Chrome & Firefox Engineers Defend the Mozilla Search Deal

A few days ago we reported on the new search deal orchestrated by Google and Mozilla that would see Google remaining the default search engine for Mozilla’s Firefox for another three years. Media sites have been giving the deal a lashing, mainly for Google seemingly supporting a competitor to its own Chrome browser. Both Chrome and Firefox engineers have been very vocal about defending the deal, maintaining that it is necessary for Firefox to continue as it is today.

The financial terms of the deal were never disclosed publicly, but as we reported, AllThingsDigital estimates that the deal is worth $900 million over the three year period. If this sum is true, then the newly  negotiated contract is worth more than three times the original that was negotiated before Google released its own browser.

It’s very clear that Google paid such a high premium in order to keep Bing and Yahoo out of Firefox, but just how lucrative the deal will be over the course of three years is in speculation. Google’s own Chrome browser has gained marketshare in leaps and bounds, with some firms reporting Chrome as the new king of browser marketshare. In the converse, Firefox has fallen a whopping 22 percent, with no signs that the open source browser will be able to reclaim its crown as the IE killer.

Many journalists have called into question Google’s motives for the deal, which has lead many key engineers from both projects to speak up about why it’s important to both companies. Peter Kasting of Google said that the company is funding an open-source partner in order to help advance the web so all browsers will get better.

“It’s completely irrelevant to this goal whether Chrome actually gains tons of users or whether, instead, the Web advances because the other browser vendors step up their game and produce far better browsers. Either way, the Web gets better. Job done. The end.”

So what do you think about the deal between Google and Mozilla? Do you think Google’s intentions are as altruistic as Kasting would like them to seem? Obviously if Google is the main search provider for two major browsers, it stifles all competition from Bing. Let me know what you think in the comments.

[via eWeek]