Mozilla, the non-profit organization behind the popular open-source Firefox browser, said that it no longer relies on Google for its revenue and expects to earn even more through its new search deals, reports CNet.
For many years, Mozilla generated income from a deal with Google, which paid for the privilege of being the default search engine on Firefox. That contract ran out at the end last year; in 2014 alone, it earned the non-profit $330 million in revenue, according to Mozilla’s annual report which has just been released (PDF).
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For 2015 and beyond, Mozilla turned to other search providers: Firefox now features Yahoo’s engine in the US, Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia. Google still the default search engine for Firefox users in Europe, but Mozilla’s chief business and legal officer Denelle Dixon-Thayer said the organization doesn’t profit from the arrangement.
Mozilla’s CFO Jim Cook is confident that its numbers for 2015 will look even better. Cook said, “We really look forward to displaying our results next year. 2015 will show our continued track record of really strong financial results.”
Mozilla’s sustained success is important because it’s one of the few organizations dedicated to offering an open, unbiased Web experience. For example, if Firefox were tied inextricably to Google’s search engine, users would be subject to the search giant’s tactics of skewing results to favor its own products and services over its rivals.
Breaking from its exclusive reliance on Google for funds will allow Mozilla to encourage competition among Web-based companies and offer users more choices when accessing information and services online.
In addition to growing revenues, Mozilla still faces challenges breaking into the mobile space. It’s had an Android version of Firefox out for quite some time and recently launched an iOS version, but its market share on smartphones remains negligible.
The organization also launched its own Firefox OS in 2013 to target developing markets with low-cost handsets. The strategy didn’t take, and neither did Mozilla’s attempts to bring its platform to TVs. It’s now hoping to attract mobile enthusiasts with a way to install Firefox OS on Android devices, but it remains to be seen if that will help Mozilla gain traction.