Mozilla renews Google agreement for default search in Firefox

By on December 20, 2011, 5:30 PM

Mozilla has just announced it is renewing its search partnership with Google for another three years, putting to rest concerns that the non-profit organization could lose its primary source of revenue.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed beyond Mozilla's comments that it will be significant and mutually beneficial for both parties. In 2010, Google contributed 84% of Mozilla's $123 million total revenue.

The previously standing three-year arrangement had expired at the end of November. Mozilla said at the time that it was in "active negotiations" with Google, but with Chrome steadily growing its market share many believed Google could use that as leverage to cut down on a competitor or just let them go.

Coincidentally, Firefox began offering a "Firefox with Bing" at the end of October, adding more weight to the idea that Firefox might stike a deal with Microsoft instead. Mozilla is safe for the next few years, but the company would do well to try and diversify its sources of income to be less dependent on a single company -- which also happens to be one of its strongest rivals.

Just last month, Chrome overtook Firefox in global usage for the first time, according to StatCounter. Chrome has also surpassed the latest version of Internet Explorer in worldwide market share, though Microsoft still dominates the desktop browser landscape when counting all versions of IE in aggregate.

Firefox is trying to regain some momentum with a rapid release schedule using alpha, beta and stable channels -- a la Chrome. The stable version of Firefox 9 was released yesterday, just six weeks after Firefox 8.

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