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Why Google Needs Firefox

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the why-can't-i-quit-you dept.

Firefox 182

MrSeb writes "Almost the entirety of Mozilla's income — 97% of $104 million — arrives in the form of royalties from the Firefox search box, and the lion's share (86%, $85 million) of those royalties are paid by the default search engine: Google. In November 2011, however, Mozilla's contract with Google will expire. Will Google renew it? A better question to ask, though, is whether Mozilla wants Google as its primary search engine."

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Mozilla may not want Google (1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067164)

But if the exec want to keep drawing ridiculous salaries while they run Netscape errr Mozilla into the ground again, than they'll keep on talking Googles money just like Netscape did before them with their other partners.

Who else is going to give them money? Won't be Microsoft ... and by extension that means it won't be Yahoo.

Re:Mozilla may not want Google (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067230)

Why wouldn't it be MS? Have you read the article? It makes a pretty good case for why it would be Microsoft.

Re:Mozilla may not want Google (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067266)

I agree with the basic premise in the article about the advantage of using MS, but only for a short term gain. the folks in Redmond would make a good short term partner but lack the basic scruples to avoid turning around and biting Firefox hard once it is to their advantage. The folks at Firefox will go down that road at their own peril. Too many people have cut deals with MS only to eventually regret it. History matters.

Re:Mozilla may not want Google (1)

zget (2395308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067596)

What short term gain? Microsoft is interested to gain more visitor (and hence user data that they can use to improve Bing's search algorithms) and Firefox is interested to get revenue from its users. The deal doesn't need to be anything else than Microsoft paying certain percent (lets say 70%) from the ad clicks that Firefox users generate. In fact, there's already similar programs for the Bing toolbar (and Google toolbar too), but they usually pay $1 one time payment per user. With the traffic Firefox can send them, I'm sure they can also negotiate revenue share too. They don't need to do anything else. Besides, Microsoft has changed a lot recently, and to the good direction. Google on the other hand is going the opposite way.

Re:Mozilla may not want Google (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067944)

the folks in Redmond would make a good short term partner but lack the basic scruples to avoid turning around and biting Firefox hard once it is to their advantage. The folks at Firefox will go down that road at their own peril. Too many people have cut deals with MS only to eventually regret it.

The sad thing is that everything you've said applies equally to Google. Wittiest comment [slashdot.org] I've seen on the subject.

Google has released its own Web browser, Chrome, with Linux version Chromium [today.com]. "We absolutely promise that we only want to completely screw over Microsoft with this, and certainly not Mozilla Firefox," said Google's Sundar Pichai. "That we put a pile of our sponsored Mozilla developers on the project is completely irrelevant. We're not evil, remember."

"We are so, so happy with Google Chrome," mumbled Mozilla CEO John Lilly through gritted teeth. "That most of our income is from Google has no bearing on me making this statement."

Re:Mozilla may not want Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37068172)

Sure, a partnership with Google is MUCH safer...

Re:Why wouldn't it be MS? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067508)

There's something very slippery about the article, almost like it's AstroTurf 2.0. Stay with me mods, it's at least an intelligent article.

Mozilla is at least a decent entrant into the OSS world. There's always nitpicks, but they're pretty solid. Mozilla makes a browser first.

Google is doing Search first and only lately is doing a browser. Does Google want Chrome to be the dominant browser, the same trick MS pulled last time? Maybe. I've seen my share of "FF is old and tired, go Chrome". Hard to tell if any Astroturfers are mixed in with the users there.

MS makes IE first and Bing second. If Firefox were to make themselves reliant on MS for money, MS would pull some stunt like Nokia and squash it.

So are there really no other networks other than Google and Bing? For $85 million to remake the web?

There's pages of details going on here, but my sum point is something is seriously silent here.

Re:Why wouldn't it be MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067808)

Is it just me, or does that comment make no sense?

Re:Why wouldn't it be MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37068068)

No, it's not just you. I honestly wondered if I had suffered a stroke prior to reading it.

