Mozilla Firefox, the open-source developer released its customized version with Microsoft’s Bing search engine with only a few weeks before the multimillion-dollar contract expires between Google and Mozilla in November.
Microsoft also promoted the new Firefox, mentioning that the said team-up was a result from the users’ feedback to make arrangements for an easier Bing experience in Firefox. Last week, Microsoft registered the domain “firefoxwithbing.com” but mentioned that the company was not distributing or licensing Firefox.
The customized version of Firefox makes Bing its default search engine as well as sets Bing.com as the default home page of the browser. The dual-use address bar “Awesome Bar” is set in Bing by default just as the search box area. The latest stable edition of Firefox, Firefox 7.01 is utilized for the “Firefox with Bing” version.
It is noted though, that users can always change the default settings of Firefox to accommodate the Bing search engine set-up even in previous versions through manual resetting. According to Microsoft this customized version was their way of taking out the hassle of doing such “extra steps” to change settings. Mozilla mentioned that this move is another step into the Mozilla-Microsoft partnership that started more than a year ago.
No further comments were released by Mozilla and the company also refused to comment on the question as to whether this new Firefox version with Bing signals the shift of Mozilla’s revenue stream.
Mozilla Foundation reports that in 2010, Firefox generated 98% of its income through partnerships with search providers. Mozilla disclosed that its partnership with Google provides the largest revenue. Its current contract with Google will expire in November. And since 2008 speculations have emerged that these two will no longer extend their partnership when the contract expires after Google released the Chrome browser.
In an interview, Mozilla did not directly mention the contract with Google in its statement mentioning that the company has confidence with its search provider partnerships. Accordingly, Mozilla believes that such partnerships will remain a solid source of revenue for the company’s future.
If ever Bing will replace Google across the board with Mozilla then it would be most beneficial to Microsoft. Apparently, Bing’s U.S. search share in early October was only 14.7 percent as opposed to Google’s 64.8 percent and Yahoo’s September share of 15.5 percent.