Is anyone hurt by Google and Firefox's amazingly wealthy partnership?
May 20, 2007 8:59 PM Subscribe
In tomorrow's New York Times, Noam Cohen raises the issue of Mozilla's incredible success. "Thanks to the Google agreement, the Mozilla Foundation went from revenue of nearly $6 million in 2004 to more than $52 million the next year [similar revenue is expected in 2006]...In 2005, the foundation created a subsidiary, the for-profit Mozilla Corporation,...mainly to deal with the tax and other issues related to the Google contract." One result of this move is less transparency. Clearly, Firefox has been good for users, good for developers and has kept Microsoft from having de-facto control over Web standards. So if most of us are benefiting, should we care if there is no way to determine the level of influence which Google yields over the Firefox platform? Cohen states that Google's desire for secrecy has made it a challenge for Mozilla to maintain its ideals of transparency. Surely, the Mozilla Foundation is one of the most successful NGO startups of all time. But with so much collective goodwill behind Firefox's success, should stakeholders know more about where the money is going and how it is being used? Put another way, have we all been concerned about Microsoft's influence for so long that we care less if the Mozilla Corporation turns out to be, coincidentally, the most economically efficient way for Google to ensure their future Web services have a level-playing field in terms of reach and technology? Or, isn't that good for all of us too?
This post was deleted for the following reason: This reads like a blog post, not a mefi post. -- cortex
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