Why is everyone in a frenzy over Mozilla's revenues now? @ tk here on Monday, March 13, 2006 2:24 AM
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Monday, March 13, 2006

Why is everyone in a frenzy over Mozilla's revenues now?

So a former AOL guy blogged about Mozilla getting some $72million in revenues and suddenly everyone's interested. The figure happens to be inaccurate though said to be close to the actual figure. It could in fact be higher than $72million! Just joking.

What I don't get is why everyone is suddenly so interested in this as if it concerns them (Ok, so they are using the browser). Did it just occur to you that the helpful searchbar was netting Mozilla tons of money? Or did you feel like a sucker for installing Firefox and allowing others to somehow profit? Perhaps you just realised that Firefox is no more than a well-made adware/spyware that everyone is recommending to everyone else? Maybe you want Mozilla to tell you in the EULA before you install that it will make money from your searches? Could it be that no one really cares about this at all and this whole story is just over-hyped (but this just sounds too good to be true)?

Just for the record, I knew about this a long time ago. I'm also pretty sure that Opera does this and probably every smart kid is doing this. My primary browser is Opera right now and I don't use their handy searchbar. If I'm using Firefox, the handy searchbar lies there collecting virtual dust. And I know that they only earn if I click on a paid link after the search results appear. So why don't I use the handy searchbar that they so painstakingly built into the browser?

The main reason is simple - choice. My searches belong to me and it's up to me whether I want them to benefit anyone else. If they do benefit a third party, I definitely would want to know about it. In theory, this should be true since I use adblocking software and shouldn't even see any advertising. Reality wise, this holds true in most cases except for the rare ad. Still, I resort to the long and laborious method of clicking on my google button in Opera or just typing the url out.

Another reason is I really like to have as much screen space as possible and that handy searchbar is not so handy if I'm not using it. Since I've squeezed everything I want onto a single toolbar, the location bar has been complaining. Removing the handy searchbar helps, but the location bar is still not satisfied. There's only so much I can do to please it.

Now I've an interesting thought. Since Firefox and Opera come built-in with user agent spoofers, how do the search engines know which of them to credit? Is there a (gasp!) identifying key of some sort being passed around? Or do they blindly credit according to user agents?

Addtional resources: Mozilla Revenue Claim Sparks Frenzy
Mozilla's Millions?


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