No offense to GP.

Re:Mozilla may not want Google (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067512)

Why wouldn't it be MS? Have you read the article? It makes a pretty good case for why it would be Microsoft.

I read the article but I didn't see it make any case at all. There seemed to be a vague implication that Microsoft might think that even though users of Internet Explorer (still the browser with the largest market share) overwhelmingly use Google rather than its default of Bing, that users of Firefox would blindly use whatever the default is and that therefore Microsoft would shovel money at Firefox to get that default status. But there was no explanation at all of why Firefox users wouldn't just keep using Google, just as internet Explorer users do.

Re:Mozilla may not want Google (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067672)

...

Do you know who Microsoft is and what Firefox is?

MS is not going to become bedfellows with the browser organization they spent a fuckton of effort (in development and legal battles) destroying them and Navigator the first time around. They aren't going to do anything at all to keep them around this time.

This one is personal for Ballmer, don't be so naive.

Re:Mozilla may not want Google (2)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067820)

The reason they undermined Netscape was that they wanted to control web standards. They won the battle, but lost the war - they are no longer in a position to dictate proprietary extensions to the web through control of the browser. A page that only works in IE is no longer an option for developers.

(A page that only works on Windows, however, is still an option in a few contexts, and MS struggle to keep it that way).

I wouldn't bet on Ballmer's stupidity overriding his business sense.

Re:Mozilla may not want Google (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067826)

Balmer hates Google a lot more than he hates Mozilla. $85 million to hurt Google? I think he'd go for it.

Re:Mozilla may not want Google (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068204)

From what I'm seeing, the relationship with Microsoft right now is one of friendly rivalry. Mozilla and Microsoft generally work together on the W3C, and Microsoft themselves are making a concerted effort to ensure their stuff works well in Firefox - something they're emphatically not doing with Chrome (for example, Outlook Web Access works just like the desktop app in Firefox and IE, but has to be run in a stripped down mode looking more like standard web mail in any other browsers.)

I think it's extremely important to notice the changes going on at Microsoft at the moment. They're accepting, finally, that the threat to Windows has little to do with whether people use IE or not, and repositioning themselves to enter the markets that most likely will replace it. Hence Office on the web. Hence a complete review - a virtual rewrite - of their mobile platform. They're not even pushing .NET over emerging web standards in the same way as they had been.

In that context, fighting Mozilla, rather than partnering with them, over something as minor as "writing an alternative to something we bundle for free with our OS", when Mozilla could be providing opportunities (like directing serious amounts of traffic to Bing) is utterly absurd. There's no cause to do it.

It's a positive development. Personally, I'd be more than happy to see Microsoft sponsor Mozilla. And while I'm sure it'd be a shock to many on Slashdot, I suspect the only thing blocking it is Google's wallet.

Hey why NOT kill that goose? (0)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067170)

After all I want sauce, and those golden eggs are a pain in the ass.

$85 million in royalties (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067198)

...is a whole lot of hits. Even if Google wanted Chrome to dominate, I still don't think they'd want to let all of Firefox users who use whatever's in the search bar out of convenience leave for another engine.

Of course, the article makes this pretty clear, but why ruin the Slashdot tradition and publish a descriptive, non-flamebait summary?

Re:$85 million in royalties (3, Insightful)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067342)

Hey, if by this time you haven't realized that articles starring with the word "why" on the title are very poor and read them with care or just ignore them, you need to keep "learning slashdot".

Re:$85 million in royalties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067408)

AdSense brings in a gross total of about $10 billion a year. $85 million is a drop in the bucket in comparison.

Re:$85 million in royalties (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067652)

$85 million is what they pay Mozilla, not what Google makes off of those hits. Obviously in order for them to ink the deal, the revenue would have to be >$85mil.

Who cares, honestly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067212)

Firefox is old news. Webkit is where the future is.

Time to move on Mozilla.

Re:Who cares, honestly (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067294)

Firefox is a browser, Webkit is a layout engine.

What's your point?

Re:Who cares, honestly (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067326)

Maybe he thinks Mozilla should rewrite Firefox to use Webkit.

Re:Who cares, honestly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067598)

My point as long as Firefox keeps using Gecko, it will become more irrelevant.

Re:Who cares, honestly (4, Insightful)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067936)

If we're at the point where the internet is "whatever Webkit renders", we've done something wrong.

No money no development (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067222)

I wonder whether there will be any vigorous progress without those cash infusions from uncle Google. Also taking the Chrome push into account I would not be surprised that the search box contract is not renewed, lets face it, why would Google want to pay and support a direct competitor?

Re:No money no development (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067278)

The article explains why.

Re:No money no development (4, Insightful)

BBird (664014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067402)

Mozilla is not a competitor. Google does not sell browsers, it sells ads, and mozilla is one more channel.

Re:No money no development (1)

nickysn (750668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067448)

I wonder whether there will be any vigorous progress without those cash infusions from uncle Google. Also taking the Chrome push into account I would not be surprised that the search box contract is not renewed, lets face it, why would Google want to pay and support a direct competitor?

Basically, because Firefox hurts IE's market share and promotes Google search, instead of Bing. Also, Firefox has much better support for web standards. Microsoft is a much worse competitor to Google than Mozilla. Therefore everything that hurts Microsoft's IE and Bing is good for Google. That's also why Google supports Opera.

Re:No money no development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067486)

Because it is not a competitor, RTFA! Google is in the advertising business, Mozilla is not. Mozilla is simply selling their default search engine for best bid.

It's symbiotic (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067236)

Of course Google wants Chrome to gain more market share. There is also an argument to have Google fund Mozilla to continue their work. Not to have a combined force to erode IE (or Safari), but to simply have an independent entity that develops standards and pushes the envelope. Having their financial tie will probably increase collaboration which a) helps Google in improving Chrome, b) gets good PR, c) as the article mentions brings in millions of users straight to their search engine and d) Google has not yet been invested by MBAs, so they may follow "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach rather than their formal "don't be evil".

Doesn't MS own a chunk of Apple?

Re:It's symbiotic (5, Insightful)

amnesia_tc (1983602) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067612)

but to simply have an independent entity that develops standards and pushes the envelope.

You mean Opera?

Correct subject: Why Firefox Needs Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067240)

... or am I missing something?

Switching from Google (1)

deckitbruiseit (1369769) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067242)

If Mozilla moves away from using Google as its primary search engine, I see a lot of pissed off users who don't want to deal with another search engine switching to a different browser.

Re:Switching from Google (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067302)

Some would but I think a larger number wouldn't notice or care. The only reason Google gets most of my search traffic is inertia and I'm so deeply integrated into the whole "Google Experience" at this point that it's just more convenient. I haven't used Bing but I would be willing to at least give it a shot.

Re:Switching from Google (3, Interesting)

Wattos (2268108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067386)

Cant speak for other users, but I get immensely annoyed when I see search results from other engines (e.g. at work). I immediately ignore the results and type in google.com into the browser.

It just doesn't feel right anymore.

Re:Switching from Google (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067432)

I have in the past as well but it has only been due to the fact that the results displayed were useless and that to find results that mattered I had to go three or four pages in. With Google it would be front page and usually top 5. If Bing has it's results similarly well arranged then I would be willing to try it.

Re:Switching from Google (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067880)

Then why don't you go try it?

I'm sorry, but the idea that a Slashdotter is willing to try a new search engine but can't be bothered to make the two total clicks it takes to change it in Firefox doesn't compute -- nor does the fact that that same user would use it if only Mozilla would change it for them. Maybe I'm giving people more credit than they deserve.

The majority of users--and the vast majority of Firefox users--are going to use the search engine they prefer. You'll catch a few stragglers who literally have no preference yet or who don't notice the change, but that's about it. People with a preference will use their preference. Change-adverse people will use the one they're familiar with. It's not a big deal for Google who, by the way, are still likely to give Mozilla some money and render this entire conversation moot.

