Google, Mozilla Growing Apart

By: Doug Caverly - December 22, 2008

Compared to a lot of businesses out there, Mozilla’s got nothing to worry about; a search partnership with Google has guaranteed it revenue through 2011.  But with Chrome becoming more and more of a threat to Firefox, it’s hard not to view the link between the parent companies as being a bit strained.

One of the more obvious apparent breakdowns involves the promotion of Chrome instead of Firefox.  Until recently, you see, Firefox was bundled into the official Google Pack of free and useful software.  Now Chrome’s got its spot.  Google’s taken Chrome out of beta and expressed an interest in pre-installation on PCs, too, which should keep it in the spotlight.

Google Chrome Screenshot

Then there’s the financial side of things.  Of the $66 million Mozilla received in 2006, Google supplied it with about $56 million, so when the current search partnership does expire, Firefox’s maker might encounter some serious cash flow problems.

John Lilly, Mozilla’s CEO, told Gregg Keizer in response, "Our goal is to be an advocate for the Web for 50 or even 100 years, and you can’t depend on any one organization.  Our three-year agreement is the longest we’ve ever had.  This is a long-time horizon, so we don’t have to do anything super soon, but in the next three years we can continue to build products and develop revenue streams."

Lilly also said of his company’s connection with Google, "We have a fine and reasonable relationship.  But I’d be lying if I said that things weren’t more complicated than they used to be."

Doug Caverly

About the Author

Doug CaverlyDoug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

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  • PJ Brunet

    I’m a Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox user since 1994.

    I think they will play nice together, they need each other. Because five years from now IE will still be #1 and Firefox will still be #2.

    What Google needs is permission to drop millions of free Chrome netbooks from blimps with multicolored parachutes.

  • CSSteve

    This browser market is a really interesting contest. Internet Explorer has such a huge advantage because it is already there on the vast majority of computers that are purchased. Firefox, on the other hand, owes it’s success to legions of geekier than average users who are looking for something better. Google will likely find most of thier initial following from people who just plain like all things google. However, if google manages to be pre-installed on computers from the factory, it could go toe to toe with Internet Explorer. Google has the name recognition and the financial resources to make this happen. Is Microsoft scared? You bet! This was the primary reason they tried to aquire Yahoo. The next 5 to 10 years should be a fascinating contest.

  • Diamonds

    Google is just a big bully… They want to be #1 at everything, why don’t they just concentrate on their search which has been very good with their revenue, improve Adwords for example.

  • Guest

    With IE’s frequent security lapses and Google now promoting Chrome, look for Chrome to be #2 by this time next year. Their streamed down approach appeals to me and no doubt will to many others who like their streamed down search as well.

    These browsers mainly gain popularity through ease of installation through clever marketing ploys, Microsoft of course has the advantage now with it bundled in XP/Vista, Google knows a thing or two about promoting free tools though, in 2 years I think they draw even with IE and Firefox becomes a niche product like Netscape.

  • jim

    i dont think google will win in this contest. microsoft cant beat google in search and google cant beat MS in browser. just like ballmer said, they came late in search market and also google came way late in browser market. everything will be same in 5 years.

  • Mike Allen

    Chrome works great on Google properties but frequently locks up when I try to use it on other sites. Firefox (recommended) or Opera (or Safari on a Mac) is the way to go for a good browsing experience.

    Chrome is a long way from being ready for prime time. Will it ever be ready? Sure, and the competition will be good for us as browser users.

  • Imago

    I downloaded google chrome to test it out. It was sparse and lacking. It locked up frequently, and didn’t display the pages any faster then any of my other browsers, and didn’t come close to Firefox. But IE is still a POS. MS and Google are doing the exact same things. Making things look pretty. I guess it appeals to bimbos and mimbos who like shiny baubles, but I look for functionality not how pretty the browser is. It could look like a total POS but if it did a great job I wouldn’t care.

    But as my dad always said, “Chrome don’t get you home.”

  • reiki

    I dont know why google is picking on mozilla, IE should the target google is picking on.

  • Guest

    Bally high and not so many cacklands. Amdack up in one of them. So a few what er

    • Him

      Aye not half. three of them is not but then, astid the third might bang off any minute. If it was the same it wouldn’t be different. I don’t really think that bally high is worth more bart faces unless it starts raining shit.

  • loose blight

    Hi Danny,

    What about the best lot cat? you never know when one might go mad and then cackland wouldn’t be in it. There might be a few art barts here but eh? Three of these is not worth 11 of them but I don’t care if it does start raining shit. I still don’t think it’s worth bringing five elephants from foobi doo land.

    By the ell

  • danielle

    I have to say google chrome is very fast on my PC the only downside is the adds on I got used to on firefox. without them chrome cant compete with firefox…

  • SEM Wisdom
  • jss tripler proof

    Yeah..Rudy the man is bringing in something from Boston at least we have something in common now with BM heheheh..hopefully, we get to use this on Milo!