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Mozilla Raking in Millions? 386

truthsearch writes "Internetnews.com wonders about the money Firefox is making in revenue thanks to Google. From the article: 'Mozilla gets paid a publicly undisclosed amount for each Google search query made from Firefox by a user.' This revenue is used to pay the recently formed Mozilla Corporation's 40 full-time equivalent employees and fund project and infrastructure development."
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Mozilla Raking in Millions?

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  • Thats not too small! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ikejam ( 821818 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @04:47AM (#14897142)
    But is this really sustainable in the long run? That seems to be a lot of money.

    I guess its a stupid question - seems to be a win-win situation at the outset - though google paying firefox seems more "dont be evil" driven than bottom-line minded. I mean even if they didn't pay, what were the chances that it wasn't going to be google up there?
  • by RLiegh ( 247921 ) * on Saturday March 11, 2006 @04:50AM (#14897150) Homepage Journal
    Do they also get $ from searches on ebay, amazon, or yahoo (which are also listed on the toolbar)?
  • Re:Phase 2? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @04:55AM (#14897155) Homepage
    They don't have much choice...Microsoft had essentially destryed "direct" market by driving browsers price to zero. And they need _some_ ways to fund their development.
  • How much ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nocloo ( 82496 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @04:58AM (#14897164)
    Lets do some basic math and see how the numbers add up.

    - Of the 100 million downloads lets say 20% are daily/active users -> 20 2illion users.
    - Of the 20 million daily users, lets says 20% do make at least 1 search query. -> 4 million queries/day.
    - If google pays around 0.02c a query. They get 80k/day x 30 days = 3.2Mil x 12 months =~ 38 Mil right there. A conservative number ... but still A LOT MONEY !!

  • by The Hobo ( 783784 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @05:08AM (#14897189)
    Firefox has been mentionned based on their search bars, a while ago the German version of Firefox was said to have "spyware" [theregister.co.uk]
  • by reporter ( 666905 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @05:22AM (#14897216) Homepage
    In 2005, ZDNet UK interviewed Jon von Tetzchner [zdnet.co.uk], the chief executive of Opera Softare. In response to a question about why the free version of Opera blinds the user with advertisements, he responded, " A lot of people don't like our ads, which is sad as we don't have a rich sugar daddy like the Mozilla Foundation. They [the Mozilla Firefox team] don't have to think about money as they're being funded. We're not being funded ". Tetzchner was close to the truth. Apparently, the real sugar daddy is Google.

    Safari has Apple. Internet Explorer has Microsoft. Firefox has Google. All 3 companies have the resources to fund development of their free browsers.

    Opera is the stand out -- in the rain. Opera has Opera Software, but Opera Software is a tiny 230-person company. Unless the anti-establishment mavericks in tech communities like SlashDot aggressively support Opera by buying commercial Opera-Software products, Opera just might disappear, being squeezed to death by the big 3 browers: Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox.

    Having used Internet Explore, Firefox, and Opera, I can swear that Opera is the fastest, most compact browser for the Windows environment. I hope that the best-marketed product (i.e. either Internet Explorer or Firefox) will not extinguish the technically best product (i.e. Opera). Still, business history has not been kind to the technically best products: e.g., DEC's Alpha processor and Sony's Betamax.

  • Re:So what? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by m50d ( 797211 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @05:24AM (#14897222) Homepage Journal
    It implies they have more motivation to market, to exaggerate their features, to astroturf even. And I wonder if they are - they appear to have an unreasonable amount of support on sites like this for how good their browser actually is.
  • by sirnuke ( 866453 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @05:32AM (#14897237) Homepage

    Google has the same system for Opera, which leads me to conclude they want Opera and Firefox to be the top browsers (which wouldn't be a bad situation, if you ask me).

    Judging by how little I use Google's front page any more, I am guessing that the future of search engines is through the browser's search bar. Should the day come where the world is dominated by Mozilla and Opera, it would be very hard for any other search engine to buy into the "put me first in your browser's search bar" setup when Google already has 4 years of paying Opera/Mozilla for just that.

    Google is probably quite aware they will lose their power in the search field if they treat users as a commodity. The fact that Google makes sense as the default search engine now won't make a difference in 4+ years.

  • by babbling ( 952366 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @05:48AM (#14897273)
    Unless the anti-establishment mavericks in tech communities like SlashDot aggressively support Opera by buying commercial Opera-Software products, Opera just might disappear, being squeezed to death by the big 3 browers: Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox.

    Do we care? Opera could have been Firefox if they had GPLed it. Mozilla saw their opportunity and now they're benefiting from their foresight.

