Linked by Rahul on Thu 20th Nov 2008 03:17 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones Mitchell Baker, chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation and former CEO of Mozilla corporation has posted a report the details the financial status of Mozilla for this year. "Our revenue remains strong; our expenses focused. Mozilla's revenues (including both Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation) for 2007 were $75 million, up approximately 12% from 2006 revenue of $67 million. As in 2006 the vast majority of this revenue is associated with the search functionality in Mozilla Firefox, and the majority of that is from Google. The Firefox userbase and search revenue have both increased from 2006"
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All their eggs
by Adurbe on Thu 20th Nov 2008 09:39 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

I persnally use firefox on everything except osx where I use safari. Its a good browser.

I'm concerned that they are to dependant on one source of income (all their eggs in one basket)

Although, as far as im aware, google hasnt to date 'done a microsoft' but they do now have their own browser...

Google are a business, not a charity, im concerned how long it will be before the shareholders start demanding a bigger cut of the browser market share which would put Mozilla in a very weak position

Reply Score: 1

RE: All their eggs
by lemur2 on Thu 20th Nov 2008 23:37 UTC in reply to "All their eggs"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I persnally use firefox on everything except osx where I use safari. Its a good browser. I'm concerned that they are to dependant on one source of income (all their eggs in one basket) Although, as far as im aware, google hasnt to date 'done a microsoft' but they do now have their own browser... Google are a business, not a charity, im concerned how long it will be before the shareholders start demanding a bigger cut of the browser market share which would put Mozilla in a very weak position


Mozilla are a charity, not a business.

http://www.mozilla.org/mission.html

http://www.mozilla.org/about/manifesto

Given their purpose and their mission, unlike Google or Microsoft, Mozilla does not have the market-share imperatives that you imply that it has.

"The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet.

...

As a result of these efforts, we have distilled a set of principles that we believe are critical for the Internet to continue to benefit the public good as well as commercial aspects of life. We set out these principles below.

The goals for the Manifesto are to:

- articulate a vision for the Internet that Mozilla participants want the Mozilla Foundation to pursue;
- speak to people whether or not they have a technical background;
- make Mozilla contributors proud of what we're doing and motivate us to continue; and
- provide a framework for other people to advance this vision of the Internet.

Principles
1. The Internet is an integral part of modern life - a key component in education, communication, collaboration, business, entertainment and society as a whole.
2. The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.
3. The Internet should enrich the lives of individual human beings.
4. Individuals' security on the Internet is fundamental and cannot be treated as optional.
5. Individuals must have the ability to shape their own experiences on the Internet.
6. The effectiveness of the Internet as a public resource depends upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content), innovation and decentralized participation worldwide.
7. Free and open source software promotes the development of the Internet as a public resource.
8. Transparent community-based processes promote participation, accountability, and trust.
9. Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings many benefits; a balance between commercial goals and public benefit is critical.
10. Magnifying the public benefit aspects of the Internet is an important goal, worthy of time, attention and commitment. "


Having said all that, gaining a sizeable market share is perhaps the best way to achieve Mozilla's actual aims.

Mozilla's aims are, however, still achieved even if Google Chrome or some other webkit-based browser eventually becomes the dominant browser.

Edited 2008-11-20 23:39 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: All their eggs
by sbergman27 on Fri 21st Nov 2008 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE: All their eggs"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Mozilla are a charity, not a business.

Mozilla Corporation is a 100+ employee, $67 million per year *business* which reinvests an unspecified portion of its profits back into Mozilla Foundation. Nominally a subsidiary of Mozilla Foundation, it is essentially a bubble within the Foundation which can be as corporate and profit-seeking as it likes, loop-holing through the restrictions of the Foundation's nonprofit status. Many people do not realize this since Mozilla puts on its "Foundation" face when that suits its purposes, and its "Corporation" face when it doesn't.

