from the follow-the-money dept.
Chris Beard, CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, announced in his blog Wednesday, 11 November 2014, that they were ending their 10-year relationship with Google. As of December, they begin a five-year "strategic partnership" with Yahoo.
For those wondering why the switch, The Verge has an interesting take on it:
In tech, little things can have big consequences — in this case, a tiny search bar. Last night, Firefox made a surprising announcement: after 10 years with Google as its default search engine, it would be handing the tiny search bar over to Yahoo. On the face of it, it's a strange move. If you're looking for almost anything on the internet, Google is a much better way to find it than Yahoo is. But that small search bar isn't just a feature, it's a business. And it’s a business that reveals how Mozilla and Google could increasingly be at odds with each other.
[We touched on this in a recent story about Firefox's expanding search options, but this aspect seems significant enough to merit specific attention. -LaminatorX]
Former Mozilla VP, Johnathan Nightingale, has called out on Google for what could only be termed as anti-competitive practices. In a Twitter thread on a somewhat unrelated subject, Nightingale said that during his 8 years at Mozilla, Google was the company's biggest partner. "Our revenue share deal on search drove 90% of Mozilla's income," he tweeted.
However, that doesn't mean Google wasn't involved in some underhand practices. "When I started at Mozilla in 2007 there was no Google Chrome and most folks we spoke with inside were Firefox fans," Nightingale wrote. "When chrome launched things got complicated, but not in the way you might expect. They had a competing product now, but they didn't cut ties, break our search deal – nothing like that. In fact, the story we kept hearing was, 'We're on the same side. We want the same things.'"
"I think our friends inside google genuinely believed that. At the individual level, their engineers cared about most of the same things we did. Their product and design folks made many decisions very similarly and we learned from watching each other. But Google as a whole is very different than individual googlers," Nightingale added.
Google Chrome ads started appearing next to Firefox search terms. gmail & gdocs started to experience selective performance issues and bugs on Firefox. Demo sites would falsely block Firefox as "incompatible."
All of this is stuff you're allowed to do to compete, of course. But we were still a search partner, so we'd say "hey what gives?"
And every time, they'd say, "oops. That was accidental. We'll fix it in the next push in 2 weeks."
Previously: After 10 Years with Google, Firefox Switches to Yahoo
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