Firefox money Ever since Firefox became a hit Mozilla has really been raking in the money. Actually, that is an understatement…they are pretty much bathing in money.

In 2005 the Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation combined had revenue from all sources of $52.9M. $29.8M of this was associated with the Foundation (both before and after the creation of the Corporation). The bulk of this revenue was related to our search engine relationships, with the remainder coming from a combination of contributions, sales from the Mozilla store, interest income, and other sources. These figures compare with 2003 and 2004 revenues of $2.4M and $5.8M respectively, and reflect the tremendous growth in the popularity of Firefox after its launch in November 2004.

I would say $52.9 million in 2005 is not too shabby. Yes, that says 2005 because their 2006 numbers have not been released yet. If they experience the same amount of growth as they did from 2004 to 2005 (which is probably unlikely), then they will have earned more than $480 million in 2006! Employees are not taking all of this home despite what you were thinking. In fact, Mozilla only spent $8.2 million of the $52+ million earned in 2005 and they put the rest in the bank:

The combined expenses of the Mozilla Foundation and Corporation were approximately $8.2M in 2005, of which approximately $3M was associated with the Foundation. By far the biggest portion of these expenses went to support the large and growing group of people dedicated to creating and promoting Firefox, Thunderbird, and other Mozilla open source products and technologies. The rate of expenses increased over the year as new employees came on board. The unspent revenue provides a reserve fund that allows the Mozilla Foundation flexibility and long term stability.

I am really excited to see partnerships between Web browsers and search engines because it offers the developers an incentive to make a great browser, all while remaining free to the consumer. Browsers like Opera and Flock both have partnerships with search engines to be compensated for any ad revenue generated by users utilizing the built-in search box within the browser.

Below I have two buttons for those people who decide that they don’t want to support Mozilla in this way. Some people might donate money and feel that Mozilla should not receive a revenue from performing the searches, so I have made it easy to remove the referrer from the URL from the search box (you can also manually modify the google.xml file in the Firefox installation folder). The first button, “Replace Existing Google Search,” will only work if you delete the existing Google search engine first because it has the same name (“Google”). The second button, “Add Additional Google Search,” will add another search engine to your current list with the name “Google-R” which stands for “minus referrer.” That way you can always switch back and forth between the two options.

Note: Firefox is still capable of showing suggestions while you type if you use these.

I do recommend that you leave Mozilla as a referrer because it allows you to support them without you having to fork out any money. Thanks to Mozilla for making such a great browser…you have definitely earned every penny!

News Source: Mozilla Foundation