I agree that when a Webkit-based browser overtakes them their stated goals will be furthered. And I guarantee that the Mozilla Corp management team will be in an absolute tizzy when it happens.

I, on the other hand, will be delighted to see true competition come to the Free web browser market for the first time.

Edited 2008-11-21 00:10 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: All their eggs
by lemur2 on Fri 21st Nov 2008 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: All their eggs"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" Mozilla are a charity, not a business.
Mozilla Corporation is a 100+ employee, $67 million per year *business* which reinvests an unspecified portion of its profits back into Mozilla Foundation. Nominally a subsidiary of Mozilla Foundation, it is essentially a bubble within the Foundation which can be as corporate and profit-seeking as it likes, loop-holing through the restrictions of the Foundation's nonprofit status. Many people do not realize this since Mozilla puts on its "Foundation" face when that suits its purposes, and its "Corporation" face when it doesn't. I agree that when a Webkit-based browser overtakes them their stated goals will be furthered. And I guarantee that the Mozilla Corp management team will be in an absolute tizzy when it happens. I, on the other hand, will be delighted to see true competition come to the Free web browser market for the first time. "

Where does Mozilla's money go, other than back to pay its employess and re-invest in development and research?

Do you imagine they are hiding it under a matress somewhere? Or perhaps you think some individuals at the top are siphoning it off somehow ... which is a pretty serious insinuation to make really.

As for trends, well according to one source, these are the trends:

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

Firefox has closed to within a whisker of IE6 + IE7.

IE6 is in a long, slow decline.

IE7 increases do not make up for IE6 falls.

Chrome and Safari have about 3% each, just ahead of Opera.

Non-IE browsers between them have overtaken IE.

...

I can't really see a case to be made where Firefox & Gecko aren't by far the most serious competition for IE.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: All their eggs
by sbergman27 on Fri 21st Nov 2008 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: All their eggs"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Where does Mozilla's money go, other than back to pay its employess

Pay who, and how much?

Or perhaps you think some individuals at the top are siphoning it off somehow ... which is a pretty serious insinuation to make really.

You said that, not me. I merely point out that your "Mozilla is a charity" viewpoint misses the big picture. There's $70 million flowing annually, getting divvied up, paid, allocated, spent, all sans 501c restrictions.

I do think it deserves more community scrutiny than it gets. And I do think that it could benefit from another strong FOSS competitor, as KDE and Gnome benefit from each other, and as Debian has benefited from having another strong distro appear in their camp.

Agreed on current market shares, but recommend that we revisit the issue in a year. I fully expect a less worrisome, less lopsided, and more vibrant FOSS browser market to emerge by then.

Edited 2008-11-21 01:40 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: All their eggs
by lemur2 on Fri 21st Nov 2008 02:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: All their eggs"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Where does Mozilla's money go, other than back to pay its employess
Pay who, and how much?
Or perhaps you think some individuals at the top are siphoning it off somehow ... which is a pretty serious insinuation to make really.
You said that, not me. I merely point out that your "Mozilla is a charity" viewpoint misses the big picture. There's $70 million flowing annually, getting divvied up, paid, allocated, spent, all sans 501c restrictions. I do think it deserves more community scrutiny than it gets. And I do think that it could benefit from another strong FOSS competitor, as KDE and Gnome benefit from each other, and as Debian has benefited from having another strong distro appear in their camp. Agreed on current market shares, but recommend that we revisit the issue in a year. I fully expect a less worrisome, less lopsided, and more vibrant FOSS browser market to emerge by then.
"

I have no problem with there being an audit to establish that the money that flows through Mozilla is indeed used for its stated aims, and to ensure that no-one is raking off some cash somewhere.

However, if an audit does establish that Mozilla's money is being used as per its charter and stated purpose, then I have no problem with Mozilla retaining its tax-free status.

What would be the point of taking some of the funds going through the self-funded Mozilla orgaisation, which is being used for a stated purpose to help the people, and instead tax those funds for adding to the public purse ... ostensibly also to help the people.

