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Firefox Pushes Google Away In Russia

And Russian president allows blog feedback

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Google may be used to seeing its market share climb, but it looks like the search giant is getting kicked down a rung or two in one country.  Mozilla has decided to make Yandex, and not Google, the default search provider in future Russian versions of Firefox.

Harvey Anderson, Mozilla’s vice president and general counsel, gave several reasons for the change on his blog.  "Over the past few months, we have listened to feedback, talked with our localizers, studied the trends of our Firefox Yandex builds, and reviewed the Yandex user experience," he wrote.  "All this activity led us to the conclusion that our Russian users really wanted direct access to the Yandex search services in official Firefox RU builds."

Firefox Russia
 Change search/start defaults to Yandex in ru builds

And since Yandex is Russia’s leading Internet property, never mind search site, it’s not hard to buy this explanation.  The recent rough patch between Google and Mozilla may really have had nothing to do with the development.

In other Russia-related news, then, President Medvedev has taken the interesting step of opening his video blog up to comments.  According to RIA Novosti, Medvedev said he’d "read all of them with great interest," and while would-be commenters will have to register and avoid hateful stuff, no overt censorship is taking place.

It’ll be interesting to see how both of these things work out over the next few months.

Firefox Pushes Google Away In Russia
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