Google is the default home page for Mozilla Firefox browsers. This situation is likely to change in the near future in Russia.
Mozilla is expected to launch the latest version of their browser, Firefox 3.1, shortly. In Russia, however, the default page will now be Yandex, the leading Russian search engine, instead of Google.
According to Harvey Anderson, who is the General Counsel at Mozilla, they have conducted a very extensive and detailed study into the matter before arriving at this decision. He says, “Russian users really wanted direct access to Yandex search services in official Firefox RU builds. As a result we’re planning on setting Yandex as the default search provider for the Firefox 3.1 Russian locale builds.”
The change by Mozilla from Google to Yandex at this point of time is particularly interesting, given the fact that in August 2008, the Russian online ad market grew by 73% compared to what it was in the same month a year earlier. It has also been estimated that the Russian online ad market will grow from $400 million in 2007, to $4 billion by 2017, which is a 10-fold increase in a span of just 10 years.
This move will certainly boost the fortunes of Yandex at the expense of Google.
In the past, Google and Mozilla have shared a mutually beneficial or symbiotic relationship for quite a long time. Google received exposure by being the default home page and default search engine on Mozilla browsers, and in turn, Mozilla earned a major share of its revenue through Google.
This happy situation may now be on a slightly sticky wicket, given that Mozilla will replace Google with Yandex in Russia and Google is now promoting its own browser, Chrome.