Re:Switching from Google (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068008)

I'm not so sure that any search engine provides quite what you actually want these days - it used to be that you could +/-"quote your search" and only get pages that had (or didn't have) that specific quote in the body. Google and Bing seem to ignore this on a random basis and give you only what is popular rather than what you actually searched for. I guess the advanced search overcomes these issues a little bit, though you still have issues like "convert x to y" and all you get are pages on how to convert y to x.

For the most part search engines are infinitely better than they were 10 years ago though :-)

I suspect my point is that I'm probably just a sheepish user now, searching can be quite troublesome so I don't really care what logo sits in the banner.

Re:Switching from Google (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067358)

Switching the default search engine is much easier than switching the browser.

Re:Switching from Google (2)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067378)

Seriously? I doubt that somehow many would feel that strongly to switch browsers rather than to change a setting. I know I wouldn't. I like Firefox as my browser, I like Google as my search engine, heck I like Windows Vista 64-bit (ewww) as my OS.

Your average, no-knowledge-of-IT user is on IE or Safari. Those are the ones that will let their computer dictate the way they use it. BTW, not saying that savyy users aren't using IE/Safari by choice.

If most Firefox users saw "bing" as the default search; there would be a ton bing searches "Change Firefox default search" and the vast majority would be back on Google within a short little while. People are creatures of habit; a search engine may be enough of game changer that people may not just follow blindly like sheep/lemmings.

Re:Switching from Google (1)

deckitbruiseit (1369769) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067420)

True. I guess if we were talking about IE users they might not know how to change those settings, but that type probably wouldn't care anyway.

Re:Switching from Google (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067576)

In IE 8, changing the search provider is exactly as easy as it is under FF. Click the dropdown and choose a different provider. IE has fewer defaults installed, but one of the options is to "Find More Providers..." which takes you to a list that contains all the popular search engines and then some.

Re:Switching from Google (1)

rafe.kettler (1946264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067878)

All you have to do is change the Bing, or Yahoo, or whatever logo on the search bar to Google. If you'd rather switch browsers than do that, then you're an idiot.

Re:Switching from Google (1)

Denogh (2024280) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068010)

Mozilla offers the option to set your own default search provider anyway. They're not getting paid by Yahoo!, Amazon, Wikipedia, Answers, Creative Commons or eBay, yet they are offered as options in my (default) install of Firefox. I can't see them removing the option, and even if they did I'm sure one could add it back fairly easily though the "Get More Search Engines" option.

This won't harm the users, just Google (maybe) and the Mozilla Foundation (definitely).

Re:Switching from Google (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068102)

The more likely situation is if Google stopped funding Mozilla, that Firefox would fall behind pretty drastically. Then most folks would be stuck with a choice between IE and Chrome. Some proportion of that group would choose IE, and probably stick with the default Bing search. This costs Google money.

Nonsense (2)

ibwolf (126465) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067264)

For $85 million — or whatever Mozilla decides to charge, because it could charge almost anything — Bing could bolster its global share to 10, 15, or maybe 20%.

What absolute nonsense. Bing is already the default search engine on IE and only a fraction of IE users are using Bing. To assume that all Firefox users would meekly follow Mozilla's direction to use Bing is absurd.

Re:Nonsense (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067304)

To assume that all Firefox users would meekly follow Mozilla's direction to use Bing is absurd.

Yes, it's absurd, which is exactly why the line you quote does *not* make that assumption.

Re:Nonsense (1)

twocows (1216842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067366)

Care to cite some statistics? Most of my tech illiterate co-workers using default IE end up using Bing. I think it's fair to say that, while not all of Firefox's users would switch to Bing, there would be a fair portion who would either give Bing a chance or not bother switching (especially the ones who can't tell the difference).

