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The future of browsers

Accepted submission by Runaway1956 at 2019-06-10 10:16:27 from the Don't be evil! dept.
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Google is apparently planning on shutting off extensions and addons that threaten Google's ad revenues. An Anonymous Coward has already submitted this story - https://reclaimthenet.org/chromium-browsers-vow-to-continue-to-allow-ad-blockers-even-after-google-chrome-stops/ [reclaimthenet.org]
https://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=34354¬e=&title=Opera%2C+Brave%2C+Vivaldi+to+ignore+Chrome%27s+anti-ad-blocker+changes%2C+despite+shared+codebase [soylentnews.org]

A few hours after reading about Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi breaking with Google blocking ad-blockers, I find this story -
https://reclaimthenet.org/firefox-paid-premium-version/ [reclaimthenet.org]

Firefox may introduce a paid version in order to reduce its reliance on Google revenue

Mozilla, the maker of open source browser Firefox, is by no means strapped for cash; although the said browser is offered free of charge, the foundation has a lucrative search deal with Google.

Some of the revenue also comes thanks to its controversially proprietary online bookmarking service Pocket, and some from sponsored content and donations.

But although the Google deal is sweet – Mozilla is very dependent on it and nervous about the prospect, however unlikely, of losing it. Therefore it always seems be on the lookout for new revenue streams.

True, most of the attempts Mozilla has made over the years have failed: from its own operating system, meant to power mobile and IoT devices, to its own phone. Finally, there seems to be awareness that Mozilla's sole competence is in the browser business – and now it's time to try to make more money there.

And the plan is a tried and tested one, already used by many of the most successful open source companies who give their products away for free, but charge for support and/or services.

Mozilla's plans were revealed in an interview that CEO Chris Beard gave to German media.

In the interview, Beard confirmed that about 90 percent of the organization's revenue currently comes from Google and that the ideas now being considered for a future Firefox Premium include a VPN service, and secure storage – obviously, for those willing to pay.

So - what is the future? Are browsers to be divided between "free" browsers, that play games with Google, and paid browsers, which thumb their noses at Google?

And, how will all of that affect those of us who routinely modify their browsers? Will we have to work harder, for the same effect - or will we just be shot down in flames? Surrender to Google, or pay to browse?


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