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Will Firefox Lose Google Funding?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the cutting-you-off dept.

Firefox 644

SharkLaser writes "Mozilla's future looks uncertain. Last week Chrome overtook Firefox's position as the second most popular browser, the new versioning scheme is alienating some Firefox users, and now the advertising deal between Mozilla and Google, the one that almost fully funds Mozilla's operations, is coming to an end. One of Firefox's key managers, Mike Shaver, also left the company in September. 'In 2010, 84% of Mozilla's $123 million in revenue came directly from Google. That's roughly $100 million in funds that will vanish or be drastically cut if the deal is either not renewed or is renegotiated on terms that are less favorable to Mozilla. When the original three-year partnership deal was signed in 2008, Chrome was still on the drawing boards. Today, it is Google's most prominent software product, and it is rapidly replacing Firefox as the alternative browser on every platform.' Recently Mozilla has been trying to get closer with Microsoft by making a Firefox version that defaults to Bing. If Google is indeed cutting funding from Mozilla or tries to negotiate less favorable terms, it could mean Mozilla's future funding coming from Microsoft and Bing."

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644 comments

Free market for the win (4, Insightful)

gameboyhippo (827141) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268436)

It's because Chrome is the better browser. It shouldn't matter that it comes from a mega company like Google. If a better product comes out, that should be king. Now why people are still using IE is beyond me.

Re:Free market for the win (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268494)

Chrome is spyware. I use Konqueror.

Re:Free market for the win (3, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268566)

There are like 5 clearly labeled checkboxes in the chrome options which turn off all of the "enhanced" features which report to google. If its really that big a deal, you can turn them off and not be stuck with a crappy browser like Konqueror.

Or just, you know, use Chromium.

Re:Free market for the win (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268814)

There are like 5 clearly labeled checkboxes in the chrome options which turn off all of the "enhanced" features which report to google. If its really that big a deal, you can turn them off and not be stuck with a crappy browser like Konqueror.

Or just, you know, use Chromium.

Or use Iron.

Re:Free market for the win (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269080)

Ah, i get it. We have security concerns about google-- a large, highly public company whose browser's source is highly public-- so we're going to download some unheard of company's custom compile of said browser. Win for security!

What was that old rule about running random binaries from random entities on the internet?

Re:Free market for the win (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268874)

Use iron browser then dumb shit!

Re:Free market for the win (1, Interesting)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268526)

Are there chrome equivalents of noscript and Flashblock?

Re:Free market for the win (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268644)

Are there chrome equivalents of noscript and Flashblock?

Yes.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/noscript?hl=en-US

and

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gighmmpiobklfepjocnamgkkbiglidom?hl=en-US

Re:Free market for the win (5, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269078)

TabMix Plus
AdBlock Plus
Ghostery
Better Privacy
ShareMeNot
NoScript
Greasemonkey
Lazarus
NitroPDF

The chromium world will need to cultivate as diverse and independent a community of developers for extensibility.

Re:Free market for the win (5, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268684)

There still isn't a fully functional equivalent of AdBlock Plus even. The best they can do is hope the download takes long enough that the script can kill it. You still register the HTTP request, no matter what.

Beyond that, all this Firefox hate is ridiculous.

Re:Free market for the win (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268796)

Not true: there is an "onBeforeLoad" event in webkit that adblock can use in Chrome to block ads before they start loading.

Re:Free market for the win (4, Informative)

whereissue (2522564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268848)

"Beyond that, all this Firefox hate is ridiculous."

Is there hate? I have stopped using Firefox on a few different machines simply because it has experienced problems which were not replicated under Chrome... I'm not specifically avoiding any browser beyond IE, but won't be likely to switch back until Chrome begins to experience problems which are not replicated under Firefox.

"There still isn't a fully functional equivalent of AdBlock Plus even"
Yes there is... https://adblockplus.org/en/chrome [adblockplus.org]

Re:Free market for the win (3)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268988)

Is there hate?

Slashdot is oozing hate for Firefox these days.

I have stopped using Firefox on a few different machines simply because it has experienced problems which were not replicated under Chrome

And most complaints seem to be anecdotal rather than linked to a verified bug report. I've never seen issues that some people have, despite my use of an ancient Firefox profile and being on Nightly at home and Release at work.

Yes there is... https://adblockplus.org/en/chrome [adblockplus.org]

Does it actually prevent downloads or does it still just cut off downloads half way, resulting in small downloads going through then being hidden, and always allowing the HTTP request to go through?

Re:Free market for the win (5, Interesting)

gweilo8888 (921799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268708)

Flash blocking is built into the browser, and NoScript equivalents are available.