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067504)

How can over 50% of people use IE, and Google still be the number one search engine by a wide margin? The only way that's possible is if a fair number of IE users specifically choose Google.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067666)

search for google in either the address or bing bar, search on google

Re:Nonsense (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067468)

Well for most IE users they don't even use that search bar. They will click on a shortcut to google then type in the search box something like www.yahoo.com. For firefox users I think their head will explode if the search box went to Bing.

Is there really that much hatred of the both just because both have browsers. In normal business it is very common for companies to Partner with each other and Compete with each other at the same time. And their Partnership is very strong with a lot of good MBA Buzzwords like Synergy. And their competition is very aggressive against each other.

How do they do this? Simple neither side is Stupid. Mozilla need to partner with the Search Engine area of Google were the success of both is beneficial. And Mozilla is competing with Chrome the Software development unit of Google. Where one product can take market share of the other.

If Google made the Search Engine Google only work for chrome they will hurt both sides as a lot of people will not switch their browsers to use the search engine and without the search engine money they cannot put more development effort into chrome.

Life isn't black and white... It is a very complex thing.

Re:Nonsense (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068222)

Not as much nonsense as you think. Bing from what I hear doesn't suck it is also pretty. If you are really into the Google ecosystem then you might not care. If you type a search and you get what you are looking for and it is pretty then a lot of people might not change back. If nothing else it will get people to try Bing.
I know that people on Slashdot really don't like Microsoft and that includes me. From what I see Bing is actually a pretty good search engine. Since I use everything Google including my phone odds are that I wouldn't switch but it isn't bad.

THIS is the reason for the version acceleration! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067310)

Now we know they'll run out of money at the end of 2011, it's obvious they're trying to get as many versions as possible out before dying.

Re:THIS is the reason for the version acceleration (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067946)

Has Netcraft confirmed it yet?

Google search worthless now (0)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067318)

Good luck trying to find anything on google these days. Try searching for a USB driver for a Pantech Breeze cell phone. Find me one link that ISN'T part of a link farm or SPAM, Hell I don't even remember finding Pantech's or ATT's site.

Re:Google search worthless now (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067470)

Are you serious? I typed "Pantech Breeze" into Google and got http://www.pantechusa.com/phones/breeze_ii [pantechusa.com] as the second search result, behind AT&T's page for the phone.

Googling for "Pantech Breeze USB" returned this page [att.com] which has a bunch of information about USB and the phone. Apparently you need to use Microsoft's ActiveSync package to connect the phone, or bluetooth.

You might want to check your computer for viruses and trojans. It sounds like something is intercepting your search results.

Re:Google search worthless now (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067482)

Isn't that more a problem with ATT and Pantech's websites? I couldn't find anything on their pages, so how would Google? Google just indexes the internet. When I search for usb drivers for the HTC Incredible, the first site is HTC's own, with a nice page to download drivers. To me, it sounds like it is more of an issue with the carrier and device manufacturer than with Google.

Re:Google search worthless now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067888)

Mozilla should invent their own search engine.

With SEO and link farms it is destroying the value of Google's search capabilities. Try searching for anti virus software or articles on it. Almost all are links to malware and link farms.

I think there would be quite an attraction of exGoogle users too if a newer engine that did not have SEO optimized for Google came out and it would give Google quite a black eye.

Chrome is eating Firefox's marketshare (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067340)

Google abandoned Firefox.

So strategically, businesswise, I would abandon Google and go with Bing.

Yes, I know this goes against traditional Slashdot prejudices about Microsoft and Google: Google is darling upstart, Microsoft is evil Borg.

As if the world we live in is 2001?

Folks: Google is the new evil empire. Microsoft is a weak old underdog.

Please adjust your silly outdated prejudices accordingly.

Re:Chrome is eating Firefox's marketshare (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067416)

Mozilla should choose the default based on the projected revenues for the various search companies, not based on Google's 'abandoning' Firefox.

Especially if you want to describe it as a strategic business decision.

