesome!

What's also funny is its really hard to get rid of (0, Redundant)

timecop (16217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897205)

If you use the firefox search box for google, you'll notice it inserts a huge query string into google, including stuff like "client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official", which i what I assume allows google to pay them.
But, even if you look in about:config, this extra string is nowhere to be found! I wanted to disable it, because I don't need google (or anyone else) to know I'm using firefox.

The way to remove it, as I eventually found out, is to rename the search engine name,
on windows it would be in %programfiles%\mozilla firefox\searchplugins.
Just renaming google.src to somethignelse.src wouldnt work, you need to go inside and change its name to like "Jewgle", and reload firefox. Then, select the new "Jewgle" as your search engine, and boom, no more extra money-generating user agent spying info is inserted into the query string.

Re:What's also funny is its really hard to get rid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14897284)

The way to remove it, as I eventually found out, is to rename the search engine name, on windows it would be in %programfiles%\mozilla firefox\searchplugins.

I just delete the damn thing. There doesn't seem to be any negative effect in doing so. While I'm in that folder I delete the rest of the directory too. What bothers me is the Firefox folks have forced this spying shit on the users without consent. Even if you compile it from scratch, the f-ing Makefile forces these plugins to be installed. Anyway, I don't know what's so hot about an extra box for searching. I'd rather search directly from the address bar. Good thing Firefox supports bookmark keywords [mozillazine.org] .

Re:What's also funny is its really hard to get rid (2, Informative)

Wieland (830777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897326)

I wanted to disable it, because I don't need google (or anyone else) to know I'm using firefox.

Ever heard of UA strings?

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: www.google.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060203 Fedora/ Firefox/

Re:What's also funny is its really hard to get rid (0)

timecop (16217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897338)

Yes, and the shit inserted into query string for a search engine plugin named "Google" is totally independent from UA string which you CAN change from inside about:config.

Changing UA string in firefox is easy. Getting rid of the spyware search query is not.
This is what I was talking about.

Re:What's also funny is its really hard to get rid (1)

Wieland (830777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897398)

I wouldn't consider it spyware though, unless you would consider any browser that sends out UA headers spyware. The search bar doesn't tell Google that *YOU* are using Firefox, nor that you were looking for [fill in your fetish here]. It just tells Google that *someone* performed a search for [fetish] through Firefox's search bar. IMHO, that's no different from your browser correctly identifying itself as Firefox in my server logs.

If you're that worried about Google spying on you personally, you should block Google's cookies, which are much more of a threat to your privacy, and make sure you're behind an anonymizing proxy.

Re:What's also funny is its really hard to get rid (1)

Kerr (889580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897400)

I just love how /.ers seem intent on biting the hand that feeds; but, if you are investing time on cleaning your mozoogle searches, it's time wasted. Unless you're masquerading your browser headers [ericgiguere.com] somehow, google will still see all [yoyo.org] . Tinfoil hats, anyone?

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14897207)

Am I supposed to have a problem with people who are making good products making money together? Especially when it doesn't cost me any?

They could fix printing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14897212)

They could spend some of the money to fix printing.
As a good geek I don't usually like things on dead tress, but every other person in my company does.
I had to hold back firefox 1.5 because it hangs indefinitely trying to print certaing pages (both linux and windows, pity that I already deployed thunderbird 1.5 which suffer from the same problem), and even 1.07 prints very badly (missing pages, not really scaled to fit the page, etc.)

And who gives a ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14897231)

Seriously, I've been using Firefox for 2+ years, and I've never had a problem with it (save the memory hog prob..(cough*bs*cough)), who gives a shit what money they make? I say, hell yeah for prompt fuckin security releases and god damn web standard adherence! Just my two...

what's wrong with making money? (1)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897243)

i didn't know open source meant non-profit

Re:what's wrong with making money? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897404)

It does when they apply (and receive) for non-profit status.

Who owns who (3, Insightful)

Ben Jao Ming (812324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897245)

The real risk is that Google might start wanting some more out of Mozilla. If they fund the whole thing one might consider that they have too much to say. Of course you'd have to be very creative to figure out an example...

Also, Google might actually be dependant on being represented in Firefox. What if Mozilla screws them and get a deal with Yahoo? Ooops... there goes say 100 mio. daily searches..

But what if you don't count pr0n searches? (4, Funny)

srhoades (656176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897248)

Statistically speaking firefox users are more tech savy. Which therefore transaltes to more socially dysfunctionally people, which ends is a much more searches for pr0n. Remove the pr0n searches and Firefox employees are picking up cans after hours in the Google parking lot to subsidize their salary.

Re:But what if you don't count pr0n searches? (1)

mark99 (459508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897340)

Your main point agree with, but I know many socially functional people (men of course, with wifes, kids, girlfriends, and sometimes all three) who still search for p0rn.