I agree with grandparent, though. The TFA is wrong; Chrome didn't overtake due to version numbering -- Chrome's own numbering is no less nonsensical. It overtook because it is a better browser. I am a power user who spends most of his day working through the browser, and who builds and configures his own machines. I was a Firefox user until Chrome came along, but I left the first chance I got because Firefox's developers refused to listen to its userbase.

Over and over, we were told that Firefox's poor memory usage wasn't a bug, it was a feature. The fact that if I opened a few browser windows and tabs, visited a few sites in each and ramped up memory usage in the process, then closed all but one single tab/window and memory usage barely reduced at all was what pushed me away from Firefox. I can't be spending all day long closing my browser every few hours because it's grown to consume multiple gigabytes of memory. Chrome is an absolute lightweight by comparison.

Note: I have no idea if Firefox ever got around to admitting and fixing this bug. That's the problem with ignoring your userbase. They tend not to come back.

Re:Free market for the win (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268798)

No one suggested the failure was because of the version numbering, it was just another thing that has been stupid with Firefox recently. And yes, Firefox's memory usage has always been horrible, along with the general slow feel that XUL gives the UI.

Re:Free market for the win (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268720)

There are Chrome equivalents of all moderately popular FF extensions.
Some of them have a radically different GUI, some of them I do not like as much, but all in all there is a good selection of workable extensions.

Re:Free market for the win (1)

qzjul (944600) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269024)

Except Adblock Plus in Chrome doesn't block YouTube ads which is insanely annoying.

Re:Free market for the win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268732)

I use Chromium (WaterFox 8.01, Opera 11.60 RC2, & IE9 as well), & it has an OPTIONS page, with an "under the hood" section where you can mess around with things!

E.G.=> Allowing javascript to run on EXCEPTIONS sites, but NOT ALL OTHERS, & more...

(I.E.-> Where you can do what Opera has always had built-in natively - you can control MANY things (plugins, javascript, cookies, popup blocking, default protocol handlers, desktop notifications, mouse control & more - AND, there are downloadable addons, & Yes, I have seen an AdBlock equivalent there - this is also in that same set of "tweaking" pages Chromium has by the by, as to looking for addons...))...

Hope this helps... someone turned me onto it here on /. by the way (I was doing more commandline options for Chromium is why & didn't look further than that for tweaking it).

APK

P.S.=> The ONLY "problem" I've had w/ Chromium is that it doesn't seem to want to "save" the settings for the above options each time I use it, & I have to reset them again upon each usage (perhaps it's more commandline work I need to do in it? I set my cachesize & cache location (onto RamDisk) that way, so, it's probably made "permanent" via the commandline used also, but I haven't looked into it lately)... apk

Re:Free market for the win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268898)

Hi, Hairyfeet. I'm curious, couldn't I just use a carefully maintained HOST file to fulfill all of this functionality for me?

Re:Free market for the win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268536)

Because it is a free market and it is better than FF ;)

It's a mix of tech superiority & marketing (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268580)

"It's because Chrome is the better browser. It shouldn't matter that it comes from a mega company like Google. If a better product comes out, that should be king. Now why people are still using IE is beyond me." - by gameboyhippo (827141) on Monday December 05, @01:04PM (#38268436)

If that's purely the case as you state it, Opera should have won long ago then as "top most used browser". Opera was technically superior on many grounds:

---

1.) Speed (for years & on most all fronts tested/testable)

2.) Built in features natively without having to use addons

3.) Features other webbrowsers or addon makers literally copied from Opera's playbook (and integrated into their own webbrowsers).

---

* Will Mozilla/FireFox die? No, doubt it - too good of a codebase built up for decades to just "die"... it'll live on (if in anything, WaterFox (very fast, I'm impressed in fact by it)).

APK

P.S.=> No, I think it has to do a LOT with who's backing you in this world (not just programs, but that same goes for individuals also (ala "it's not what you know, but who you know", though I think that's speaking TOO much in "absolutes" also)... in the end? It's a mix of both... imo @ least!

... apk

Re:Free market for the win (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268584)

That and those Mozilla People should stop screwing up and hiding their mistakes in ever increasing version numbers.
Firefox group. If you want to beat Chrome... Stop making your product to look and function more like it does. You are only making your product a cheap ripoff of the other product.

Netscape was a dominate browser, IE was a cheap rip off (one of those crappy software that comes free with the OS)
Then IE made their browser faster and lighter with a UI that wasn't trying to copy Netscapes look and feel.
Then Firefox had started to dominate because it was faster and lighter with a UI that wasn't trying to copy IE look and feels.
No chrome came out that was faster and lighter and a UI that didn't look like Firefox.

Now Firefox is remaking their product to look and feel more like chrome. Why, should I stick with Firefox if I can get a real chrome like UI from Chrome.

Re:Free market for the win (5, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268748)

Problem there, though. This happened before. IE4 was clearly better than Netscape. Once Netscape became irrelevant, IE stopped improving.

