Mozilla has now partnered with Yahoo to power its search starting next month. And while Yahoo may not be the down-and-out company it seemed to be just a few years ago, it’s not exactly a powerhouse when it comes to search. This deal may gain Yahoo a few extra searchers, but it probably isn’t going to help Mozilla gain market share (because nobody is looking for a browser with built-in Yahoo search).
Maybe Mozilla is okay with all of this. It’s a non-profit organization that aims to make the web a better place and the web is a better place today thanks to the work Mozilla does. But what power does the organization have if its main product continues to lose importance? It’s easy to convince others to follow your lead when you own a large slice of a market, but when that number goes down to ten percent, it’s all too easy for others to ignore you.
Another point is this… When historians look at the history of the Web ten or twenty years from now, chances are they will point to Firefox as one of the most important products of the last ten years. But right now, it’s hard not to look at Firefox and worry a little bit about its future.