Re:Chrome is eating Firefox's marketshare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067434)

Brought to you by Paid Microsoft Plant #44452.

Re:Chrome is eating Firefox's marketshare (1, Insightful)

ilguido (1704434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067544)

Folks: Google is the new evil empire. Microsoft is a weak old underdog with rabies.

Fixed.

Re:Chrome is eating Firefox's marketshare (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067706)

...As if the world we live in is 2001?

Folks: Google is the new evil empire. Microsoft is a weak old underdog...

Weak?

That "weak old underdog" is still the same company that runs corporate America(quite literally), so call it weak and old all you want, but much like members of Congress, they're still around, and still in power. And that "underdog" is still the #1 choice of botnets everywhere.

Who is worse is all dependent on your definition of "evil".

Re:Chrome is eating Firefox's marketshare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067882)

Also, I'm not aware of Google trying to derail standards like Microsoft tried with OOXML. I also can't recall any instance of Google being found guilty of abusing a monopoly. What exactly makes Google evil and what has Microsoft done to be less evil?

Re:Chrome is eating Firefox's marketshare (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067974)

I also can't recall any instance of Google being found guilty of abusing a monopoly.

Google has a bunch of lawsuits running against them for antitrust violations in the EU. I think it's silly to think that Google doesn't have a monopoly on search. Whether they're abusing that is another matter. If you surf with IE on Google, I think it continuously slams Chrome ads down your throat. Too much of that behavior can get them in trouble.

Let's be sensible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067388)

Mozilla gives google lots of hits, I won't even try to say how many. But based on Firefox's current web share it's about double that of chrome. If Firefox goes tits up (which they will without that money, and Microsoft isn't going to give them a dime) Chrome doubles (at least) in market share. That has two *major* advantages for Google

1) They get to collect *way* more of your personal data when you're using their very own web browser, and don't have to pay anyone for it.

2) They immediately become the major driving force in web standards, so they can start playing all kinds of nasty games.

Is there absolutely any reason for Google to want to keep firefox around?

Re:Let's be sensible (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067496)

Microsoft isn't going to give them a dime

Bing is in the list of default search engines in Firefox, and somehow, I don't think Mozilla puts them there for free.

Re:Let's be sensible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067658)

My mistake; I'm inclined to agree. I haven't used Firefox since it became a steaming pile of crap a few years ago so I was unaware of that. I was going based on the sustainability documents that they post (they mention Google, eBay, Amazon, but no Bing).

Re:Let's be sensible (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067872)

2) They immediately become the major driving force in web standards, so they can start playing all kinds of nasty games.

I guess you haven't noticed ... they already ARE a major driving force in web standards.

IE v. Biollante (1)

wrencherd (865833) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067428)

From TFA:

Back in 2003 when Mozilla and Firefox first emerged, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer owned 95% of the browser market. Mozilla single-handedly destroyed IE over the next five years

That's a bit of an overstatement I think. Keeping in mind the "guesstimate" nature of browser market share, the usage trends for both IE and FF (mutant Mozilla) [wikipedia.org] are probably not so much the results of direct competition as they are simply the predictable result of the market "maturing" as the executive types say.

IE probably went downwards b/c there is actually a lot more competition now in terms of OS and platform; it's not all desktops on desks running XP.

82%, not 86% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067430)

85 million of 104 million is 82%, not 86%.

Re:82%, not 86% (1)

DaScribbler (701492) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068186)

The 86% is in reference to the portion of the royalties from the search box, not the whole $104M. Crunch the numbers and 86% is still off by 1%, but that's easily attributed to rounding off the actual numbers. ie... 103.5 x .965 x .855

Chrome isn't about winning (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067522)

The purpose of Chrome isn't to make money or even to be the most popular browser. The purpose of Chrome is to advance technologies to promote standards to encourage the creation and usage of web applications as part of Google's war against Windows applications and now iOS applications.

Mozilla is also a big promoter of web standards and is a big part of Google's war.

