Google will become an alternative choice in Firefox, as will DuckDuckGo
There are few things you can count on in life -- death, taxes, and blowhard analysts incorrectly proclaiming the death of the PC. A year ago, we would have added another entry, one that says Google will be the default search in Firefox until the end of time. No one would question it because the two have been so close for so long, but anything can happen when a contract comes up for renewal. And what happened this time is Mozilla chose Yahoo to replace Google as its default search provider for the next five years.
They may be competitors in the browser market, but that hasn’t stopped Google from being directly responsible for almost all of Mozilla’s revenues — over 90 percent as of 2012 — for almost the entirety of the latter’s existence. Mozilla lassoed this cash cow back in 2004 and has been busy milking it for tens to hundreds of millions of dollars annually in exchange for a wholesome feed of search engine-bound traffic originating from within Firefox. But with the all-important deal that makes Google the default search engine in Firefox and guarantees Mozilla steady stream of revenue set to expire later this month, the browser outfit must be a tad nervous.
Advertisers can buy sponsored tiles in Firefox's new tab page
Mozilla is in search of a new revenue stream for its Firefox browser, and one proposed solution is to sell sponsored tiles that would appear on a new tab page. More than just a concept at this point, Mozilla is actively experimenting with sponsored tiles, which now appear in the newest Firefox Nightly build. These are test builds of the popular browser that contain new features and enhancements that may or may not advance into later builds, including a stable release.
Browser maker is reluctant to give up on the idea of sponsored content
Back in February of this year, Mozilla's VP of Content Services, Darren Herman, announced plans to sell advertising space in Firefox in the form of sponsored "Directory Tiles" on a new Tab page. These would consist of pre-packaged content for first-time Firefox users -- upon loading Firefox, they'd see a page with nine tiles in three rows of three, and some of the suggestions would be paid-for content, or ads. That idea didn't go over well with the web community, so Mozilla has decided to abandon sponsored tiles and will experiment with the tab page instead.
There haven't been very many "Wow!" moments since Mozilla switched to a rapid release schedule for its Firefox browser that includes frequent updates with mostly minor upgrades. Not this time. Mozilla today rolled out Firefox 29, and with it is a brand new look and feel. Mozilla wanted to give Firefox an "elegant" design while simultaneously overhauling the layout so that it would be the most customizable version yet.
Mozilla co-founder was pressured to resign due to his support of an anti-gay marriage law
After barely more than a week on the job, Brendan Eich has made the decision to resign as Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla, and is giving up his seat on the board as well. Eich was named CEO on March 24, 2014, which immediately drew the ire of several employees and members of the LGBT community over his support of California's anti-gay marriage law, otherwise famously known as Proposition 8.
New clutter-free interface comes three years after last major design change
Mozilla on Thursday released a new beta build of its flagship product. Not only does the Firefox 29 beta with its minimalist ‘Australis’ interface bear a striking resemblance to Chrome, it also packs a much-improved Chrome-like approach to browser syncing.
Notice to new Firefox users: You've been served (ads)
Mozilla has decided that the best course of action going forward is to fill all those blank squares in new tabs with sponsored content (ads, for the layman). The new initiative is called Directory Tiles and it's intended to "improve the first-time-with-Firefox experience," or at least that's the sales pitch from Darren Herman, Mozilla's Vice President of Content Services. It's his job to diversify revenue and sustain Mozilla's mission through innovation in content and personalization products, and this is one way he plans to do that.
The industry needs a better way to survey software
Now that January is in the rear view mirror, we're presented with our first opportunity to see which browsers are off to a promising start in 2014 and which ones are destined to be also-rans. The problem with attempting to do so is the lack of reliable data. To show you what we mean, let's first look at data from NetApplications, which has Internet Explorer in a dominant position with a 58.21 percent share of the browser market. Looking at the numbers, IE is pretty much untouchable.