MOZILLA IS EXPERIMENTING with another income stream as it continues to look for ways to make a not-for-profit web browser (Firefox, to you) break even.
Users will be able to spend $10 a month in-browser for a VPN service to give them an alternative to the adverts churned up by Google as part of its crucial deal with Firefox that allows it to exist.
Here's the thing. If you use the default search in Google, Firefox gets a cut. Google then uses the search information to serve up personalised adverts and the symbiosis continues.
But the new offering which is being rolled out to an experimental test group, will break that cycle, offering a subscription to ProtonVPN within the Firefox environment, after a careful selection process:
Although the blog post announcing the partnership leads on the idea of protecting customers using Firefox in public areas, there's no secret made of the big picture stuff:
"For some time now Mozilla has largely been funded by our search partnerships. With this VPN experiment which kicks off Wednesday, October 24th, we're starting the process of exploring new, additional sources of revenue that align with our mission."
In the Firefox browser's glory days, the Google deal would seem less of a wrench to get away from, but with the company already going back to Google after a fling with Yahoo as its search engine, the Mozilla ethos is proving a little difficult to fund. This could be a way to simultaneously fix that funding gap, and stick it a little to the man at the same time. μ
It's the week in Google news
Erik Estrada wouldn't have stood for this
Hacks in support of WikiLeaks founder target gov websites