Mozilla’s set to launch a premium version of its revered Firefox browser this fall. In an interview with German media outlet T3N, the company’s CEO, Chris Beard, said that it’s aiming to launch the new version by October, with features like a VPN and secure cloud storage.
The company’s already experimented with a VPN service by partnering up with ProtonVPN and offering a $10 subscription. Now, the company’s thinking of offering some amount of free VPN bandwidth to get you started, and then charge a premium for metered access in the form of a monthly subscription.
Beard specified that there’s no plan to charge users for current features that are free:
So, what we want to clarify is that there is no plan to charge money for things that are now free. So we will roll out a subscription service and offer a premium level. And the plan is to introduce the first one this year, towards fall. We aim for October.
There’s no word on pricing just as of now, but a privacy-focused premium version of Firefox sounds like an enticing offering, at a time when it’s hard to avoid being tracked on your digital devices, and when data leaks are rife.
We’ve contacted Mozilla to learn more, and will update this post when there’s a response.
Update (June 11, 2019): Dave Camp, senior vice president of Firefox at Mozilla, said in a statement that paid products are indeed in the works:
We were founded on the belief that the internet should be open and accessible to all. A high-performing, free and private-by-default Firefox browser will continue to be central to our core service offerings. We also recognize that there are consumers who want access to premium offerings, and we can serve those users too without compromising the development and reach of the existing products and services that Firefox users know and love.