How browsers like Firefox is making money
Firefox is a best example of useful free software to all of us. But at least some of us might have wondered that how Firefox is making money. Also if you know that Firefox has an annual turn over of nearly 104 million dollars, you all will wonder how Firefox is making such a big amount distributing its software for free.
The answer to the question is the default search engine and default home page of Firefox, Google search engine. Firefox is coming preloaded with Google as the home page and Google search engine as the default search engine. In order for doing this Firefox have a contract with Google up to November 2011. After that it is expected to be renewed. You might think what is the benefit Google is getting by setting itself as the default search provider. But it is a huge search traffic that Google is getting through the searches of billions of Firefox users. It is too much to neglect even for a search engine like Google.
Firefox is having majority of its income from Google as royalty for searches. For the clicks on search results, coming through Firefox search engine, Firefox is getting majority of the profit share. Firefox is also making a very small amount of its income by selling T shirts with Firefox logo.
Even at an increased contract amount it is expected that Google will renew the contract with Firefox. This will help Google to keep in the first position among the search engines. Which is the base of Google as its most of income is coming through adwords by publishing advertisements in different sites through adsense. Google is attempting to shift even to mobile hardware industry, by the acquisition of Motorola Mobility. This may happen in future. But so far Google is the best provider of online services, most of which are free and very useful. If Google does not renew the contract, Bing of Microsoft may approach Firefox for the same position and may take a large chunk of search traffic, which is not good for Google. But with the considerable popularity of Google's own web browser Google Chrome, the intensity of the problem has lessened. Chrome is also sharing a considerable amount of share in overall browser population. Also Google is using Chrome as a future gateway to its cloud services. Single sign on option for cloud is an upcoming research going on in Chrome as part of Google's cloud based OS Chrome OS