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Firefox Partners With Bing as Google Search Deal Nears End

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A year ago, in the Firefox 4 announcement, Mozilla officially included Bing as an option in the search bar. This, if you recall, was nearly a year after Mozilla recommended you use Bing over Google.

Last week, Mozilla and Bing teamed up to announce a new release, Firefox with Bing.

While it might not be the most original name, Firefox with Bing is simply Firefox with Bing set as the default home page and search engine. The browser remains the same in every other aspect. All your add-ons and other extensions function as normal. Simply the default settings have changed. If you already have Firefox installed, you don't need to install a new one, you can simply install the Bing Search for Firefox Add-on and it will set the same preferences for you defaults, too.

While the unoriginality of the product's name is not interesting, the timing certainly is. Mozilla's search deal with Google, which makes rival browser Chrome, is expiring this month. Search deals accounted for 98 percent of Mozilla's revenue ($121 million) in 2010.

It was August 2008 when Mozilla and Google extended their existing deal for an additional three years. Now in November 2011, the deal between Mozilla and Google is soon to be over, with no announcement of a renewal or extension. This makes the timing of releasing Firefox With Bing rather interesting.

Speaking to Search Engine Watch, a spokesperson from Bing simply suggested it was merely an extension of Bing's existing relationship with Mozilla and noted that Bing launched a similar Bing-enhanced version of Internet Explorer 9 earlier this year.

This default integration certainly sets Bing up to potentially receive a larger share of searches. Considering Microsoft's recent comments on its in-the-red bottom line, will this be the start of Microsoft turning that around?

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