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posted by janrinok on Saturday November 22 2014, @08:32PM   Printer-friendly
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]

 
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  • (Score: 1) by lentilla on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:17PM

    by lentilla (1770) on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:17PM (#118914)

    Isn't the whole point of being a Foundation is to be free to rise above the often grubby requirements of "running a business" and "making a profit"? It's like the Mozilla Foundation has chosen the worst of both worlds: they can't make an honest profit as a business, but they allow themselves to be swayed against the best interests of their users. It's a dirty decision.

    Gone are the days when the choice of search engine was an innocent selection according to the preference of the original programmer. Any choice is now tainted by politics, money and ethics. The only appropriate choice in this climate is none whatsoever. Having the default selection as a "thank you" for sponsorship was at least defensible. It's down to money now - that much is clear - and taking cash for preference is simply wrong.

    The only appropriate way to decide the issue is to ask the user. If a .mozilla/firefox profile already exists, the selection is simple: the one the user chose previously. For new installations: when the user first uses the search bar, throw up a selection page asking "which search engine shall be used as the default?" with a list in randomised order and a message in equally large writing explaining how the "default" can be changed on-the-fly according to the user's immediate whim. The fact that 95% of users will choose Google is not - must not - be a concern of the Mozilla Foundation.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @10:13PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @10:13PM (#118935)

    > Isn't the whole point of being a Foundation is to be free to rise above the often grubby requirements of "running a business" and "making a profit"?

    On what basis have you decided that switching to Yahoo was about "running a business" and "making a profit"?

    Surely not the announcement [mozilla.org] by Mozilla where they explicitly said, "In evaluating our search partnerships, our primary consideration was to ensure our strategy aligned with our values of choice and independence" and that all of the options available to them would bring in more money than before.

    Right? You did not read that and think "making a profit" did you?

    So what did you read that made you think that?

    • (Score: 1) by lentilla on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:28PM

      by lentilla (1770) on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:28PM (#118956)

      Well, they can't "make a profit" in the business sense because they are a foundation. I'm sorry if my post appeared to suggest they were doing so. It seems to me that instead of concentrating on making the world's best browser they are playing power games. I was trying to convey that they appear to have saddled themselves with all the downsides to running a business without any of the upsides.

      Reiterating that I'm not suggesting Mozilla is making a profit but also recasting your challenge "what did you read that made you think that?", there are a number of red-flag phrases that are peppered throughout the statement you linked. Gems such as "generate revenue", "agreement came up for renewal", "competitive strategy", "search partnerships" and "improved economic terms" amongst others.

      It seems to me like the business of running the Foundation has become an end to itself for Mozilla. I wonder if they might be so busy making strategies that them might have become distracted from producing the world's best browser.

      At the end of the day, that Mozilla has pre-chosen a default speaks strongest of all. If they were really about "promoting choice" (a direct quote from the linked statement) then they would simply let the user choose. Again, I'm not suggesting nefarious intent - only a case of "strategic distraction".

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:23AM (#118972)

        Reiterating that I'm not suggesting Mozilla is making a profit but also recasting your challenge "what did you read that made you think that?", there are a number of red-flag phrases that are peppered throughout the statement you linked. Gems such as "generate revenue", "agreement came up for renewal", "competitive strategy", "search partnerships" and "improved economic terms" amongst others.

        Clearly these "gems" mean something to you, but like all conspiracy theorists you think that your conspiracy is so obvious as to be self-evident.

        Loon.

  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:37PM

    by frojack (1554) on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:37PM (#118960) Journal

    Isn't the whole point of being a Foundation is to be free to rise above the often grubby requirements of "running a business" and "making a profit"?

    Mozilla can't make a profit, they are forbidden to do so by their tax status. But you can't ignore "running a business".

    The problem here is that they can't even break even. They have no business plan. None at all.
    Other than holding a hand out waiting for someone to deposit money, they have no hope of survival.

    Which is a sorry state, because while I don't particularly like Firefox, its good to have it around. I do like Thunderbird.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:29AM (#118976)

      LOL Two loons see exactly the same thing and come away with diametrically opposed beliefs.

      First loon thinks Mozilla has completely given up the its reason for existence to become beholden to the almighty dollar. Second loon thinks Mozilla has done absolutely nothing to generate revenue.

      Both of you are idiots - this story is a mirror held up to your own faces. Everything you see in it is a reflection of your own biases and prejudices. Neither of you has the slightest grip on reality.