A civil start to the browser wars
After Google's surprise entrance into the browser space with its release of Chrome, you'd expect Mozilla Corporation CEO John Lilly to be preparing for a few sleepless nights. Not so, says the man heading Firefox's own quest for browser domination.
Writing on his blog yesterday Lilly said that with Chrome on the scene, he isn't expecting a parting of the historically close ways between Mozilla and Google.
The two software players already have a number of collaborations under their belt, including a malware and phishing shield that forms part of Firefox and could well turn up in Chrome too and the union most recently bore fruit with Breakpad, a crash reporter used in Firefox and Thunderbird.
"All those aligned efforts should continue. And similarly, the parts where we're different, with different missions, will continue to be separate," Lilly wrote.
Continuing too will be their financial agreement, which sees Mozilla earn ad revenue by placing Google's search box prominently on the Firefox homepage. It's a lucrative deal - last year, Mozilla revealed that almost 85 per cent of its revenue comes from Google search - and the twosome recently extended the agreement.
"On the financial front, as has been reported lately, we've just renewed our economic arrangement with them through November 2011, which means a lot for our ability to continue to invest in Firefox and in new things like mobile and services," Lilly wrote.
Mobile may yet prove to be the one area where Google and Mozilla finds themselves at browsing loggerheads: Mozilla is currently working on a mobile version of Firefox, codenamed Fennec, while Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who said last month that the company expects to eventually make more money from mobile advertising than from traditional fixed internet ones, is presiding over an increasing focus within the company on mobile web applications.
According to Lilly, however, Google's new kid on the block is just one more name in the browser battle.
"How does this affect Mozilla? As much as anything else, it'll mean there's another interesting browser that users can choose. With IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc - there's been competition for a while now, and this increases that," he noted.