Lack of competition is a bad thing.

Contradiction? (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268790)

I found your post subject:

Free market for the win

And text a little bit contradictory.

It's because Chrome is the better browser. It shouldn't matter that it comes from a mega company like Google. If a better product comes out, that should be king.

In my mind, the ideal functions of a free market are where N competing products vie for marketshare. The 'one browser to rule them all' mentality is, in my opinion, an antithesis to the free market concept. And what's more bizarre is that your post ends with an acknowledgment that IE has enjoyed an abnormally long run incorrectly as the leader. Don't you fear that if Firefox died tomorrow we would be one browser closer to the old system where IE stagnated and just got crappier and crappier with no competition in sight?

Products do die in a free market, I just haven't seen Firefox deserve this and given the barrier of entry into the browser market we should really cherish what we have for options.

I agree that chrome is the better browser -- though not in all categories. As such, I wish to see Firefox remain healthy and would enjoy them to improve upon areas that Chrome has gained on them. Not to 'fragment' the market (we grow closer to actual HTML standards everyday) but instead to keep these guys on their toes, moving forward and trying to win me over. When I saw Arcade Fire's music video in HTML5 on Chrome, that won me over. That was it. I don't want Firefox to die, I want Firefox to pull a similar move.

Re:Free market for the win (1)

danbob999 (2490674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268824)

I am not an IE fan but If I get your free market logic, IE is winning because it's the better browser.

Re:Free market for the win (4, Funny)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268972)

I am not an IE fan but If I get your free market logic, IE is winning because it's the better browser

As is Windows on the desktop.

Re:Free market for the win (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268838)

It's because Chrome is the better browser. It shouldn't matter that it comes from a mega company like Google. If a better product comes out, that should be king. Now why people are still using IE is beyond me.

Chrome is a better browser for some things. There are times when I find I'd rather use Firefox because Chrome handles certain operations in frustrating ways - also, if you leave the updating option on (really bad idea) in Chrome you can fire it up in the next morning and find they've changed things on you, again, and in a way not at all to your liking (but don't bother to tell them that, they're never wrong and won't revert some stupid change for the sake of change because they think it's neat.)

Re:Free market for the win (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268902)

It's because Chrome is the better browser. It shouldn't matter that it comes from a mega company like Google. If a better product comes out, that should be king. Now why people are still using IE is beyond me.

Chrome is shit. It has no features to speak of. Even Firefox with its tendencies to outsource all interesting funcionality to plugin developers is so so. Both can't hold a candle to Opera in terms of overall features (and its irrelevant that Opera has only maringal marketshare). I'm talking on a purely tecnical level. IE9 is not bad (maybe a little better than Firefox but way behind Opera), but since its limited to Windows 7 well it will never have any decent marketshare.

Re:Free market for the win (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268984)

Sorry, but chrome is a piece of shit. It's very unpolished and has such a minimal UI you can't do anything in it. Not to mention that the extension support is awful, there's still not even a functional ad blocker for it.

Monopolistic practices for the win (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269034)

Their biggest problem is that they are about to lose Google funding. It would make sense for Google to pay Firefox to put revenue into their search engine product, except they don't want to because they compete with their web browser product.

So Firefox's problem is that Google has a conflict of interest born of the fact that they have two products in two arenas. However, Mozilla cannot really seek a legal remedy to their problem, because the market has give Google access to far more lawyer man-hours than Mozilla can ever hope to have.

While Google has made a very nice browser, the title of this article is "Will Firefox Lose Google Funding?" So this is a story about free market abuses, not the beauty of the free market system. Indeed, if Google somehow decided to maintain their contract with Mozilla, Google (and all browser makers) would have a greater incentive to make a better browser.

Ludicrous suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268438)

Microsoft paying money to pay a competitor to use a Microsoft product?

Now where have I seen this pattern before?

Re:Ludicrous suggestion (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268768)

Microsoft paying money to pay a competitor to use a Microsoft product?

Now where have I seen this pattern before?

Microsoft gives for two reasons - they want control (maybe not today, but eventually) or it keeps them looking like a monopolist (like their investment in Apple, to prop them up before Apple overtook them in Market Capitalization.)

Keeping Firefox/Mozilla going is really in Google's best interests for avoiding the Monopoly concern. Better to have a few friends who can defend you from assertions of Mighty Evil Master of Monopoly than none.

Sad (1, Troll)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268440)

Sad if this happens and Firefox has to beg money from Bing. Whatever happened with the 500k/yr Mozilla CEOs who were paid so much money to diversify the revenue sources? Sad really.

Re:Sad (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268470)

The problem is ultimately that Firefox was out-Firefoxed. Chrome is what Firefox was in its beginning, a pretty small and basic web browser without all the cruft. Part of the issue to my mind, or at least why I abandoned Firefox was simply that the developers refused to fix long-standing bugs, and basically began to ignore the community that used the browser. So far as I'm concerned, IE and Chrome have left Firefox behind.

