How Google Can Deal A Death-Blow To Firefox

A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 8 2011 10:37 AM

Is The End Nigh For Firefox?   

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Mozilla's open source Firefox browser essentially saved the Internet by breaking the hegemony of Internet Explorer. But over the past 18 months, I'd say it's become noticeably obsolete. Safari and IE have both upped their game, Google's Chrome which I use is an outstanding product, and in the fast-growing mobile space it's not at all clear where Firefox can play. And the future outlook for Firefox is quite bleak. Over eighty percent of their 2010 revenue came from a deal with Google, in which Google paid them to make Google the default search option on the browser. But that deal expires this year, and since Google is pushing a competing product in this space it seems unlikely to be a lucrative source of revenue in the future. It's at least conceivable that Microsoft would step in to generate traffic for its Bing search engine, but here too it's hard to see why they wouldn't just stick with pushing the latest version of Internet Explorer.

I wouldn't really have cared much about this as of a few weeks ago, but as it happens the Content Management System we use to assemble this blog only really works with Firefox. Trying to compose posts in Chrome creates a lot of random font formatting errors. So save Firefox!

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.