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back to article Mozilla isn't a charity case - and Google's $300m will do nicely

Some people seem to think Google gave Mozilla a sweetheart deal when it renewed its search agreement for Firefox. At roughly $300 million per year, it will fund quite a bit of open-source development at Mozilla, but this isn't a case of Google going soft during the Christmas season. It is, as Mozilla veteran Asa Dotzler argues, …

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The web's best hidden secret

With such a budget for development firefox is probably the most underrated browser on the market.

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It's a win win situation.

Google makes money, Mozilla makes money, My preferred search provider is there ready to go when I fire up FireFox. So what's the down side?

Sure Google could go the other way and only have their search default in Chrome. But why do that when they can be there in another browser as well? Oh yes, Google will make more money than they are spending on the deal. good business IMHO.

Think about this. $300m is pretty much pocket change for a company with Google's income.

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Pocket change for the giver,

...significant development money for the reciever. Yes, you can't really do much better in the win-win frame.

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Interesting that just after this deal has been announced the Executive Director Mark Surman sent an email to firefox users asking for a donation of $10 or more.

Mozilla is non-profit. They have just inked a deal that was 3 times the previous one. The previous deal made up something like 95% of their revenue. Effectively they have been given a 300% pay rise and yet they are asking users for MORE money.

Now... I really like Firefox, and the addons that it has. And I am more than willing to donate to software that enhances my work and my life... but come on Mark... how much money do you need? And what will you do with it all?

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Umbrella some other, more cash-strapped, OSS projects?

Hope so, at least.

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Anonymous Coward

Mozilla Foundation is non-profit. Mozilla Corporation, the entity that has the $300 million/year deal with Google, is a for-profit company. And no doubt their directors and top employees are remunerated in the manner required to attract and retain the top talent necessary for such demanding roles. Course, we won't know, since it's a private company...

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Meh

"The Google/Mozilla deal is a boring case of two organizations partnering out of self-interest"

... and in the process Mozilla not giving a toss about the other projects they are running, or could support. It seems that the obsession with web browser glory has gone completely to the heads of its executives. Thunderbird and Lightning have been pretty much languishing for years - with important bugs still alive and well in the software. I wish they would finally get round to fixing the calendar properly, give it a good scalable back-end and a real multithreaded interface, and even start a calendar server one day - who knows. A calendar server is what is really missing from the open source eco-system to compete against Exchange. I've tried all current options for calendar servers, and they fall over when there are more then 1000 appointments in the back end.

But I forgot, Mozilla will stubbornly refuse to deal with anything that might turn out to be useful to the enterprise. Maybe it is part of the deal with Google - stay away from enterprise software? So much cash, so few results. Well, back to shaving another microsecond off the Javascript execution times then - that will surely save the world, won't it?

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Anonymous Coward

@xj25vm - Get real!

It's not like the enterprise is twisting in pains and gruesomely suffering because of lack of Mozilla software. If enterprise really wants it, nothing would stand in its way to adopt that software. Enterprise has been with IE6 such a long time that it no longer knows what a browser should be.

IE plus Outlook has been so deeply imprinted on their brains that no other alternative would be imaginable in the next 1000 years or so.

Oh, and for my own curiosity, why would someone work to provide rich corporations with free software (mind you though they still don't seem to want it) ?

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Anonymous Coward

the problem

"IE plus Outlook has been so deeply imprinted on their brains that no other alternative would be imaginable in the next 1000 years or so."

Very true but this is the argument of defeat. Its like saying IE/Outlook is so popular why bother with Firefox/Chrome/Safari/Opera (etc).

The push of Firefox lead to IE improvements, the push of Chrome supposedly leads to IE/FF improvements and so on.

Despite this we still have an email / calendar / address book tool that is pretty much identical to one used 12 years ago.

If Mozilla spent a fraction of the effort they put into FF on improving Thunderbird things could change - not saying they will, but for a decade the argument over browsers was simply IE has won, dont bother doing anything else which is why we have IE6....

Where I work, we now use FF as the default install with alternatives being Opera and Safari. IE makes up less than 1% of the browsers used to access the corporate intranet.

Why cant this also happen to Outlook when something better comes along?

And for my own curiosity, why do you assume all enterprise installations are rich corporations?

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Calendar server

Have a look at sogo (the s is for scalable). Has a Thunderbird connector right now that works around Thunderbird bugs.

Together with OpenChange, they're working on providing the Exchange protocols as well (in adition to the standard protocols they already support).

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Thank you for that. I will try Sogo out as soon as I can. I've installed and used the SyncKolab extension for Thunderbird/Lightning at a number of different clients for about 2 years now - but the number of bugs it contains is far too great. I keep on contributing bug reports, and some of them have been fixed. However, it is still corrupting data, duplicating data and making a general mash of things. I think I've just about given up on it.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 11:28GMT - Enterprises are all rich enough

to afford buying MS Office and Exchange year after year, version after version, many of them silently bypassing corporate procurement and purchasing regulations in order to do this. They will rather keep up with the Jones even when burning down in flames.

I'm glad for you but everywhere I've worked so far (including medium sized banks) the standard was IE6 on Windows XP.

If you're talking about the argument of defeat, then defeat it is.

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There seems to be some confusion here. "Enterprise", unless I'm wrong, also includes all those small and medium businesses. They are all "enterprises". Maybe some of them could be regarded as "rich" - but plenty of them are not. And I thought open source wasn't exactly about making software available to the poor - but more about the promotion of of open standards and freedom from lock in. What better way to achieve that then offering a true alternative to GMail, MS Exchange, and the other proprietary options. And if we are talking about wide adoption of open source software, what better way is there but having work places use open source applications - and getting their workers trained on them?

Why is Mozilla redefining open source as mainly suitable for home users? I don't think Linux would be where it is today if the kernel developers would have shied away from providing the kernel with high end, big iron, enterprise class features. From fear that it might be used by all those "rich corporations". Quite the opposite actually.

The majority of my business clients are happy to use open source software (on Windows, mainly, on the desktop - it's true) - and they use Firefox and Thunderbird already. But the lack of a proper calendar server is a serious thorn in the side.

Yes, we are talking about open source, and the "ultimate" argument still applies: if I need it I should just go and build it. But I can't help thinking that 300 million would get there a lot faster - for all the talk of furthering open source and the rest of political fluff.

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Anonymous Coward

Enterprise

In my organisation, Firefox has been the default browser for about 9 months now.

Unfortunately, Outlook is the default email client because there isnt (currently) a viable alternative.

The sooner something like Thunderbird can become that, the better.

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Facepalm

You rightly point out that Google is a business, not a charity, but you appear to swallow the line that the purpose of Chrome is "to make the Internet better"?

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Holmes

"Better" at what?

It helps if you extend the quote: The purpose of Chrome is "to make the Internet better" at displaying the ads which provide Google with revenue. There, does that provide a better fit into your view of Google as a business?

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kit

email client

In my company, Thunderbird is already used as the default email client.

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Happy

firefox, TB email and Lightning calendar works great in our corporate

We have used Thunderbird for 6 years since v1.5, we have hundreds of users, and as of a couple of years ago we added the Lightning calendar plug-in and connect to the Zimbra free edition, it works like a champ (not chimp). We use Firefox too, just install it onto the Terminal Servers and upgrade it every month or so, and it doesn't try to change our default web search engine either, like that fucking IE8 upgrade.

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