THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has hinted that a premium version of Firefox could be in the works.
A report on German site T3N features an interview with Chris Beard, CEO of Firefox, who confirms that the new browser tier could be in place by the end of the year.
Firefox Premium (or whatever it ends up being called) would not affect the functionality of the free Firefox browser, but would instead offer additional functionality that we are, perhaps, currently getting elsewhere.
This could include encrypted cloud storage, VPN and other subscription services like paywalled content access, all designed to create a "one-stop shop" for users.
The company is always looking for new income streams. It achieves much of its dosh from its search engine partners who pay each time the search box gets used. Beard also cites Pocket, which offers curated content and sponsored posts as a means to keep the lights on.
An official Firefox statement obtained by T3N said: "We will probably launch some new services first and then we will think carefully about which model makes the most sense while ensuring the best user safety. Firefox and many security features and services, like ETP [Enhanced Tracking Protection], will still be free, but that's for sure."
Some of the more paranoid amongst its user base may see this as a subtle introduction of what will eventually become a two-tiered browser that penalises free users, rather than rewarding pros. Mozilla has been very clear that it has no plans for any features currently available to be removed or stunted.
Since it relaunched last year, powered by its Quantum engine, Firefox has rolled out a number of new features, most centred around privacy and reflecting its responsibility as the last bastion of a non-Chromium web experience. μ
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