Yahoo recently replaced Google as the default search provider for Firefox in the U.S.
In November, Yahoo and Mozilla reached an understanding to make Yahoo Search the default search provider for the latter’s Firefox browser in the United States and the results are already out there for all to see. According to the latest U.S. search data from web analytics provider Statcounter, December saw Bing-powered Yahoo Search finish with 10.4 percent share of the U.S. search market, a significant increase from the 8.4 percent share it held at the start of the month.
It's the end of the Google era at Mozilla. Firefox 34 is available to download today, and with it comes Yahoo as the new default search partner in the U.S. However, don't fret if you're not cool with the change -- Mozilla isn't forcing Yahoo down anyone's throat. If you're content with whichever search engine is currently your default, Firefox will courteously leave it alone, so there's no need to make any changes following today's update.
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.
It only took 24 hours for Mozilla's Matchstick HDMI dongle to reach its targeted $100,000 funding goal on Kickstarter, and since then, the project has skyrocketed to more than $390,000 with 9 days still to go. However, this is where things interesting, as they often do on these crowdfunded sites. If Matchstick hits $500,000 in pledges, the developers will implement two frequently requested stretch goals -- Local Play and Ad Hoc mode.
Google is pitching its Chromecast device for streaming chores, Microsoft recently unveiled its Wireless Display Adapter based on Miracast technology, and now Mozilla is jumping into the fray with Matchstick, the first HDMI stick based on Firefox OS. Currently up for pledges on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, Matchstick's makers hope to find an advantage over the competition by offering up a completely open hardware and software platform.
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.
Prototype already in hands of a select group of developers
Google’s nearly year-old Chromecast dongle is about to get some fresh competition. Mozilla is gearing up to take on the $35 Chromecast with a Firefox OS-powered media streaming stick. The company’s plans came to light a few days back when a Mozilla evangelist shared a photo of a “fully open TV casting prototype device running Firefox OS” via Twitter.
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.