Mozilla Releases Annual Report, Surveys The New Era Of Competition

Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox web browser, has just released its annual State of Mozilla — an interactive web-based report that outlines the organization’s progress, and where it sees things going over the coming years. It also includes one key stat: Mozilla’s revenues for 2010 totaled $123 million, which is up approximately 18 percent from 2009. Mozilla generates most of this revenue through search partnerships (Google is the biggest contract, but it also has deals with Bing, Yahoo, and other providers).

Mozilla says that the Google partnership is up for renewal in November, and that it has “every confidence that search partnerships will remain a solid generator of revenue for Mozilla for the foreseeable future”.

The document doesn’t have too many surprises, but it’s a reminder that Mozilla — which has long been associated primarily with the desktop version of Firefox — is putting more effort behind new projects. Namely, it’s putting a much stronger emphasis on mobile, and it’s also looking to tackle various challenges on the web, like creating a decentralized web identity platform and improving both the functionality and discovery of web apps. And it’s also looking to protect user privacy, in part through the Do Not Track initiative.

The report makes a few veiled references to the growth of Google’s Chrome browser, which is set to overtake Firefox in market share after just three years on the market. Google has, of course, long been an advocate of the web, but Mozilla makes sure to point out that it alone among the major browser vendors is “organized solely for the good of the Web as a whole”, rather than market share and profits.

Some important passages:

Today we’re living more of our lives online than ever before. This gives Mozilla the opportunity to build freedom and user sovereignty into more areas of life. At the same time, advances in mobile technology move us toward several parallel worlds, each controlled by different giant commercial entities.

We have seen these kinds of threats before. Mozilla was born out of this type of environment, as a reaction to an online world that was full of promise and potential – but was then threatened by a few giant companies limiting consumer choice, interoperability and the overall health of the Web. We faced and won that challenge together then, and we need to face it again in this new era.

We also began including Android as a first tier platform along with our desktop platforms. This important shift has helped reinforce the expansion of Mozilla’s mission to the next phase of the Web. In this new setting, Firefox is not only a browser on your desktop but evolves to be a trusted environment where a user has a consistent set of core controls over his or her experience, regardless of device.

We currently have several key business partnerships and are actively exploring search partnership opportunities and other potential revenue opportunities. We’ll continue to build great products that help people enjoy the richness of the Internet, and we’re confident that this allows us to identify appropriate sources of revenue.