After a lot of speculation, Mozilla has announced that it had struck a 3 year deal with Google for the default position in the search bar. Rumour has it that the spot was also sought after by Yahoo and more importantly by Microsoft for its Bing search engine. Interestingly enough, a couple of month ago, Mozilla and Microsoft announced a Firefox with Bing edition, which a lot of people thought would pave the way to a multi-year deal similar to the one Firefox had with Google at the time.
Seems, though, that Google is willing to reach deeper into its pockets than Microsoft. And that's the way it should be, considering that, by securing Mozilla's users, they protect their core business. What baffles me is the fact that after investing billions in developing and promoting Bing, only to get a single digit marketshare, Microsoft hesitated to spend another few hundred millions for a shot at Firefox's userbase, which according to Statcounter.com is about a quarter of all internet users.
Very. In 2010, out of a total of $123 millions earned, 84% were from Google. Essentially, both parties have something of interest to the other. Mozilla gets funding for the next 3 years and can focus on its products rather than on finances, while Google continues to get Firefox's users.
Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla had this to say about the deal: "Under this multi-year agreement, Google Search will continue to be the default search provider for hundreds of millions of Firefox users around the world".