The Google/Firefox Relationship

Ingrid Marson’s ZDNet article: Google keeping the wolf from Firefox’ door, offers several details about the Google’s relationship with the Mozilla Foundation.

Gervase Markham, a Mozilla staff member, said on Sunday that over the past year the Foundation has hired around 10 people, which would not have been possible without the money that Firefox makes by linking to Google.

“The Google deal has provided a significant stream of income for the Foundation,” said Markham, speaking at the FOSSDEM conference in Brussels. “Without that deal the Foundation would not have been in a position to have hired some of the people that it has.”

Following an agreement reached last year, Firefox includes Google as the default option for users wanting to search the Web directly, and also has its default start page hosted by Google. Markham didn’t reveal full details of the Foundation’s deal with Google. The main disadvantage of the deal with Google is that native language versions of Firefox are not permitted to change the default search engine to one that is more useful for searching Web pages in a particular language. “That [the Google deal] is why official localised builds are not allowed to change the search engine,” said Markham. “In one way this is a restriction, but the deal has allowed things to happen.”

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