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Mozilla downplays Report that Firefox is Raking In Millions Of Dollars

This is disturbing. Mozilla has finally confirmed (albeit grudgingly) that Firefox is raking In millions of Google ad dollars, but they are declining to give an exact figure.

In making the disclosure, Mozilla, the for-profit subsidiary of the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, was responding to a report that the company has taken in $72 million, primarily through Google Inc.’s search box on the right-hand corner of the browser.

“The amount isn’t accurate but isn’t off by an order of magnitude either,” Mitchell Baker, chief executive of Mozilla Corp., said in an email from the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego. “Mozilla Corp. doesn’t generally discuss the amount of revenue generated or the specific details of our partnership agreements, as these agreements are confidential in nature.”

“Money is just a tool,” said Christopher Blizzard (a board member of the Mozilla Corp) enabling the company to employ the engineers, marketers and other people needed to run the business.

What would people say if Bill Gates made a similar comment? That its revenues and business dealings were private and tried to downplay the gobs of money it makes as “just a tool”?

I think we all know the answer to that. You can buy a lot of “tools” with that kind of money and I can only wonder how much Baker makes. I suppose that’s confidential too.

I’m concerned for two reasons. Developers of Firefox are volunteers and the grassroots effort behind the open-source browser has been the key to its success.

But perhaps even more importantly I’m concerned that Mozilla did not come clean until the media got a hold of the report, as well as its caviler response about revenues.

Frankly, until there is open disclosure of its business operations I will think twice about blanketly supporting this “open source” product.

Written March 8th, 2006 by | 1 Comment | Filed under: Miscellaneous Blog Tips

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There is One Comment so far to “Mozilla downplays Report that Firefox is Raking In Millions Of Dollars”

  1. I would like to know where the money is going and how much these “executives” make too. If I’m going to support an open source product I think it is obligatory on them to freely disclose their financial information.

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