Yahoo Signs 5-Year Deal with Mozilla, Becomes Firefox’s Default SE

Considering that Google has been paying $300M per annum to be the default search engine of Firefox, Yahoo must have put a lot of effort into beating that offer.

The word of the year must be “diversification” for Mozilla, as it ditched its 10-year default search engine in favor of Yahoo, and it started signing deals with local search engines in Russia and China. In other words, if you happen to be in one of those countries, don’t be surprised if Yandex or Baidu are set as default browsers. That doesn’t mean that Google has been abandoned altogether. Instead, it is still featured as a built-in search engine, just that it’s no longer the default one.

“At Yahoo, we believe deeply in search – it’s an area of investment, opportunity and growth for us,” pointed out Yahoo CEO Marrisa Mayer. “I can’t wait to see what innovations we build together.” That must be true, if they convinced Mozilla to drop Google as their default search engine. To put things into perspective, Google had almost 68% of the market share this May, while Yahoo barely has 10%. Not to mention that Yahoo’s search engine is actually powered by Microsoft Bing. The Yahoo-Microsoft deal will expire early next year, and then Yahoo will roll out its own search engine.

“Google has been the Firefox global search default since 2004. Our agreement came up for renewal this year, and we took this as an opportunity to review our competitive strategy and explore our options,” explained Chris Beard, Mozilla’s CEO in a statement today. “We are excited to partner with Yahoo to bring a new, re-imagined Yahoo search experience to Firefox users in the U.S. featuring the best of the Web, and to explore new innovative search and content experiences together.”

There’s a lot of dispute regarding the best Web browser out there, and Chrome may have the largest market share, but it lacks many important functions. Of course, there are plenty of add-ons that compensate for that, but it’s one thing when certain features are offered by default, and a completely different thing when you need to install extensions. If you want to take the Mozilla route, feel free to give Firefox Aurora (or Firefox Developer Edition, as it’s been known lately) a try.

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