Google Rumored To Be Breaking Up With Firefox
Google is obligated to support Mozilla’s Firefox browser through a search contract until 2011. But rumors suggest that may be the end of the Google-Firefox alliance.
People were relatively stunned when Google launched its own web browser, Chrome, and they wondered allowed what that would mean for Google’s relationship with the browser that quickly rose to the second most used browser in the world.
At the height of all the Microsoft versus Google hysteria—which left us without a Microsoft contender in search and without a Google operating system—Google jumped behind Firefox, the only browser that presented a challenge to Internet Explorer since IE devastated Netscape.
Firefox grabbed 22 percent of the browser market, helping to shrink IE’s share from 90 percent to 66 percent. Google funneled money and support to Firefox by placing invitations to download on the Google homepage, and paid about $75 million in 2007 in referrals from the Firefox search bar.
It’s that search deal that is set to expire in 2011, and according to Gawker tipsters, Google’s looking to go separate ways.
That’s bad news for Mozilla, an open source company depending on donations. Would this be an indication that Google is willing to sacrifice Firefox to the browser gods in order to boost Chrome? Well, Chrome so far still has barely cracked one percent of the market, despite being singled out as the most secure web browser by security researchers.
It could be Google feels its own browser could take Firefox’s share and a little more of IE’s if marketed properly.