Mozilla’s Harvey Anderson announced via his blog that initial research of Firefox RU users indicated that “Russian users really wanted direct access to the Yandex search services in official Firefox RU builds” and that the default search engine would be changed from Google to Russia based Yandex.ru in the next Firefox release
Anderson mentioned that all changes to the search provider would be included in the next version of Firefox (version 3.1) for the Russian locale and would be included in current beta testing. Firefox has already in the past made a similar move in Asia, changing the search provider from Yahoo to Google as Mashable.com mentions the move shows a “friction” between both Google and Firefox, who rely on each other so much for “massive distribution, and most of Mozilla’s revenue“.
Is it a question of Firefox having a more sustainable revenue platform then it once did, according to Hitslink.com Firefox’s market share reached 20% in November 2008 giving them an ever stronger, more binding presence in the browser market, it certainly shows that Firefox is continually able to sustain high growth against IE, and it is obviously playing such a large part in the Google/Firefox relationship being so successful.
It may seem that I am jumping to conclusions by suggesting that Firefox is going to suffer wider problems from this demerger with Google to be the default search, but as Mashable.com again rightly points out Google have gone and released their own web browser called Google Chrome, this puts everything into a much wider perspective then before, I just have a funny feeling that as more users dictate that Firefox should give them a more local search engine it will be a slow, painful separation from Google.
But does Google really mean anything against Firefox by launching Chrome, it certainly nothing Firefox are going to judge as being a problem, considering Google’s poor performance with market share during last year. However, on the hand Google may just be shooting themselves in the foot by releasing a “competitor” to Firefox, I wouldn’t expect Google to stay to far behind the curve if it meant more revenue for them via Google ads,and as I reported yesterday Google can fake a large amount of interest over a concept or target market if it provides them with more revenue. I certainly however just see that Google and Firefox were going so well hand in hand over these last few years, perhaps the timing of releasing a competing web browser was enough to persuade Firefox to split from Google in Russia, it doesn’t cause huge alarm but it certainly shows unhealthy signs in their relationship.
But, the question is can they work it out or do users just accept that the idea of having more local search engines is actually potentially quite useful!
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