Is Google's search deal with Mozilla over? According to some reports, Mozilla has declined to comment, according to others, the deal is still on. But a more important question is this one - Does Google need Mozilla?
It's clear that Mozilla needs Google. Back in 2010 a whopping 84% of Mozilla's $123.2 million revenue came from Google. Without the Google deal, it's hard to see how Mozilla could survive.
But does Google need Mozilla? More specifically, does Google need to hand over millions of dollars to Mozilla in order to be Firefox's default search engine?
I don't think so. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Google Chrome is on the up, Firefox is stagnant. According to StatCounter data, Chrome has already overtaken Firefox to grab the #2 spot. According to NetmarketShare, the gap between the two browsers is closing fast and it won't be long before Chrome is #2.
- Firefox has a massive image problem with users that it can't seem to fix. Mozilla might be giving Firefox 3.6 users a nudge towards Firefox 8, a large group of users are resisting making the jump to the latest browser.
- Google never had that much of a problem getting Internet Explorer users to make Google their default search engine. I can't see why persuading Firefox users to make an organic choice to use Google would be that hard.
- Google has an expansive range online services that millions of people use on a daily basis. These all put Google search a click away.
- Firefox is no longer the speed demon that it once was. That title goes to Chrome.
- As Ed Bott points out here, apps are now where it's at, and Firefox has nothing but vague plans for this.
- Mozilla is dabbling with Bing. While I'm sure that this isn't a deal-breaker for Google, it's a sign that allegiances might be shifting.
When Firefox first came on the scene, its USP (Unique Selling Point) was that it was fast, lightweight and secure. However, over the years I've watched as the browser became bloated and encumbered with features that people don't really want. I've seen memory leak issues go unresolved months, sometimes years (some people still claim the browser has serious memory leaks). And when it comes to security, well, you're probably just as safe sticking to Internet Explorer (8 or 9) or going with Chrome.
It seems to me that Mozilla has steered Firefox into irrelevance.
- See what you're missing - Firefox 3.6 vs Firefox 8.0.1
- Firefox 3.6 users to get nudged towards 8.0.1
- The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 15 vs Opera 11 vs IE9 vs Firefox 8 vs Safari 5
- Firefox faces uncertain future as Google deal apparently ends
- StatCounter: Chrome overtakes Firefox globally