Google, Mozilla to keep Google as default search engine


Search deal with Mozilla extended three years

Google (GOOG) and Mozilla have agreed to keep Google as the default search engine on the Firefox Web browser for three more years, the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation announced Tuesday.

“Under this multiyear agreement, Google Search will continue to be the default search provider for hundreds of millions of Firefox users around the world,” Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla said in the blog post announcing the deal.

Google’s search relationship with the Mozilla Foundation began in 2004, when it became the default search engine on the Firefox browser; Google also helped fund the Mozilla Foundation. With support from Google, Firefox challenged Internet Explorer for browser dominance, even though Internet Explorer controlled 90 percent of the market when the deal was first struck in 2004.

However, Google released its own browser, Chrome, in 2008, and Chrome passed Firefox as the No. 2 most-used browser worldwide in November, according to StatCounter. Both browsers command slightly more than one-quarter of the market, StatCounter reported, with Chrome slightly ahead at 25.7 percent to Firefox’s 25.2 percent. Internet Explorer is still the leader at 40.6 percent.

Chrome is based on many of

the same standards as Firefox, but Google renewed its deal with Mozilla as Chrome debuted in 2008. The deal between the two Mountain View-based entities expired in November, the same month Chrome surpassed Firefox in user share.

The Google deal has helped keep Mozilla alive: According to Mozilla Foundation financial disclosures, Google accounted for 86 percent of its revenue in 2009.

“Mozilla has been a valuable partner to Google over the years and we look forward to continuing this great partnership in the years to come,” Alan Eustace, senior vice president of search at Google, said in the blog post.

— Staff


China probing blast at iPads supplier factory

Authorities are investigating the cause of an explosion over the weekend that injured dozens of people at the Shanghai factory of a supplier to Apple (AAPL).

The government formed an investigation group and ordered safety checks at the Riteng Computer Accessory factory, a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple supplier Pegatron, said Gan Shanjun, an official in the information office in Shanghai’s Songjiang district.

Critics have taken Cupertino-based Apple to task for alleged violations of labor and environmental standards by its China-based suppliers, and the company has said it is working to resolve such problems.

Local media reported that 61 people were hurt by the blast and more than 20 of them hospitalized, but none suffered life-threatening injuries.

The New York-based group China Labor watch said the explosion occurred when aluminum dust from polishing cases for iPads caught fire.

A similar explosion occurred in May at a factory of electronics maker Foxconn Technology. Three people died and 15 were hurt due to what Foxconn said was “an explosion of combustible dust in a duct” at the plant in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

Aluminum dust is highly combustible, according to the U.S. Occupational Health Safety Administration, and some experts have stressed the need to take special precautions in making Apple’s trademark shiny metallic cases.

— Associated Press

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