In fact the only guys I know who don't search for p0rn are those who are afraid of their wifes and don't know how to cover their tracks.

Just part of being a guy I guess. Always interested in sex, whether or not you really need it.

Who cares... (1)

m1chael (636773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897250)

They don't charge for the browser and they don't earn money by shooting innocent foxes into the vaccuum of space to look at the Earth in wonder before they freeze to death after they get irradiated and implode.

Good for them, Good for users (1)

Mr. Funky (957139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897258)

I have no problem with that, since funding from Google enables the Mozilla.org to invest in the future and stable code.
As a webdeveloper I am a heavy user of Mozilla, especially because of the extensions such as 'Web Developer'. Without it my work would be much harder, because the lack of easy DOM accessibility in other browsers.

do no evil? (1)

yosemite (6592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897267)

Do no evil indeed...firefox could fall prey to market forces

Re:do no evil? (1)

Puchku (615680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897298)

ANYTHING can fall prey to market forces! That's why they are market forces... outside anyone's control.

open, transparent organisation (2, Insightful)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897271)

"That Google pays content and search partners, as well as AdSense participants, is not new. What is interesting, however, is the amount that Mozilla earns from its users' Google queries.

One blogger has speculated that the figure is as high as $72 million in fact.

Mozilla Corporation board member Chris Blizzard said that the $72 million figure is not correct, "though not off by an order of magnitude."

Why not call it by its name? What's wrong with giving actual numbers? If someone gives these guys money why not advertise it?

Anyway, of course this kind of money helps firefox to progress. But what I don't like is the idea that this project may act too much dependend and not transparant. I like Google's money to be in open source project, but I hate the idea this project will be seduced by corporate interests instead of user interest that will maybe occur in th future. As a user and open source developer I highly value transparency.

woah (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897299)

I use the google search box so much... Even when I don't have to, I accidentally use it just by habit. I must be making them billions!

Money Raising Methods (2, Insightful)

Aqua04 (859925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897330)

Talking about raising funds online in unexpected ways. Air America Radio in Phoenix recently got kicked out of their home station by new christian-radio owners and there was an outcry in the community there. So, they did what any self-respecting liberal would do: they started raising funds for a new home through the use of a "Pixel board" [gotstation.com] petition where one could buy Pixels. Its that "million dollar page" idea I guess, but I've never seen it used as an organizational fundraiser before.

Not that its really an idea for Mozilla or any other project. Or is it ? In terms of funding through Google, their ad models not only fund browsers rather well, but pretty much the entire web site eco system. Who isn't getting money from the Google Ad Business Model these days ?

Amazing, although, of course there is a difference between apps getting money and sites getting money. (Have to admit, though, I didn't even know until recently that browsers had that much of an income opportunity just through that Google search field.) Will Google encroach on the big ad agencies' turf soon ?

No prob! (2, Insightful)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897343)

I'm not opposed to the foundation making money I just want to know where it's going. Why is the foundation so fucking circumspect about telling us?

Time to switch to Opera I guess...at least I know who is making what there.

they are making a fortune. FACT (3, Interesting)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897355)

heres how much i make a month just from search alone

53,846 @ 3,557clicks = $261.67

now thats per month and im a small publisher

firefox probably gets that many searches every minute!

also they pay up to $1 for every person who downloads firefox from a referal from my site


Bandwidth Fairies (5, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897371)

Imagine that, Mozilla has income.
Here all this time I thought the bandwidth to distribute 100 million coppies at 5 mb each & the occasional updates was being pulled out of the ass of bandwidth faries.

can i get some ? (1)

jgabios (960462) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897375)

well, if a get involved, i get a part of that money, too?

for profit or non? (2, Interesting)

matgorb (562145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897403)

My real question is where all this money goes, I had the, maybe stupid, idea that the Mozilla foundation was non for profit, hence all the money they make is to pay their employees and invest. Now, if they make real money out of it, I would be a little bit pissed off, since I donated money to advertise their product, I mean if they have that much money, they can sure do some advertisement, can't they? I'm not saying I'm ennoyed I gave money, but when I see that : "# What is the purpose of this site? As a small, non-profit organization, the Mozilla Foundation has very limited resources at its disposal to market Firefox to the world. SpreadFirefox was created to fill this void, and was founded on the same principles of community involvement that drive the development and testing of Firefox. We believe there is nothing that a large community of enthusiastic volunteers can't accomplish, and this site exists to unite the community into one cohesive marketing force that even competitors with unlimited resources can't compete with. For more information, see our original announcement." And then I hear about all these arrangements, it sounds to me like their limited ressources are not that limited, so I understand it's not Mozilla directly, but spread firefox in this instance, but it sounds like a lot of bs suddendly.
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