Catalin Cimpanu, reporting for ZDNet Zero Day:
Furthermore, Mozilla’s contract with Google to include Google as
the default search provider inside Firefox is set to expire later
this year, and the contract has not been renewed. The Google deal
has historically accounted for around 90% of all of Mozilla’s
revenue, and without it experts see a dim future for Mozilla past
I think that’s basically the whole story right there. Firefox was very popular, and Google paid Mozilla a small fortune to make Google search the default in Firefox because it was so popular. But then came Chrome. Why should Google fund Mozilla when Chrome is about 10 times more popular than Firefox, other than out of the goodness of its corporate heart?
It is a very good thing for the world and the web that a truly independent browser exists from a privacy-minded company, but there’s not much of a business model for it unless it’s popular enough to get the dominant search engine to pay for placement.
“We must learn and expand different ways to support ourselves and
build a business that isn’t what we see today.”
This most likely includes a bigger focus on Mozilla’s VPN
offering, which Mozilla formally launched last month.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) apps are one of today’s biggest
money-makers in tech, and Mozilla, despite arriving late to the
party, is set to become one of the biggest players on the market,
primarily due to its reputation as a privacy-first organization
and civil and privacy rights advocate.
I have no idea if a VPN offering can even come close to making up for the money Mozilla was earning from Google for default search placement, but it’s a great idea. If you’re going to use a VPN, you want to use one from a company you can trust, and Mozilla has a fortune of well-earned trust in the bank.
★ Tuesday, 11 August 2020