Re:Sad (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268586)

I dont know about IE, it still seems to drag a lot of the time when compared to firefox. I use Chrome preferentially, then Firefox, then IE when nothing else wants to behave.

FF won't lose Google funding (5, Insightful)

Eric Coleman (833730) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268704)

For the very reason that Google wouldn't want to give Bing any sort of leg up on their own search engine. I think Mozilla could come out ahead if there happens to be any backroom bidding wars to keep that 3rd place browser out of the other big guy's hands.

Re:Sad (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268718)

a pretty small and basic web browser without all the cruft

How has this changed? Seriously, clean installs of Phoenix 1.0 and Firefox 11.0 are largely equivalent in terms of UI being presented (browser, bookmarks, history, tabs.) What "cruft" has been added that wasn't removed in the initial split from Seamonkey?

Re:Sad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38269054)

I dunno - you tell me:

Firefox Setup 1.0.exe 4,918,270 bytes
Firefox Setup 8.0.1.exe 14,761,224 bytes

Re:Sad (0)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268794)

Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if Firefox lost some of its funding. It's become a behemoth, losing the ability to pay full time developers to deal with it might lead to some slimming down.

Re:Sad (1)

iiiears (987462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268942)

Give freely of your time, talents and dollars to support open source development.

Even a dollar donation can help with bandwidth.

(I remember when a browser cost 25+ dollars. Now get off my lawn! /g)

Microsoft (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268442)

Considering they have a browser of their own, would it really be beneficial to Microsoft to sign with Firefox?

Re:Microsoft (2)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268466)

Yes. Firefox gets money, Microsoft gets users to Bing. Hell, maybe they combine IE and FF and it becomes Microsoft Firefox.

Re:Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268662)

Ah, so this is the new user ID that CmdrPony [slashdot.org] switched [slashdot.org] to.

Re:Microsoft (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268990)

.... maybe they combine IE and FF and it becomes Microsoft Firefox.

That's been my dream for years... a giant flushing sound as the loaf that is MSIE is flushed and replaced with FF.

Heck if Debian can/has to call FF "iceweasel" maybe MS could flush rotten MSIE down the drain and literally call FF "the new IE" or something like that.

Re:Microsoft (5, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268468)

Given the situation Bing is in, even a 1% search share increase for a $100 million cost is nothing. Firefox has 500 million users and maybe 20% of them won't change the default from Bing.

Re:Microsoft (2)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268568)

It wouldn't be lump sum of $100 million, it would be percentage from ad clicks like with Google. So any way you look at it, it's only favorable for Microsoft. Their revenue per click would be less if they negotiate better deals with Mozilla, but they also get to grow their market share further. On the other hand Google doesn't really like paying Mozilla now that their own browser is becoming so popular - they're giving a large share of the profits they could have from ads to support a competing browser.

Re:Microsoft (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268928)

Given the situation Bing is in, even a 1% search share increase for a $100 million cost is nothing. Firefox has 500 million users and maybe 20% of them won't change the default from Bing.

Maybe, but I'm pretty sure they'll lose users to Chrome over it and many of the open-source developers won't be happy to help Microsoft. It might solve a money problem but I think they'll get a PR problem instead.

Re:Microsoft (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269062)

Yes.
Microsoft really didn't get what it wanted out of Internet Explorer. The point of the browser was was to dominate the market so they could push their own standards. To make browsing the World Wide Web a windows only thing, in order to Push Active X and other technologies that tied people to windows. It didn't happen.
1. Active X security model was flawed on day 1. I remember hearing about Active X and going ARE YOU INSANE! Microsoft overestimated the self restraint the average user will have with their computer. An Alert Box saying are you sure Means they will almost always click Yes. Java Applets are far more secure because they didn't allow writing to the Clients PC drives. Or really direct access to most of their hardware. This created a new set of security problems for Microsoft where any good IT person would stop that Technology from being deployed. Thus web developers will not depend on this technology as it will be blocked and there would need to be instructions and headaches to try to get the user to enable it.

2. Flash: Small, Light, Secure and Visually Appealing (at least compared to JavaApplets or Active X) and worked on different browsers and OS's and Hardware Platforms.It seemed more like a Toy Plugin then a real threat to Microsoft so they let it slip until it was too late.

3. Javascript: In order to get market share with IE they had to embrace Javascript. That allowed developers to put put code if IE do this otherwise follow the standards. So more and more websites were cross browser compatible.

4. Safari: Microsoft dropping IE for Mac and Apple pushing Safari was a big mistake. Web Developers (many used macs) made sure their code worked on their macs first then fixed it for IE. For a business case it is hard to say you will be dropping all your mac clients. As 3% of them were Macs at the time. So if you got 3 million hits. That is 30,000 complaints.

