Mozilla's Mitchell Baker somewhat nonchalantly noted on Tuesday that Google and Mozilla have renewed their vows for another three years. She should have ordered serious fireworks.
Why? Because Google's beneficence has allowed Mozilla a tremendous amount of leeway in figuring out a way to sell Mozilla's open-source vision without selling out.
So, Mitchell can explain...
Another important element is the financial resources Mozilla enjoys. We've just renewed our agreement with Google for an additional three years. This agreement now ends in November of 2011 rather than November of 2008, so we have stability in income. We're also learning more all the time about how to use Mozilla's financial resources to help contributors through infrastructure, new programs, and new types of support from employees.
...but this dramatically understates just how important those Google dollars (up to $60 million at last count) are to Mozilla's freedom to operate on its chosen terms. John Lilly, Mozilla's CEO, now has three more years to figure out how to make Mozilla both disruptive and highly profitable so that it can continue to fund more disruptions.
Thank you, Google.