One of the best things about Firefox is that the browser is open source, free for everyone. The Mozilla Foundation which owns/runs Firefox is a non-profit tax exempt organization. Their origin is as an offshoot of Netscape. For the past 7 years Firefox has provided a fast efficient program with which to travel the web.
Yesterday, two things happened in the world of information technology. The first was that Google’s in house browser Chrome surpassed Firefox to be the second most popular browser in use. The second is that the royalties contract Mozilla had in place with Google ended its duration. Those royalties account for over 80% of the Mozilla and Firefox budget. Many people are wondering whether Google will opt to continue the arrangement which amounts to their funding a competitor for browsing clientele (Albeit a not for profit competitor).
Mozilla has recently changed their promotional material to state that they derive revenues from search engine royalties. They no longer directly cite Google as their benefactor. Obviously the 100 million dollars or so that Google pays Mozilla in royalties is not the issue. The issue looming is whether Google wants to directly control half of the browser marketplace by virtue of Chrome’s latest surge in popularity. The Mozilla generic royalty statement opens the door for another search engine operator to pay those royalties and become the Firefox default home page. The obvious potential suitor would be Bing. No doubt Microsoft would be thrilled to give Mozilla their commissions, and then some, so as to instantly add five percentage points to their search engine user base. Google had better make a deal with Firefox fast.