5. Apache: Unix/Linux server based web server running most of the web sites, as Windows Servers were not big enough for enterprise level serving. So most web shops had Linux/Unix boxes around and many of them used it for workstations. So IE was the second option.

6. Windows Long Horn/and Vista. IE releases are more or less tied with the OS Releases IE 6 for XP, IE 7 for Vista IE 8 for Windows 7 IE 9 for Windows 8. Yes they are not directly tied but there is a coralation between release time of the browser and the OS. Microsoft was stupid to integrate the OS with the Browser so. As Microsoft lingered in trying to get Vista out then having Vista being a failure. IE 6 stayed around for Far too long. Thus allowing Firefox and other browsers to get a good foot hold as people are eager to get a browser that meets the needs of their faster computers with faster internet connection and want to do the cool new things well.

So IE lost their foot hold in controlling the standard. So Microsoft Bing has to gain from getting Firefox support by default. That means more traffic to their site. IE is more or less a free as in beer product so they are not making money off of it. And they lost the standards war so they cannot use their huge market share to leverage their own products that IE was suppose to enhance.

Now Google produced chrome as a browser that will run their standard compliment services faster and better then the other browsers. So they are giving away chrome as to push their own services. And they are keeping competitive with their competitors to make sure they have the best experience without pissing off the other browsers as they are welcomed to use their services too and should get a good experience as well, but having their own dominate browser allows them to raise the bar on what they can do faster then having to wait for the other browsers to support it.

No bing for you! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268460)

I'll immediately switch to Chrome if Firefox starts using Bing. I'd rather not use a search engine that literally has to reward users to even get them to use it.

Re:No bing for you! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268524)

Some geek. Tools -> Options -> General -> Home page

Re:No bing for you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268958)

I don't think /finding/ Google is his problem. Thanks for the shit post, though.

Re:No bing for you! (2)

steevven1 (1045978) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268630)

...or you could just permanently change the default search provider back to Google with three clicks. Firefox isn't going to take that ability away; they'd just change the DEFAULT search provider.

Re:No bing for you! (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268636)

I'd rather not use a search engine that literally has to reward users to even get them to use it.

Just pointing out that Microsoft isn't actually losing money when they do that. It's just clever marketing and Microsoft is actually profiting by rewarding users. There are many such reward sites on the internet whose owners also get money by offering rewards to users. The catch is, advertisers want to sell something or offer a service. They pay the publisher (in this case Microsoft) for getting those users. But instead of taking the whole payment to themselves, they reward some percentage of it back to user. In the end, Microsoft actually profits from it and users want to use Bing because they get free/almost-free stuff. Very clever.

SharkLaser again (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268582)

This guy's gunning for Troll of the Year.

Re:SharkLaser again (3, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268778)

The summary is pretty fatally flawed, indeed.....

[Chrome] is Google's most prominent software product

Really? You can't think of any Google software that people use more often than Chrome??

Re:SharkLaser again (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269008)

No software products, no. I can think of several Google services that people use more often than Chrome, but no software products.

Re:SharkLaser again (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38269076)

No software products, no. I can think of several Google services that people use more often than Chrome, but no software products.

Android?

Sorry, but.. (2)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268600)

Don't you think $123 Million buys a better browser than Firefox... It's pretty good, but it could be so much better. I'm glad it has more competition.

But...Bing is Google merely reskinned? (1, Informative)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268606)

How many damn times do people need telling? [blogspot.com]

Re:But...Bing is Google merely reskinned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268816)

This is insightful and apparently informative as people's memories are, alas, so short.

Re:But...Bing is Google merely reskinned? (3, Informative)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269036)

That's completely false. Bing didn't copy any result from Google. Bing's toolbar just captured (if they had opted in) what users searched on any site of the internet and where they go next. It's a good assumption too - if user searches for something and then chooses that site over something else, there's a good change it's relevant. However, it was only small part of Bing's algorithm but since Google's engineers used made up words, there wasn't any other page to compete with those words. This resulted in Bing assigning those made-up keywords to those sites.

You could get the same effect in Google by bombing it with links that have some made up word as anchor text.

Re:But...Bing is Google merely reskinned? (5, Informative)

oldlurker (2502506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269092)

How many damn times do people need telling? [blogspot.com]

How many times do people need to read the follow-ups to that story to realize that it was wrong [piloseo.com]? Even Dan Sullivan who were central in driving the original story went back on this claim in a follow-up blog post after he learned more about it.

