Firefox's direct pipeline to Google search results is Mozilla's dominant revenue source, but the next version of the open-source Web browser will also get Microsoft's Bing as an alternative.
Google will remain the default search option in Firefox, and Yahoo will be second, but Bing will become a third for English-language users when Firefox 4 is released, Mozilla announced Wednesday.
"Bing...offers a user experience that we think users will find valuable, and with its significant rise in popularity over the last year, we will also be including Bing as a general search option for English language users," said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla's vice president of products, in a blog post.
Microsoft has had a search engine for years, so why only add it now? "Until Bing launched last year, we didn't have many users asking us to include a Microsoft search engine in the search bar," Sullivan told CNET. "Since then, we've heard a lot of positive feedback about Bing, and based on our own analysis, we thought it offered a valuable user experience."
Those who delve into a dialog box already can add Bing and other search options to Firefox, so it's not as if Bing fans have been shut out. But the new option will build it in, a notable change given the fierce rivalry over the last decade between Microsoft and Mozilla when it comes to browsers.
The browser landscape is changing, though. After years of relatively sluggish change, Microsoft is back in the game with IE9, now in beta testing. The software includes support for many Web standards that Mozilla and others have been trying to establish for months or years, making IE now also something of an ally as well as a competitor. … Read more