update Mozilla CEO John Lilly today waxed philosophical about the
release of Google's new Web browser, Chrome, despite it signalling an attempt by the search giant (Mozilla's major financier) to become its biggest competitor.
Chrome, Lilly says, was inevitable.
"It should come as no real surprise that Google has done
something here: their business is the Web, and they've got clear
opinions on how things should be," Lilly wrote in his blog today. "Chrome will be a browser optimised for the things that they
see as important."
The beta version of Chrome, to be available later today (Sydney
time) for Windows systems, is an obvious alternative to Firefox for
those Web surfers fed up with Microsoft's long-reigning Internet
Mozilla and Google have had a long and very fruitful
relationship. Google is the default search engine on the Mozilla
Firefox browser, and pays Mozilla large sums for the privilege: US$56 million of the US$66 million Mozilla Corporation made in 2006.
But Mozilla CEO John Lilly, writing in his blog, said he
welcomed the competition posed by Google. Lilly said Mozilla would
continue its financial relationship with Google until 2011 and would
continue to work with the search giant on technical collaborations
such as crash reports system Breakpad.
Paul Kim, vice president of marketing for Mozilla, said that Google staff would be allowed to continue to contribute to the Mozilla Foundation's projects. "As a 100 per cent open source project, we welcome contributions to Firefox from everyone," he said.
"More smart people thinking about ways to make the Web good for
normal human beings is good, absolutely," Lilly said.
"Competition often results in innovation of one sort or another: in the browser you can see that this is true in spades this year,
advances, and user interface breakthroughs. I'd expect that to
continue now that Google has thrown their hat in the ring."