Or Does Google Need Firefox (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268624)

For the reverse look at this relationship, "How browsers make money, or why Google needs Firefox" - http://www.extremetech.com/internet/92558-how-browsers-make-money-or-why-google-needs-firefox

OMG NOES!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268640)

You mean version 87459.0 will be the last version of Firefox!?!

guess business users will go back to IE...... (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268650)

Unless Google comes out with a way to manage Chrome , it is the least favorable browser in a business environment specifically due to security issues. FF was once deemed the best thing since sliced bread FF's rapid releases that integrate security updates, is no longer sustainable with out adding more resources to the company to manage it. Most companies still design around IE for its end users since it still has the largest base of users. In the corporate world there no reason not to use IE since there is a large corporation behind it to fix security holes, unlike Google that may or may not fix a security hole based on how they feel that day about their beta software, or just decide to kill it off completely.

I don't see why Google would cut them off... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268666)

While Google, as Firefox's sugar daddy and major technical competitor, could put the hurt on FF, I just don't see the logic behind their doing so:

FF still has a pretty significant chunk of marketshare, so being the default search engine is still valuable; plus they are likely a convenient PR antidote to Google's ongoing issues with venturing into being-accused-of-monopoly-abuse territory: they are an independent 3rd party, developing a competing product with competitive marketshare(Hey FCC, look at that, see that robust competition?); but(unlike say Microsoft) they have neither a search product worthy of note or a non HTML5/JS development environment worthy of note(I've seen a few XUL-based tech demos; but that ranks well behind Silverlight, much less Win32, as anything resembling a threat...)

They just seem more valuable alive than dead, to Google. Unlike some of the other competitors, even a sudden surge of unmitigated dominance, with the Gecko slaughtering all before it, would pretty much just require Google to switch from webkit to Gecko and feel absolutely no pain in the areas where it actually makes money. As it is, they have the convenient property of being 'independent and competitive'; but also sharing basically all of Google's goals for web-based applications and the general advancement of web stuff not tied to a specific platform. Why mess with such a convenient 3rd party?

Re:I don't see why Google would cut them off... (3, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268868)

I have to agree. Google's seen how many headaches antitrust investigations and actions can be, and there's obvious logic behind keeping a major competitor around to point to. Google still profits off all the search referrals, so Firefox isn't costing them a lot of revenue, and having that second implementation means you a) have to code your site to work with both and b) have to make your browser correctly handle HTML/CSS/JS/etc. that's designed for both. That cross-compatibility's a selling point with devs, just ask anybody who's trying to make an IE6-specific site work well with IE 8 and later.

Re:I don't see why Google would cut them off... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269046)

They just seem more valuable alive than dead, to Google. Unlike some of the other competitors, even a sudden surge of unmitigated dominance, with the Gecko slaughtering all before it, would pretty much just require Google to switch from webkit to Gecko and feel absolutely no pain in the areas where it actually makes money

Not really. Differences between Gecko and WebKit, and particularly between V8 and the JS engine that FireFox uses, cost Google development effort on the server side. If they could ditch support for FireFox, they'd save money. If WebKit + V8 had 90% market share then most of Google's services would be a lot cheaper to develop.

I don't trust Chrome (1, Insightful)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268668)

because I don't trust Google. They pulled that stunt with Buzz. Their CEO came right out and announced that their real name policy on Google+ was about making the information of users more valuable to sell. Then there is that incident about censoring information about what really happened in Tianammen Square from the Chinese version of Google.

Using the Chrome browser would make me feel like I was using a smartphone equipped with Carrier IQ.

Re:I don't trust Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268922)

Well you could always use the open source version of it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_(web_browser)

Hmmm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268716)

Both revenue sources also have their own browser so neither of them is a real long-term solution. Maybe Mozilla needs to think outside the box.

Monitization and Monopolies (5, Interesting)

Xanny (2500844) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268726)

I mean the reason this is a problem at all is that Mozilla is a non profit but still needs to cover operating costs. Since everything they make is free, they need to either monetize customer support (and who has ever heard of that with a browser or email reader) or have ad revenue.

The google deal was just a means to an end, that some fraction of the add revenue from google goes to mozilla because google was firefox default search. The reason its so dangerous for mozilla is because google has such monopolistic power over search they have no one else to turn to to get ad revenue from searching from, hence the inquiries at M$.

But do consider this - Google is paying 100 million a year, but in 2010 they had revune of 29 billion. In exchange, they go from having influence in a quarter of the browser market (Chrome) to half the market (Chrome + FF) and then they have majority influence. I imagine its something they want when pushing WebM video and standards compliance in browsers.

I use Firefox, and have tried Chrome, but as a developer, add on nerd, and moralist I can't give myself to the company whose adds are blocked by a plugin in their own browser. I have compared them, and run them against Sunspider, and the half a milisecond of delay in page loading doesn't make me want to ditch a fully open project for something Google has lordship over. Its the same thing with Android vs Ubuntu on tablets, I want to see Ubuntu succeed because it is an open development process, not just source wise. Google already close sourced Android 3 even though it was blatantly illegal to close source software built on Linux. So I'd rather stick with the open standard. Worst case scenario, I might find a few months to work on FF myself and try to fix some of the slowdowns if I really take issue with them. That's the benefit of open development.

