Many of us are interested to know, how a web browser makes money. And Mozilla Firefox, being one of the most popular web browsers, gains our attention. To know how Mozilla Firefox makes money, read the article.
Mozilla Firefox is a web browser, which was developed by Mozilla Foundation. It works on cross-platform operating system and Gecko layout engine. The Firefox project was initiated by Dave Hyatt, Joe Hewitt and Blake Ross. The latest stable version of Mozilla Firefox is 6.0.2. Mozilla Firefox is the second most widely used web browser in the world after Internet Explorer, having around 25.5% of total users. Germany and Poland are the countries where Mozilla Firefox is more popular than any other countries in the world.
Evolution of Mozilla Firefox
Netscape Navigator, which was published in December 1994, quickly became a very popular web browser, as it was one of the first browsers to work in Graphical User Interface (GUI). In 2008, Netscape got discontinued and it was distributed to AOL customers. During 1998, the source of Netscape became an open software, and it was managed by Mozilla organization. But at that time, the original web browser owned by Mozilla was not popular. In 2004, Mozilla dubbed it's web browser Mozilla Firefox and added effective features to it, thereby quickly gained huge popularity. The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization, whereas the Mozilla corporation which is a subsidiary of Mozilla Foundation, is a taxable entity. But how does it earn money?
How does Mozilla Firefox Earn Money?
The answer to this question doesn't need a big explanation. It can be answered in just one word ~ Google. Mozilla gets paid by Google for the queries searched by the users in Google search engine through Firefox browser. Also, when you click on Google Ads in Firefox browser, a good percentage share of money goes to Firefox. In return, Firefox pays its gratitude by setting Google as the default web page in its homepage, based on the agreements they made with Google. In 2009, Mozilla Foundation generated an income of $104 million. It is really not clear whether Firefox gets its revenue from any other sources, but it is definite that, Google is Firefox's biggest sponsor or client. The amount of money paid by Google to Firefox, for the queries searched by a user in Firefox, is not publicly disclosed.
Amazon search also helps them to get some affiliate payments. Firefox stores, is also one of the ways by which Firefox generates some income. It sells Mozilla Firefox branded accessories and t-shirts, and makes some money out of it. Some of the other revenue generators of Firefox are Yahoo, Yandex, eBay and Creative Commons. Partnership with companies generates millions of money every year for Mozilla Firefox. It was estimated that the revenue income of Firefox is approximately $72 million. When asked about this estimation to Chris Blizzard, who is one of the board members of Mozilla Corporation, he said "though not off by an order of magnitude."
Google and Mozilla Firefox Relationship Going to Breakup?
Almost 90% of the total income of Mozilla Foundation comes from Google. Even Google promoted Firefox in YouTube, before it released it own product Google Chrome. We all know that, Google Chrome is gaining more popularity nowadays and is a very good competitor of Mozilla Firefox. Since 2004, Mozilla Firefox and Google had a productive relationship, with a contract between them, which extends till November 2011. But, will the contract between Google and Firefox end because of Google Chrome? The answer is we don't know. But, considering the fact that Google is a giant search engine, spends less amount on Firefox, as compared to its total income and also it is unlikely that Google will let Bing to become a default browser in Firefox, without fighting the battle.
"We are very fortunate in that the search feature in Firefox is both appreciated by our users and generates revenue in the tens of millions of dollars." ~ Mitchell Baker (Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation). Mitchel baker adds, "Perhaps search is the only feature that will both benefit users and generate this kind of revenue."