Valleywag, ie Gawker these days, runs a story about a rumor stating that Google might stop pumping money into Firefox, and start pushing their own web browser instead, Google Chrome. The angle is pretty aggressive against Google, and the story is wrapped up with this paragraph:
It makes sense that Google would want to support its own Chrome Web browser. And yet bullying a nonprofit would seem to clash with Google’s “don’t be evil” motto. Perhaps “don’t lose money” has become more important.
Let’s skip the snark and get right to the facts. Google and Mozilla have a search-referral deal which means that Google pays Mozilla money whenever you and me search from the Google search box in Firefox. That is, if we don’t use another search engine of course. According to the Valleywag story, this deal is valid through 2011.
So what if Google kills it? There is nothing that stops Mozilla from getting another search engine partner. While you “google” things these days, I sincerely doubt people will refrain from using Firefox just because the default search engine is something other than Google. While I am sure Google will push Chrome hard, I doubt they would want to give Microsoft the opportunity to get the search-referral deal in Firefox.
My crystal ball says the deal stays after 2011, and that Chrome will grow at the expense of all web browsers, not just Firefox.