Open Web Standards (0, Flamebait)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268764)

I thought FireFox was such a positive force for open standards, in the days when IE was a monopoly.

But something happened. FireFox got to 20% market share, and they got a bunch of money (from Google) and fame. Then, Mozilla ceased to become an organization that was dedicated to an open web. It became, instead, an organization that knew better [ocallahan.org] than the open web. It wasn't about implementing standards any more. It was about God's chosen web engineers determining what was best for the web.

The problem with Mozilla refusing to implement open standards that other browsers implement, is the same problem we had back when IE had disproportionate market share.

Chrome and Opera and Webkit don't suffer from this narcissism. They just get on with it and implement open standards.

Hooray for open standards!

Re:Open Web Standards (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268856)

I thought FireFox was such a positive force for open standards, in the days when IE was a monopoly.

Last I checked it still is. Unless you can show how they came to a screeching halt in supporting new web standards.

It became, instead, an organization that knew better than the open web. It wasn't about implementing standards any more.

So they should never have opinions on the value or efficacy of solutions, they should just implement and expend effort implementing dubiously valuable standards that aren't actually standards but rather something dictated by the Webkit engine. Something you would rather attack Mozilla for but give other browsers a pass on.

They even give a rationale for their refusal:

The problem with WebSQLDatabase is that it isn't good for the Web, because it depends completely to the semantics and query planning of SQL as implemented by SQLite --- which is a somewhat quirky SQL implementation.

But apparently rational argument and valid points are meaningless.

Their own fucking fault (-1, Flamebait)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268802)

Its their own damn fault.

Those shit heads are alienating users with the version bullshit, and releasing shitty products.

With the exception of a few days, the Nightly version of FF is much better than the actual releases. And the shit that gets fucked in Nightly doesn't seem to stay fucked for as long. The only problem with nightly is the plugins, and with the new version schedule, the releases are having those same issues.

The Mozilla really needs to get its shit together.

Hey assholes, here's a few things that will help:

  1. Stop releasing shitty browsers. Yes I'm specifically referring to the default hardware acceleration being enabled that made your browser unusable for many people, but there have also been many more complaints.
  2. Listen to your fucking customers. Like when they complain about usability: like when you move shit around. Just because some usability expert says to do something doesn't mean you should. People already know how to use your browser, they should have to relearn.

What exactly is Mozilla spending $100M on? (4, Insightful)

electroniceric (468976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268828)

Does anyone know where the money they get from Google goes? Aren't they a non-profit that's freely distributing a community-developed piece of software? If so, why does this cost anything more than a couple million a year? That's what their financial statements from 2009 (latest available from their website) talk about: 10 people and ~ $1.5M in budget. That seems pretty reasonable to me to run a product with as broad a user base as Firefox.

But $100M??? Assuming an average salary of $100K, that's 1000 people. Are there really 1000 people working at Mozilla? If so, what are they doing?

Or are they really spending as much as Nike and Coke on marketing? Do they have a big pile of cash in bank? Can someone help me understand, cause right now I don't see how the math adds up...

Re:What exactly is Mozilla spending $100M on? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268876)

There are quite a lot of people working at Mozilla. I imagine it's mostly staffing costs.

Isn't Firefox becoming just another [loose woman]? (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268840)

If Firefox gets most of its funding from either Google or (potentially) Microsoft doesn't that make them just another software outlet beholden to one very large company? Seems like a long way from the idea of open source software being supported by the donated time of thousands of dedicated volunteers. Am I missing something?

123M USD per anno? (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268858)

In 2010, 84% of Mozilla's $123 million in revenue came directly from Google

Uki, Mozilla loosing funding is bad and all, but what the heck have they been spending 100M+ USD a year on? They must have some money stashed away somewhere ....

Synchronisation to own server... (1)

shic (309152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268878)

I use various desktop PCs, and I want to share my passwords and bookmarks between them... but I am not comfortable with this personal data in the cloud - even on Google's servers. This is exactly the same reason I use Thunderbird and Lightning with my own mail and calendar servers rather than Google Mail/Calendar... even while I'm disappointed with Thunderbird and Lightnig's progress in recent years. I don't want my (potentially sensitive) data lurking in the cloud.

With Firefox, I solved this using XMarks and a personal DAV server on my own hardware accessed over HTTPS.

With Chrome, while XMarks has been ported, it doesn't support personal DAV servers... which is a sticking point for me.

Chrome would probably win me over if it could synchronise bookmarks and passwords against my own server... in spite of my wider concerns about its integration with Google services.

most prominent software product??? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268890)

Um, what about Android?

