AT FIRST Mozilla was afraid, it was petrified, thinking it could never live without Google by its side.
But now it seems the foundation behind the Firefox browser seems happy with its position following a decision earlier this year to break up its CD collection and photos from their joint trip to Napa Valley, in favour of a polygamous relationship on a search engine in every port headed up by Yahoo, but with Yandex and Baidu taking centre stage where politics recommends it.
All the evidence is pointing to the move having been a good one, as a recent tax filing showed revenues of $330m for 2014 up from $314m the previous year, Mozilla's finance boss told CNet.
Mozilla and Google haven't fallen out altogether, but the former is very protective about its independence and if it can make a go of things without buying into a specific search provider's ecosystem it strengthens its flexibility to push the envelope while at the same time reassuring users for whom sticking it to the man is often at the heart of their choice of browser.
The market is skewing away from PCs and towards mobile, regardless of what Microsoft tells you about a PC renaissance, so it's important for Firefox to find ways to retain its independence given that the Android platform is Google controlled and all browsers in Apple devices go through Apple's WebKit.
Mozilla has dabbled in the smartphone market itself with a Firefox operating system which was originally aimed at providing low-cost devices for developing markets, but developing markets remained unimpressed and with initiatives such as Android One proving far more successful, the company has backpedalled in favour of the platform aimed at "enthusiasts" much more in keeping with the style of Raspberry Pi.
Meanwhile, Mozilla remains firmly rooted in its ethics as shown by its reluctance to incorporate digital rights management in Firefox until it became unavoidable and most recently removing support for ageing plug-ins. µ
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