Personally ... we can see what Mozilla are doing with the money. It would appear that they are sticking exactly on task to their stated purpose, and doing everything they can to make a better, more popular open browser, and hence keep the web open for everyone. If Mozilla were to be taxed ... then the government would instead be in control of some of those development funds.

Where would YOU trust the money to be better spent for your interests?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: All their eggs
by sbergman27 on Fri 21st Nov 2008 20:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: All their eggs"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Where would YOU trust the money to be better spent for your interests?

When 10s of millions per year flow through any 501c organization, for profit subsidiaries or not, I think it best for there to be plenty of 3rd party scrutiny. You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) at how millions of dollars can affect the judgement and ethics of good, well intentioned people.

However, that is not really the essence of what bothers me about the current Free browser situation. The thing that bothers me is the historical lack of credible competition which you helpfully pointed out in a previous post. Firefox, having been such a FOSS success story thus far (which is good) has developed a sort of fan base of uncritical followers (which is bad). Firefox can do no wrong. I find this worrisome. The main thrust of many of my posts on Firefox is that another strong FOSS browser/rendering engine/javascript engine would be good for everyone, including (and perhaps especially) FF users. I believe that we will see substantial progress toward that end in the next year, and look forward to it.

Not to distract, because this is also not my main point, but interesting to note, is the philosophy, regarding FOSS, of the FF advocacy community. There are plenty of "FF Rulez!" folks who do not care that much about FF's FOSS status beyond it being another bullet point for why FF Rulez and IE Sucks. You may recall the full page New York Times advertisement that the Spread Firefox community ran a fund drive to pay for, and successfully produced. I was a Spread Firefox community member then. After publication, the official PDF of the ad was made available for download. The only problem was that it was not viewable in *any* Free pdf viewer. It *required* Adobe's Acrobat to be opened at all. I mentioned this in the SFF forums. The response from the community was along the lines of "What's the problem? Just use Acrobat". I further suggested that using a pdf that required the proprietary Adobe Acrobat was not really in keeping with the spirit of what we had donated money for in the first place. (Yes, I had donated.) The response that I got (and I quote) was to "get a life". As an advocate of FOSS since 1995 (though we didn't call it that back then) I got a very "we're not in Kansas anymore" feeling at that point. I did view the ad with Acrobat, because I did want to see it, and I'm not *that* anal about using proprietary software. But I came away feeling that I had learned something about that community which I found worrisome.

-Steve

Edited 2008-11-21 20:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: All their eggs
by pfinch on Fri 21st Nov 2008 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: All their eggs"
pfinch Member since:
2008-11-21

Steve,

I joined Mozilla about 4 months ago. I think it is entirely appropriate to be wary of uncritical fan-person-ism and you are right to hold organisations such as Mozilla to public scrutiny. And to that, I would like to offer my perspective on Mozilla, for what it's worth.

For one thing, Mozilla's mission relates as much to the open web as it does to FOSS (as is clear from the Mozilla manifesto). Which is not to say that people at Mozilla do not care about open source - they certainly do, many very passionately, and there are few organisations more defined by open source than Mozilla. And yes, for all that, there is also a high tolerance of and a desire to accommodate proprietary software.

Secondly, I have found Mozilla to be a (surprisingly) earnest place. The people I work with (I am one of the 100+ in the corporation) are only thinking about Mozilla's mission and community.

Lastly, I think you have a very good point about SpreadFirefox. There are advocates for Firefox who are less interested in its FOSS status and more interested for other reasons, and I think that is fair enough - we can be a broad church - although personally I was interested to join Mozilla in the first place because of FOSS.

But on the other hand, I have to agree with you that we cannot have a community site for open source software that requires proprietary software for participation. I hope that FOSS advocates (and I consider myself one) are able also to advocate for Firefox. If you have more examples like the Adobe one, I (and others) would be keen to know about them: we really want to know about things we're getting wrong.

-Patrick

Reply Score: 1