Or, google.com - you know that search engine some people use?

Mozilla needs a lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268892)

Seriously, they need to fall flat on their face. It would be ideal if they lost all people with narcissitc personality issues like Asa Dotzler in the same move.

not working [mozilla.org]

That is a bug filed in 2001 because Mozilla refuses to support XSL sufficiently.

You don't care about XSL? Well.. would you care about a CMS that is well documented, open and works in the browser instead on the server? XSL could have been that already... more than 10 years ago...

I hope Mozilla falls on its face and, then, will compete again.

So much for don't be evil, huh? (0)

toddmbloom (1625689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268904)

Support other browsers until you put out your own and then crush the competition.

Chrome isn't even a decent browser.

Most browsers... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268918)

... still have pretty crappy interfaces. Take delicious.com for example, no browser ever thought of tagging, saving, and organizing bookmarks in a database format (which was ingenious IMHO) and allowing other people to search look at/share their bookmarks. When you look at the browser market all you really see is incompetence. There's tonnes of cool firefox plugins and I keep firefox around for them. But it would be amazing if the more useful plugins were incorporated directly into the program. Like taking screenshots of webpages and saving them to a database with tagging (ala delicious). Many of us have tonnes of little clips/bits of information we need from the web but no way to organize it and basic bookmarks is a far cry from what is needed but things like delicious are headed in the right direction.

I find most of my problems with browsers in how to organize and manage the pages/websites/info I want to save. Browsers have really need more intelligent information management features for end users.

Where did the money go? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38268936)

Does anyone know how Mozilla managed to spend $123m in 2010? That seems an awful lot to cover improvements to Firefox and Thunderbird that are not especially earth-shattering. My impression is that many other open-source projects generate more innovation with a lot less money.

Deal with the devil of charity. (1)

burni2 (1643061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38268992)

Evil or not, making a deal with the devil is a bad idea even if he it is called google. Google, even not intended to be acting evil (Don't be evil), is acting evil, as it's cause for funding Mozilla was not to help Mozilla and bring the users a good and free browser, but to bring down the internet explorer's dominance. Anyway if you combine charity with a benefit for yourself, except you feeling good and being altruistic.

And that way Google's actions are evil even if not inteded to be evil, but the cause of the charity is corrupt. And to be frank Mozilla got itself corrupted by the google money, if you ask yourself is Mozilla really worth 100 $M ? A feature less browser (yes some good plugins blablabla) which now accelrates it's version numbers like it want to compensate for falling back in market share. And it seems Mozilla now tries to get hocked on it's next suggar daddy. Mozilla needs a new management and a new perspective, because it lost it's main cause of existence, and even with reaching version 16 on January 1st next year there will no perspective just popping up.

A lesson in management (2, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269056)

We all hate firing people and want be everyone's friend at work.

One bad apple such as Asa can surely ruin the whole batch. Talka bout a negative return. If Mozilla had some balls and threaten to fire Asa after Firefox 4.0 if he did the 6 week release or at least re-engineer the browser and add-ons to be designed for agile development like Chrome before making the leap.

You can design a system that can be agile like the flash trading computers at Wall Street where programmers make changes within the hour of a screaming trader without a crash. Chrome is it, but sadly Firefox was not.

The CEO of Mozilla needed to ahve more vision and that included the CIO who left for Facebook who probably kept Firefox stable before he quit. I no longer run Firefox but I hate to see it go. Many schools I worked at k-12 and individuals depend on Firefox because it is Mac and Windows friendly and so much more stable and secure than IE 6.

Lets hope Chrome does not monopolize the web as Google's actions make me nervous and remind me of IE 5 in many ways. Dart, custom Javascript, and their C++ api (forgot name) is very proprietary. I do not like it! Not Chrome per say but rather the proprietary add-ons.

Yet, chrome now has issues (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269070)

I am seeing bugs in Chrome that has never been there. Some are pretty severe. So, I have switched back to firefox. Good solid browser.

Choice and variety are good (3, Insightful)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38269072)

I hope Google doesn't pull the plug on Firefox - that would result in less choice, and fewer people would be happy with their browsing experiences. The more browsers the merrier, I say.

I really like Firefox, and the last time I tried Chrome I couldn't find any way to customise it to suit my needs. Also, does Chrome, (or will it ever), have an add-on equivalent to Flashblock? (No, the recent addition of similar functionality to NoScript isn't a viable replacement). What about "Long URL please", "FontFinder", "Add 'n' Edit Cookies", "Tab Mix Plus", or "Video Download Helper"?

I generally don't like bloat, but Chrome is way too spartan for my needs. With Firefox, I gladly suffer a little bloat to get the ultimate in customisability. I have no confidence that Chrome will ever be as flexible.

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