No matter which side of the browser war you stand on, you can’t deny the contributions Google has made to helping the world break free of an Internet Explorer dominated landscape. When Firefox began taking its first baby steps to becoming a serious contender in the realm of browsers, it had Google by its side providing the essential red pill in breaking away from Microsoft’s stranglehold on browsers and search offerings. In November it seemed as though things between Mozilla and Google might be terse, as the company let their search agreement lapse.
The deal was renewed just yesterday, probably much more to Mozilla’s relief than Google’s. Within the few short years that it took Mozilla to become a serious contender in the browser wars, Google introduced its own product. Initially the launch for Chrome was rocky with no addon support, so many people considered the browser to be one of Google’s many flops. However, just over three years later, Chrome is doing well enough that it has edged out IE8 as the world’s most popular browser.
So what does Google’s success mean for Firefox? As a search provider, the fact that Chrome is growing daily means that at the end of the new three-year deal in 2014, when it comes time to renew contracts between Mozilla and Google, Google may be less willing to play ball. The company has undoubtedly made millions by serving up Firefox users as the default search engine, but with the direction the browser is going as of late, by 2014, Firefox’s marketshare may be inconsequential to the search giant.
This leaves the question open as to whether or not Mozilla would consider partnering with once bitter rival Microsoft in order to incorporate Bing as the default search engine for the browser. If so, this could signal the end of the browser wars, as such a clear cut divide between Mozilla and Google could leave many users jumping ship to go with Chrome as their default offering, as Bing as seen as something of a red-headed step child in the world of search.