While Microsoft could use Firefox to help Bing, Google needs Firefox even more to help the entire company.

Re:Chrome isn't about winning (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067790)

I think you're right... Without Chrome javascript would still be slow and browsers wouldn't be so clean as they are today... Chrome paved the way for better web applications, and without it the web application platform wouldn't be as attractive.

Re:Chrome isn't about winning (2)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068242)

Without Chrome javascript would still be slow

Jeez, Google's advertising campaigns sure do work. JavaScript performance wars were pretty hot years before Chrome appeared.

Re:Chrome isn't about winning (2)

FreakyGreenLeaky (1536953) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068100)

The purpose of Chrome isn't to make money or even to be the most popular browser

The purpose of a business is to turn a profit. Without profit, a business starts dying. Everything, including odd-ball projects and products, is geared towards supporting the business model of turning a profit.

To think otherwise is embarrassingly naive.

Re:Chrome isn't about winning (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068194)

The purpose of Chrome is to help other parts of Google's business turn a profit.

Google does NOT need Firefox (1)

cjjjer (530715) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067538)

Without Firefox think of all extra advertising dollars they would make without NoScript/Adblock or other ad blocking plugins that Firefox offers. The bottom line is that Google is using Firefox as a way to keep the "do no evil" drones in line.

Mod me down but it's the exact thing Microsoft and Apple do only to a different target audience.

Firefox/Mozilla needs the money (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067570)

So it can pursue its 'new version every month' policy
and break all the add-ons

Re:Firefox/Mozilla needs the money (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067916)

Is it every month? Seems like they try to update me every other week or so... I'm slowly migrating over to Chrome because of the hassles it causes.

Invent Mozilla Search (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067602)

I saw a link, but can't find it where a user recommended a search engine similiar to Google's but is not prone to SEO, fake reviews, and other sleezy techniques that make Google less efficient than 10 years ago. Anyone know the name of it?

10 years ago you could find anything with Google without people trying to sell you crap and it was always accurate. Remember those days?

Anyway, a browser is free but advertisement is where it can make some money and I think Mozilla should hook up with that search engine or another small one that uses advanced analysis rather than keywords to find results, but is not prone to the man things that ruin Google. It would give them a black eye for sure and could generate serious revenue.

I really hope not (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067616)

Cutting off funding could be the best thing for Firefox. They would have to get rid of all the UI designers and tech evangelists who are slowly destroying Firefox. It would go back to being community driven with a focus on producing a really good app instead of playing buzzword bingo and copying Chrome.

Fingers crossed.

Re:I really hope not (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068000)

Oh but then we couldn't have Asa telling us why enterprise users are bad and we really want a new version every 6 weeks even if all we get out of it is a shittastic looking UI in Windows 7. (And that's generous compared to the disaster that is the new Thunderbird UI.)

I'm with you. Mozilla needs to clean house and get back to what they were doing when Firefox was growing: making a better browser for users.

Re:I really hope not (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068138)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers [wikipedia.org]

Community driven browsers (without corporate backing) seem to be doing great, eh? The internet is big cutthroat business, these aren't the Phoenix days any more.

bing (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067678)

Article implies bing does not suck

article is wrong

Re:bing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37068088)

Quite. The only Micro$oft product that wouldn't suck is a vacuum cleaner.

No, that is not the question.. (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067682)

A better question to ask, though, is whether Mozilla wants Google as its primary search engine..
Well the math seems obvious to me, they receive $100.8 million from Google (97%) and there's no other entity that is going to step up and pay them so what do you think?

It's in Google's best interest to kill off the relationship because of gaining higher Chrome market share. Is that "evil"? No, it's business.

google has been great in the past (2)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067722)

the last couple of years the search engine department has been getting sloppy, allowing content farms looking for click through revenue spamming the hell out of the search hierarchy. it is high time google update and refine their search engine filters because lately the crap i have to wade through to find what i am looking for is getting deep...

oh, and i like both firefox and seamonkey so i will be willing to abandon google before i abandon mozilla's firefox and the open source community developed seamonkey

Re:google has been great in the past (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067852)

Just install another search engine as the default, like ixquick.