    Opera could become an open source (as in "freedom") company any time they want, and they'd instantly see a jump in the number of people using their browser, because suddenly it would be included in Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, and so on. Instead they've decided to sell (via a third party) closed-source browsers for mobiles. Good for them, and if they ever decide to put the big "GPL" stamp on their software, then they can count on a sudden jump in the number of people using their software. You can only get that jump with GPL, though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 11, 2006 @05:59AM (#14897294)
    They can also spend it on fixing memory leaks. Spinning the issue is not fixing the issue. I'm about to switch to Opera if FF doesnt get their act together.
    I've already done that. I can live without a couple of extensions I used in Fx (it's hard, but I managed), but I can't live with the memory leaks. One day, I accidentaly left Fx running since morning, with just Slashdot open in one tab. When I got home that night, Fx was up to 870 megabytes of memory usage... That's far from nice, given that I have 512 MB RAM in my PC and can't upgrade it because of i815 chipset limitation.

    So now I'm on Opera 9.0TP2 and enjoying it. 84 MB of memory used after 12 days of Opera running, God knows how many tabs opened and closed and how many sites (incl. Flash and videos) visited. And I currently have 18 tabs open. *AND* it's a technical preview (not even beta software).

    The biggest insult added to injury was the "it's not a memory leak, it's a feature!" attitude from Mozilla.

    I don't plan on switching back to Firefox, ever.
  • by wwmedia ( 950346 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:22AM (#14897355)
    heres how much i make a month just from search alone

    53,846 @ 3,557clicks = $261.67

    now thats per month and im a small publisher

    firefox probably gets that many searches every minute!

    also they pay up to $1 for every person who downloads firefox from a referal from my site

  • for profit or non? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by matgorb ( 562145 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:47AM (#14897403)
    My real question is where all this money goes, I had the, maybe stupid, idea that the Mozilla foundation was non for profit, hence all the money they make is to pay their employees and invest. Now, if they make real money out of it, I would be a little bit pissed off, since I donated money to advertise their product, I mean if they have that much money, they can sure do some advertisement, can't they? I'm not saying I'm ennoyed I gave money, but when I see that : "# What is the purpose of this site? As a small, non-profit organization, the Mozilla Foundation has very limited resources at its disposal to market Firefox to the world. SpreadFirefox was created to fill this void, and was founded on the same principles of community involvement that drive the development and testing of Firefox. We believe there is nothing that a large community of enthusiastic volunteers can't accomplish, and this site exists to unite the community into one cohesive marketing force that even competitors with unlimited resources can't compete with. For more information, see our original announcement." And then I hear about all these arrangements, it sounds to me like their limited ressources are not that limited, so I understand it's not Mozilla directly, but spread firefox in this instance, but it sounds like a lot of bs suddendly.
  • Re:Who owns who (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rm69990 ( 885744 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:58AM (#14897425)
    Mozilla's Chinese division does have a deal with Yahoo!, although they may change this to Google now that Google has a Chinese version of Google hosted in China. I'm willing to bet Yahoo! pays Mozilla for this partnership, much like Google does.
  • by Kittie Rose ( 960365 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @09:55AM (#14897834) Homepage
    It's pretty interesting. It's a long shot enough a Search Engine making that much money, let alone them having enough to hand out to their favourite Web Browser.
  • by Ice Wewe ( 936718 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:00AM (#14897842)
    I have the same problem with firefox on OSX. I'll just be casually browsing the web, when all of a sudden firefox decides to use a *large* amount of swap. It takes patience when firefox is doing this, because the program will come back, you just have to wait, and when it's finished swapping, close all your windows. It's quite annoying. They've had this bug in firefox since 1.0.2 (I think), I'm now running

    -- When I talk about a lot of swap, I'm talking about 800-1000MB. If that isn't high, then tell me what is.

  • by Ciaran_H ( 579351 ) <ciaran-slashdot&theblob,org> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:34AM (#14897959)
    I believe that disclosing how your site is performing in that way is against the Google AdSense Terms and Conditions [google.com] (see clause 7). You can give the total amount of payment, but you've also given the number of clicks you get, which the T&Cs disallow.
  • Focus on mozilla? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shish ( 588640 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:13AM (#14898105) Homepage
    How much money does slashdot make from all the advertising?
  • Good for FF... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Churla ( 936633 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:17AM (#14898123)
    One thing many people on the internet have yet to embrace is a simple fact. Everybody needs to survive, and in our world that means income. Period. Even the open source software we love so much has to earn itself a living somehow else it will always be a distant "when I get spare time i look at it" stepchild, or a "I'm doing this to get my name known" project which is apt to have it's best developers move onto paying gigs.

    Look at the biggest names in Open Source, they all have some income generating stream somewhere. If this is how Mozilla drums up money for FF than more power to them as it's the least intrusive money making scheme i've seen in software yet. (Compare to banner ads for instance)

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian