Another lost battle for Google in Russia. After the billboards in the streets of Moscow, the failed acquisition of contextual advertisement company Begun, and an army of Russian oligarchs on the wrong side – Google now lost the prime search spot in Mozilla Firefox to Yandex.
Harvey Anderson, VP and General Counsel of Mozilla Corporation, wrote on his personal blog:
In October, we asked for feedback on creating a deeper partnership with Yandex, one in which we would make Yandex search features the default in our Firefox Russian language builds. Over the past few months, we have listened to feedback, talked with our localizers, studied the trends of our Firefox Yandex builds, and reviewed the Yandex user experience. All this activity led us to the conclusion that our Russian users really wanted direct access to the Yandex search services in official Firefox RU builds.
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Thus Yandex will be standard in the Russian release of Firefox 3.1.
Firefox has about 20 percent share of Internet browsers in Russia and Yandex is Russia’s leading search engine with 54 percent share of searches.
[Hat tip: Quintura (who else?)]