Firefox, Google renew search deal

A celebration sign is posted at Mozilla headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, July 31, 2009. According to Mozilla, the Mozilla's Firefox browser has been downloaded over a billion times. Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's director of Firefox, estimates that the one billionth download took place at 7:47 A.M. Pacific Time on Friday, July 31, 2009. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) (Paul Sakuma/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Firefox lives — at least for three more years. Mozilla announced Tuesday that it and Google have agreed to renew an agreement that makes Google the default search engine in the Firefox browser.

“We’re pleased to announce that we have negotiated a significant and mutually beneficial revenue agreement with Google,” Mozilla announced in a company blog. The agreement extends the relationship between the two companies, but the blog post did not go into depth about the details of the extension.

There had been some speculation over whether Google, which has seen an amazing amount of success with its Chrome browser, would agree to renew the deal with its rival. Mozilla revealed in earnings reports that it makes 84 percent of its revenue from the agreement with Google. Firefox fans grew restless when the November deadline for renewal came and went without a peep from either company.

So Mozilla is safe for the next few years, but will likely want to try and diversify its sources of income to be less dependent on such a strong competitor. Chrome recently overtook Firefox in the global market share, and the latest version of Chrome is also appearing to beat the latest version of the formerly dominant Internet Explorer in worldwide market share. While all versions of IE in aggregate still have a strong lead over all versions of Chrome, new users appear to like what Google is offers in a browser.

Related stories:

The Verge: What does the future hold for Mozilla Firefox?

Chrome overtakes Firefox in global market share

Mozilla amps up fight against anti-piracy and Internet protection bills

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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