Re:google has been great in the past (2)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068024)

Doing so hurts mozilla. userdefined search engines dont pay the bills.

I think mozilla could have used those $85m to fund a search engine of their own, that would avoid their reliance on google and make a much better investment than all those UI designers who keep breaking firefox.

Article overlooks the stupidly obvious (4, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067734)

"It is speculated, mostly by tech pundits, that considering the sheer amount of effort that itâ(TM)s putting into shoving Chrome down our throats, it would not be in Googleâ(TM)s best interests to re-sign with Mozilla."

Most of Google's revenue comes from advertising, not Chrome. To ensure that revenue, they need to remain the number one search engine. To that end, it is in Google's best interest to remain the default search engine on Firefox as long as Firefox has any significant market share, regardless of Chrome's market share.

Two views (2)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067750)

Normal, rational view: "Sign them up NOW. This product is a gold mine and it doesn't cost us anything. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go swim in all of our money." Corporate Board-Room view: "Mozilla accounts for most of our profits. That means they are taking internet share away from OUR browser. Cut these guys off at the knees!" Gosh, I'm vexed as to which way Google will go. Yep, that's a puzzler. /sarcasm

Firefox needs Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067816)

Among browsers I've tried, Chrome seems to be more reliable than FireFox, less prone to crashing. It's not quite as user-friendly, but efficient.

Re:Firefox needs Chrome (1)

cornface (900179) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067866)

I've been using SRWare Iron a lot which is basically chrome with all the Google tentacles removed.

It (and Chrome) are noticeably faster than Firefox and IE, but I still feel weird using it for general purpose browsing because of the lack of NoScript. Until equivalent functionality exists in Chrome I'll probably never switch entirely.

'default' being the operative word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067860)

Just coz a browser makes a search option a default doesn't mean that they'll use it. I, for one, would change the default from either Bing or Yahoo straight back to Google, i don't give two fucks who gets what royalty, i like the results from google, for now, the engines just plain suck.

DuckDuckGo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067864)

Considering its target audience, Mozilla would be more likely to go with DuckDuckGo to replace Google, not Bing. That's a big deal for Google, because Bing doesn't really threaten Google's credibility with the hipster-nerd FOSS-lover crowd, but DDG with its "take privacy serious" policy does -- and even 3-5% marketshare for DDG would be a massive increase and more than a blip on Google's radar.

Tired... (0)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068058)

I'm tired of reading articles on search engines and advertising, which are an even greater letdown on Friday.

Title should read... (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068092)

"Why Firefox Needs Bing"

I'll be honest, Google is in the dominant position, and I'll never use Bing. But, Microsoft is throwing money at search like there is no tomorrow (because for them, there may not be if they have no virtual real estate). Microsoft would probably be willing to up the offer of money. Even with their rivalry, they know good and well Chrome is a bigger rival to IE. If nothing else, Firefox could force a much better contract with Google with a high Bing offer.

That's just smart business.

How would a change work? (0)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#37068228)

I have to wonder if the new contract would be even half as valuable as the old one. This depends very heavily on how the change over to a new default search provider would work.

A) If Firefox does the "right thing" and honors existing users' choice of provider during an upgrade, then none of the existing install base would switch over. With Firefox's market share not growing all that much, adoption of the new default would be limited to the relatively small amount of churn.

B) If Firefox tries to switch provider during an upgrade (for everyone, or at least everyone who uses Google), I'd suspect there would be outrage. How dare they try to force (and/or trick, depending on if it's automatic or a "confusing" pop up) a change on unsuspecting users!?! That doesn't sound so different that Microsoft's attempts to switch default browsers back in the Great War. Firefox would lose a good part of the tech crowd support they have left.

So either way, I just don't see the value of their search box as being that high any longer. So I think whether they go with Google or not they're screwed.

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