Mozilla has extended its search deal with Google for another three years, whereby Google pays the former a substantial sum in return for being set as the default home page and the default search box choice on Firefox. The deal has been lucrative for the Mozilla Foundation, to say the least, with Google supplying $56.8 million of their revenue in 2006 alone – or 85 percent of the total for the foundation.

The money has certainly come in handy for Firefox, which in just a few years has vaulted to its current position as the second-ranked browser and is increasingly becoming a threat to IE’s dominance. This latest move will ensure that the Mozilla foundation will be able to continue with the development of Firefox, at a time when Microsoft is fighting back hard with Internet Explorer 8 and both Safari and Opera are spreading fast in the mobile world.

Mozilla plans to release Firefox 3.1 by the end of the year with a revamped JavaScript engine it claims will dramatically boost performance in today’s rich Internet applications.