Back in October, Mozilla introduced Firefox with Bing. This may have been a sign of things to come.
Ed Bott at ZDnet has put out an interesting report indicating that Mozilla’s deal with Google ended in November, and questions Mozilla’s future without the money it gets from that, and the increasing popularity of Google’s competing browser. He writes:
A search partnership with Google has historically been Mozilla’s greatest source of income. In its most recent financial statement, prepared in August and published recently online (see this PDF copy), the Mozilla Foundation won’t even mention Google’s name…
He points to this passage from that document:
The Corporation has a contract with a search engine provider for royalties which expires November 2011. Approximately 84% and 86% of royalty revenue for 2010 and 2009, respectively, was derived from this contract.
You know who would probably love to snag a nice chunk of search market share by being the default search option on a popular browser? Microsoft is certainly not shy about pumping money into its search business, and the fact that there is already a Firefox with Bing shows that they’re not shy about teaming up with a competitor. It could be a small price to pay. There’s a lot more money in search.
So far, there’s nothing out to my knowledge indicating that Microsoft is pursuing replacement of Google’s contract with Mozilla, but we’re certainly not the only ones considering this to be a distinct possibility.
MG Siegler writes, “But because Firefox has a huge user base, this is something that Microsoft would have to consider. Such a deal could potentially finally turn Bing from a multi-billion dollar suck hole into an actual business.”
A deal with Mozilla would help for sure. I still think they could be doing more to leverage their uber-popular Xbox to further Bing’s cause.
The Mozilla situation will be one to keep an eye on for sure. Will it be able to compete with those who have their own mobile operating systems?