Posted March 12, 2009 6:14 pm by with 15 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

Mozilla and its popular Firefox browser are familiar to most of the tech / internet marketing / geek world andfirefox-logo for good reason. While 67% of the world uses Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser mainly because they don’t know there are other options, Mozilla continues to carve out a strong position in the market. The trouble with that position is that 88% of the revenue the Mozilla Foundation generates is from Google. Meanwhile, Google’s Chrome browser, while only having a 1% market share, is waiting in the wings for Google’s current arrangement with Mozilla to expire in 2011.

So what do you do if you are looking at a future where most of your $75 million in revenue could go away? That’s the question that Mitchell Baker, the chairman of the Mozilla Foundation, is faced with on a daily basis. When Chrome came into being in September of last year things changed for sure. Google is the default search engine on the Firefox browser but despite the growing market share it’s obvious that Firefox needs Google much more than the other way around as covered in a BusinessWeek article.

The prospect that Google may not re-up the three-year contract set to expire in 2011 has Mozilla considering other search partnerships and ways to generate revenue, Baker said during a recent visit to BusinessWeek’s offices in New York. “They could breach the contract or they could decide not to renew,” Baker says. While she says she doesn’t expect Google to take either approach, she’s nonetheless considering alternatives.

So what to do if you are Mozilla? There’s always the option of moving that default position to another search engine. With all that is going on at Yahoo don’t you think they might want a boost like that?

Losing Google would carry risks. “It’s possible that Firefox’s adoption rate could decline if Firefox users felt they were getting Microsoft or Yahoo shoved down their throat,” says John Battelle, an Internet entrepreneur, author, and operator of John Battelle’s Searchblog.

Other options include:

  • The first Mozilla browser optimized for mobile platforms, Fennec, will begin to appear on some Nokia models in the late spring
  • Third party plug in distribution is another option for revenue as these plug in creators will pay for the opportunity to be exposed to such a powerful market through the browser

If Mozilla had its way it was just like to see business as usual after 2011. It may make sense for both to keep the status quo. Both speak highly of each other and seem to play nice together. Between now and 2011 though is about 4 or 5 lifetimes in the Internet space so there is plenty that remains to be seen.

  • Joe Hall

    I think it would be in Google’s best interest to stick with them. I mean honestly its going to take awhile for chrome to catch up to firefox market share, and Google can’t afford to loose surrender any of that over to Microsoft.

    Joe Hall’s last blog post..IM Spring Break is Going to Make You Pee Your Pants!

  • Bo Tipton

    The other thing is Google’s Chrome is going to have to improve to take market share away from Firefox. I also agree with Joe Hall in that I think both of sides are benefiting from this relationship. Maybe Google is not going to try to get Firefox users but is going after IE users. If so it would be a good move on Google’s part to keep the relationship with Mozilla going.

    Bo Tipton
    The Ornery Marketer

    Bo Tipton’s last blog post..Can I Make Money In The Next Thirty Days

  • CrapsBettingStrategy

    let wait to see what happens!

  • Perfect-Money

    I believe I am not the only one who love to use Mozilla rather Google own browser Chrome,and I wish that wont be change in 2011,and when People says Mozilla need Google and not the way around..I don’t think so,Google need Mozilla and not the way around and that what I sure so

  • Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach

    Looking ahead of time so future realities don’t torpedo business income is very smart indeed. Here’s hoping the partnership stays together.

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach’s last blog post..Why some online marketers hide the truth from you and what you can do about it

  • MBA Projects

    Mozilla is my all time favorite. It has a great speed, much more than internet explorer. The title of this post was very eye catchy. good work Frank.

  • bp

    I do love firefox – I hope they figure something out soon!

    bp’s last blog post..Secrets To Success Part 1

  • @Iconic88

    Mozilla should form a partnership with Twitter or Facebook 😉 Real time social search is the new search engine.

    For example, who do u trust more? Google or a group of your friends who know who the most reliable mechanic, dentist, doctor, hairdresser, painter, travel agent is?

    @Iconic88’s last blog post..What are your #3hotwords: ?

  • Pingback: Mozilla рассматривает новые возможности : Всё про СЕО()

  • Pingback: Mozilla рассматривает новые возможности : Всё про СЕО()

  • Buy Pandora Battery

    WOO. what a title !!!! Looks like a great mind at work. Mozilla is the best according to me, and it has got a great speed than any other browser.

  • Cheap Blackberry Pearl

    Mozilla is my all time favorite browser. It has a great speed, much more than IE7. The title of this post was very eye catchy. really appreciate these kind of blogs

    Cheap Blackberry Pearl’s last blog post..LG Shine

  • Pingback:   Firefox Vulnerability Leaves Computers Open To Attack by Niche Store Now()

  • Pingback: Firefox Vulnerability Leaves Computers Open To Attack | Programming Blog()

  • free bonus

    I really appericiate your ideas & i am totally with it. Mozilla firefox, i use this web browser for my work & i am very satisfied with it’s features, themes & all the sots of facilities provided by them. I would reccomand this to you

    free bonus’s last blog post..The biggest poker tournament ever – welcome to WSOP 2009!